Midwife Matters

Pregnancy preparations, women's health, and care options

The Best Kept Secret: The IUD

on February 15, 2013

Looking for a convenient, safe and highly effective form of birth control? Then look no further than the IUD (intrauterine device).  This very popular method boasts the highest  satisfaction among couples of any birth control method. IUD’s are among the most popular method used worldwide.

The IUD is a small (approximately 2 inches) T-shaped flexible plastic device that can be easily inserted by your provider in the clinic. The IUD is placed through the cervix and rests in the uterine cavity with a small string (1-2 inches in length) that remains outside the cervix .  Insertion generally takes 5-10 minutes or less.                      SAM_0017

Two types of IUD’s are currently available with a third type soon to be available as well (I will be writing a blog detailing each of these IUD types soon!).  The Paragard IUD (Pictured on the right) can remain in place for 10 years and the Mirena IUD (pictured on the left) for 5 years.  The newest IUD will be effective for 3 years.  IUD’s can be removed easily at any time by your provider with no delay to fertility should a pregnancy be desired.

SAM_0019Considered by many to be the most effective, reversible contraceptive method, the IUD has an effectiveness rate approaching that of permanent sterilization. Though originally developed to be used by women who had already had children, modern IUD’s can safely be used by most women of all ages even those who have never been pregnant.  As with any prescribed contraceptive, be sure to fully discuss the IUD with your provider as she will want to carefully review your history and discuss whether this method would be suitable for you.  When considering contraception, in my opinion, for many women the IUD may be the ideal choice.

Stay tuned for more information in upcoming blogs on the specific types of IUD’s as well as a discussion of benefits, risks and side effects of each.


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