For centuries, women have been looking for effective birth control. It seems like the IUD may provide the answer. The IUD has become increasingly popular birth control, but how does it work? We’re taking an insider look into the science behind this revolutionary contraceptive device to explain what an IUD does to your body.
If you opt to have IUD, schedule a consultation at Ezra Clinic.
What is IUD, and How it Works?
The Intrauterine Device is a T-shaped, tiny device inserted into the uterus as contraception. It can be made of flexible plastic or copper wire. It releases either copper ions or hormones directly into the uterus, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. Copper IUDs use copper ions to prevent pregnancy by damaging sperm and inhibiting their ability to move through the uterus. Hormonal IUDs release progestin. This hormone thickens cervical mucus, stopping sperm from entering the uterus. Progestin thins the uterine lining so a fertilized egg can’t attach itself.
IUDs are effective forms of contraception, with an estimated failure rate of close to 1 percent. They are also easy to use, and a healthcare provider can quickly insert them within 5-10 minutes. While IUDs offer great pregnancy protection, they do not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases and infections, so condoms should still be used.
What Does an IUD Do to Your Body?
The IUD typically contains either copper or hormones and provides long-term contraception for up to several years without needing to be replaced. Aside or being a contraception, it can also impact menstruation and health and can cause allergic reactions and side effects.
Copper IUDs are non-hormonal contraceptives that contain copper wire coiled around the stem.
The copper IUD works by releasing toxic copper ions to sperm and interfering with the transport of sperm within the uterus. It prevents fertilization from occurring and reduces the chances of pregnancy.
Impact on Menstruation
Women who use a Copper IUD may experience heavier or longer periods than normal and more frequent spotting or bleeding between periods.
Impact on Health
Copper IUD can increase can risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infection, as it may cause uterine inflammation.
Some women experience rashes, itching, and swelling.
Common side effects of Copper IUD include cramping, nausea, spotting between periods, increased menstrual pain or flow and irregular periods. Rare complications may include pelvic inflammation or infection and perforation of the uterus.
A hormonal IUD releases a small amount of progestin hormone into the uterus, which is released over several years.
The progestin hormone thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. It also thins the uterus lining to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Impact on Menstruation
A hormonal IUD may reduce menstrual cramps and make periods lighter, shorter, or stop completely.
Impact on Health
Hormonal IUDs change the uterus lining and lessen levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Progestin reduces the chance of developing ectopic pregnancy and endometrial cancer.
Some women experience rashes, itching, and swelling in the area as an allergic reaction to the progestin hormone.
Common side effects of hormonal IUD include irregular periods or spotting between periods, breast tenderness or pain, abdominal pain, nausea and headaches. Rare complications may include ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammation or infection, and uterine perforation.
Am I suitable to have an IUD?
If you are of reproductive age, sexually active and with no contraindications, you may be suitable for getting an IUD. Understanding their risks, benefits, and possible side effects is vital when deciding whether to get an IUD.
Upon consultation, your doctor will assess your situation and advise on the best contraceptive for you. They may ask about your medical history, current medications and other issues. Other factors affecting your suitability for an IUD include:
- Your risk of developing a pelvic infection
- Your risk of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy
- Your risk of having Sexually Transmitted Infections
- If you have had any previous pregnancies or abortions
- Any medical conditions which might make using an IUD dangerous for you
- Your age and lifestyle
The IUD has become a revolutionary contraceptive option for women seeking effective, reliable, and long-lasting birth control. It utilizes hormonal and physical methods to protect your body against unwanted pregnancies.
Given that it is low cost and incredibly convenient – with only a one-time insertion procedure – more and more women are using the IUD as a preferred form of contraception each year. Considering the science behind this device, it’s no surprise that the trust between doctors and their patients becomes even stronger when discussing birth control solutions. With greater access to healthcare resources and greater levels of understanding regarding its usage, we can ensure that our revolutionary device remains safe and effective for many women around the globe.