How Do They Work
The IUD is placed inside the uterus by a doctor or nurse. The hormonal IUD:
- stops sperm from fertilising the egg
- makes the mucus in the cervix thicker so that sperm can’t get into the uterus
- changes the wall of the uterus, making it hard for an egg to attach to the wall
- sometimes stops your ovaries from releasing an egg
Ive Been Told Iuds Are Unsafe Is This True
There are some risks to getting an IUD, but theyre very small. Rare complications include malposition and perforation. Malposition is when the IUD has an abnormal position in the uterus. Perforation is when the IUD passes through the wall of the uterus. Your care provider will be careful during placement to avoid these complications, and in some cases, an ultrasound may be used to confirm the IUDs position.
Many concerns about the safety of IUDs date back to the 1970s. At the time, an IUD called the Dalkon Shield was shown to be ineffective at preventing pregnancy, and also caused very serious pelvic infections. But the Dalkon Shield had major design flaws that modern IUDs do not have.
That said, there are some conditions that can make an IUD an inappropriate choice of birth control. You shouldnt get an IUD if you:
- Have or might have an STD or other infection
- Think you might be pregnant
- Have vaginal bleeding thats not related to your period
- Have cervical cancer that hasn’t been treated
- Have cancer of the uterus
- Have a bleeding disorder or Wilsons Disease an allergy to copper
Myth: Iuds Can Cause Abortions
IUDs primarily work by preventing fertilization, so the sperm cannot meet the egg. For example, copper acts as a spermicide, and the progestin hormone in hormonal IUDs causes thickening of the cervical mucus so the sperm cannot get through the cervix. There is no evidence that an IUD will interrupt an implanted pregnancy.
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What Is An Iud And How Does It Work
You might be surprised, but birth control methods nowadays include much more than just condoms and pills. Of course, those are still effective and most commonly used both by women and men. However, such things as patches, injections, female condoms, and IUDs become more and more popular due to their effectiveness, comfortable exploitation, prolonged working period and various other reasons.
Today, we would like to talk about IUDs, their main characteristics, benefits and other useful information about this type of contraception. A better understanding of this topic will be helpful in case youll decide to try modern birth control. So, without further ado, let us begin.
Potential Disadvantages Of A Hormonal Iud
During the first three to six months after having a hormonal IUD inserted, one may experience some side effects such as irregular periods, light spotting, and cramping. However, all of these symptoms should go away on their own once the body gets used to the IUD. And as we stated before, IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. In regards to STIs, only a condom is effective protection.
Still, its important to mention that Mirena IUD may not be the ideal birth control solution for everyone. In general, this hormonal IUD is not recommended in case you have:
- Current or past breast cancer
- Cervical or uterine cancer
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Tips To Prepare For Your Appointment
- Gather supplies to help make things easier the rest of the day, like OTC or prescriber pain relievers, a heating pad, and a couple of panty liners or pads.
- Slip into your comfiest clothes for your appointment. Think: something loose and easy to get off and back into.
- Take any medications as prescribed by your clinician.
- Bring a bottle of water and a snack to help perk you up afterwards.
How Does Hormonal Iud Work
IUDs affect the way sperm move and survive in the uterus , stopping sperm from meeting and fertilising an egg. IUDs can also change the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for a fertilised egg to stick to the lining to start a pregnancy.
The hormonal IUDs also work by thickening the fluid around the cervix . This helps to prevent sperm from entering.
Sometimes the hormonal IUDs can also stop the ovaries from releasing an egg.
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Copper Iud Releases Copper Ions To Prevent Pregnancy
The copper IUD is a non-hormonal IUD that is wrapped with copper. It is a T-shaped plastic frame with a copper wire coiled around it. Once inserted into your uterus, the copper IUD works by producing an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs , thus preventing pregnancy. In effect, the copper ions kill the sperm.
The copper IUD provides immediate birth control and is effective for up to ten years. Note also that if you have a copper IUD inserted within five days of unprotected sex, it may prevent you from becoming pregnant.
When Is An Iud Not A Good Option
An IUD might not be a good option for you if you have:
- a uterus that is not the usual shape
- a current pelvic infection.
The hormonal IUD might not be a good option for you if you have:
- been treated for breast cancer
- severe liver disease.
The copper IUD might not be a good option for you if you have:
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Can Iuds Be Used As Emergency Contraception
Yes! The Paragard, Mirena, and Liletta IUDs work super well as emergency contraception. If you get one of these IUDs put in within 120 hours after unprotected sex, its more than 99% effective. Its actually the most effective way to prevent pregnancy after sex.
Another great thing about using an IUD as emergency contraception: you can keep it and have really effective birth control that you can use for up to 8 to 12 years . The other kind of emergency contraception is the morning-after pill. You can take it up to 5 days after unprotected sex to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
What Do I Do If My Iud Is Expelled
If your uterus decides to expel your IUD, its not really as scary as it may seem. Be sure to call your doctor right away and have it looked at. This goes without saying, but please dont try to put it back in yourself.
Be sure to check often that you can feel the strings of the IUD to make sure its in place. And if at any time, youre afraid your IUD is missing or if youre experiencing any of the following, call your doc right away:
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How Do Hormonal Iuds Work
As mentioned, a hormonal IUD is a small piece of T-shaped plastic that gets inserted into the uterus. So, how do hormonal IUDs work? The progesterone IUD basically releases synthetic progesterone hormone called progestin gradually over the course of a couple of years, which doesnt allow for conception to occur. This particular hormone makes the mucus in the cervix thicker so that it obstructs the sperm from reaching the egg. It also makes the lining of the uterus thinner, which partly leads to ovulation suppression. Its also worth noting that hormonal IUDs can minimize the heavy menstrual flow and painful cramping during the period.
Now that its clear how hormonal IUDs work, you should also be aware that they work exceptionally well while theyre inserted and release hormones. Actually, an IUD is considered to be the most effective form of birth control available today. But the best thing about them is that they can be removed whenever, which almost immediately returns your fertility to what was normal for you before insertion.
Composition And Hormonal Release
The hormonal IUD is a small ‘T’-shaped piece of plastic, which contains levonorgestrel, a type of progestin. The cylinder of the device is coated with a membrane that regulates the release of the drug. Bayer markets Skyla as Jaydess in the United Kingdom. Jaydess releases six micrograms per day and lasts for three years. In comparison, oral contraceptives can contain 150 micrograms of levonorgestrel. The hormonal IUD releases the levonorgestrel directly into the uterus, as such its effects are mostly paracrine rather than systemic. Most of the drug stays inside the uterus, and only a small amount is absorbed into the rest of the body.
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Common Side Effects Of Kyleena Include:
Pain, bleeding or dizziness during and after placement. If these symptoms do not stop 30 minutes after placement, Kyleena may not have been placed correctly. Your healthcare professional will examine you to see if Kyleena needs to be removed or replaced.
Changes in bleeding. You may have bleeding and spotting between menstrual periods, especially during the first 36 months. Sometimes the bleeding is heavier than usual at first. However, the bleeding usually becomes lighter than usual and may be irregular. Call your healthcare professional if the bleeding remains heavier than usual or increases after it has been light for a while.
Missed menstrual periods. About 12 out of 100 women stop having periods after 1 year of Kyleena use. If you have any concerns that you may be pregnant while using Kyleena, do a urine pregnancy test and call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a period for 6 weeks during Kyleena use, call your healthcare provider. When Kyleena is removed, your menstrual periods should return.
Cysts on the ovary. About 22 out of 100 women using Kyleena develop a cyst on the ovary. These cysts usually disappear on their own in 2 to 3 months. However, cysts can cause pain and sometimes cysts will need surgery.
Other Possible Side Effects Of Hormonal Iuds
Aside from the possible connection between IUDs and anxiety, there are other side effects from IUDs that can range from mild to severe. Most women feel a small, sharp pain when the IUD is put in and cramping or lower back aches for several days afterward. You may notice spotting more than usual between periods, irregular periods, or heavier periods and more severe cramps.
Most women feel a small, sharp pain when the IUD is put in and cramping or lower back aches for several days afterward.
Over-the-counter pain medication can help with the initial pain of having your IUD implanted and the cramping associated with your period. However, if the bleeding is unusually heavy and the cramping doesnt go away, see your doctor.
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Other Types Of Contraception
There are many contraceptive methods available in Australia. When choosing the method of contraception that best suits you, it can help to talk to a doctor or nurse about your options. Different methods may suit you at different times in your life. A doctor or nurse can give you information about:
- the benefits and risks of using various methods of contraception
- how well each method works
- the possible risks and side effects
- how easy it is to use
- how much it costs
- how each method meets your current and future needs.
The Benefits Of A Hormonal Iud
As we discussed earlier, aside from birth control benefits, Mirena and other hormonal IUDs are an excellent solution for people who generally have some period issues. That said, people who experience really heavy bleeding or severe cramping when on period can expect their periods to get lighter and pain to subside. Moreover, some women reported that their periods completely stopped after inserting Mirena. Also, the hormonal aspect of Mirena can help with minimizing the symptoms of other gynecological problems such as PCOS and endometriosis.
Another great benefit of a hormonal IUD is the fact that its a simple and convenient contraceptive method. Theres no need to worry about taking oral contraceptives for years. Of course, one should always use condoms if they tend to change their sexual partners relatively often in order to protect themselves from STIs. But if you have a regular partner, this should be no issue.
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Who Is An Iud Right For
IUDs are a good birth control option for many people, but aren’t recommended for someone:
- with PID or an active STD infection
- who is already pregnant or may be pregnant
- who has problems with her uterus, like a disease or malformation, or has abnormal bleeding
Experts recommend IUDs as a good birth control option for younger adults and teens because they last for many years, need no daily care, and are very effective at preventing pregnancy.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Iud
Although an IUD is an effective method of contraception, there are some things to consider before having one fitted.
- It protects against pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type.
- Once an IUD is fitted, it works straight away.
- Most people with a womb can use it.
- There are no hormonal side effects, such as acne, headaches or breast tenderness.
- It does not interrupt sex.
- It’s safe to use an IUD if you’re breastfeeding.
- It’s possible to get pregnant as soon as the IUD is removed.
- It’s not affected by other medicines.
- There’s no evidence that an IUD will affect your weight or increase the risk of cervical cancer, womb cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Your periods may become heavier, longer or more painful, though this may improve after a few months.
- It does not protect against STIs, so you may need to use condoms as well.
- If you get an infection when you have an IUD fitted, it could lead to a pelvic infection if not treated.
- Most people who stop using an IUD do so because of vaginal bleeding and pain, although these side effects are uncommon.
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How Is It Taken Out
The hormonal IUD can stay in for 5 years but it can be taken out sooner. Your doctor or Family Planning NSW clinic can take it out. The clinician will remove the IUD by gently pulling on the string. This only takes a couple of minutes. Some people find it a little uncomfortable. If you want another hormonal IUD, the old one can be taken out and a new one put in at the same visit.
What Are The Side Effects
An IUD is very effective with annual failure rates well under one percent. However, like all birth control, it can fail on rare occasions. If you get pregnant with an IUD in place, theres an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and other serious health problems. If you think you are pregnant, have the IUD removed by your nurse or doctor right away.
Its rare but possible to get an infection if bacteria get into the uterus when the IUD is inserted. You should seek medical help if you think you have an infection as it may impact long-term fertility if left untreated.
IUDs can move after placement, which would impact effectiveness. On rare occasions, an IUD may push through the wall of the uterus and may need surgery to remove the IUD.
Signs that your IUD has moved include being able to feel the IUD coming out through your cervix, heavy bleeding, cramping, pain, or soreness, pain or bleeding during sex, vaginal bleeding or discharge that is unusual.
Additional resources when considering using an IUD:
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What Are The Advantages
- Long acting it lasts for between 3 and 10 years depending on the type of IUD
- Reversible you can choose to have it taken out at any time. After that, you will be able to get pregnant
- 99% effective it works very well
- You dont need to think about contraception every day
- Does not affect breastfeeding
- Does not get in the way of sex
- The copper IUD does not contain any hormones
- The copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception
- The hormonal IUD has a very small amount of hormones and most people have no side effects from this
- The Mirena can help with period bleeding and pain, and most people will have light bleeding or no periods at all.
Studies show that IUDs do not cause pimples, headaches, sore breasts, nausea, mood changes, loss of sex drive or weight gain. There is no evidence of an extra risk of cancer.
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When To Consult A Doctor Or Other Healthcare Professional
Many people who get IUDs dont experience any serious complications. Side effects are mostly manageable and go away on their own as your body gets used to the IUD. Still, its a good idea to know what signs to watch for.
Consult your doctor or other healthcare professional if:
- the IUD string feels shorter or longer than before
- the IUD feels like its shifted or is coming out
- you have severe pain and cramping in your stomach or lower abdomen
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What Are The Disadvantages Of Non
Non-hormonal IUDs can make your periods heavier and cause cramping, especially in the first 3-6 months. And you may have some IUD cramps when you first get your IUD. For many people, these side effects get better once your body gets used to the IUD. So if you can stick it out for a few months, theres a good chance the side effects will ease up. Read more about side effects.
Its normal to have some cramping during your period with a copper IUD. But if your cramps are really bad and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your nurse or doctor. Its also a good idea to call your nurse or doctor if youre still having bad IUD cramps after a year, or you have pain or IUD cramps when youre not on your period this can be a sign your IUD has moved, and they may want to check to make sure its still in place.
IUDs are one of the most effective and convenient ways to prevent pregnancy, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections. So use condoms with your IUD every time you have sex to lower the chance of getting or spreading STDs.