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(IntraUterine Device)


The intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of birth control that is inserted in the uterus and

left in place to prevent pregnancy. There are several types of IUD1s but only 2 approved

for use in the USA, one with hormones (Mirena) and one with copper (ParaGard). They

are both T –shaped, >99% effective, easily reversible and well tolerated. They have a

specific time of use for each, 5 years for the Mirena and 10 years for the ParaGard, if

pregnancy is desired before that time then the IUD can be removed at any time. As

soon as the IUD is removed it no longer protects against pregnancy. The IUD is more

effective than other forms of birth control because you can’t forget to use it. They are a

very popular form of birth control in Europe but in the United States only about 2% of

women use them.


How it works


The copper IUD releases a small amount of copper. This can prevent the sperm from

reaching the egg and fertilizing it. It may also prevent the egg from attaching to the



The hormonal IUD releases a small amount of progestin. This thickens the cervical

mucus which prevents the sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg, it may

make sperm less active. It also thins the lining of the uterus which makes the egg less

likely to implant and makes the menstrual periods a lot lighter. Some women may have

no period at all.


How it is inserted


A healthcare provider has to insert the JUD. They will make sure that you are a

candidate for the IUD. There are several women who are not candidates for an IUD, the

healthcare provider will let you know if you are not able to have an IUD.

The IUD is usually inserted during or right after the menstrual period. The insertion

doesn’t usually require anesthesia, but taking an over the counter medication for pain

before the procedure may help. Once the IUD is inserted there will be a string from the

device in the vagina. This helps in the removal of the IUD.




1. Easy to use- nothing to remember, once it is place, it is working.

2. Most women and their partners don’t feel anything different.

3. The hormonal IUD may help to make periods a lot lighter and less painful


Side Effects


Some women may experience worsening pain and bleeding with their cycles. Vaginal

discharge can occur as welt For most women these symptoms are short lived and

disappear after the first few months of use. The IUD doesn’t prevent against sexually

transmitted infections. Although pregnancy risk is very low with the IUD, if it does

happen there is an increase risk of being an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that is not

inside the uterus).