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5 Reasons to Consider an IUD

You may have thought the Pill was the standard choice for birth control and that most OB/GYNs recommend it. But when it comes to health care providers who are also women, the fact is that most of them choose an intrauterine device (IUD) to keep from getting pregnant. 

If you have questions about IUDs and all your other birth control options, our expert team of gynecologists and obstetricians at Capital Women’s Care can help you navigate the pros and cons of each. From short-term to permanent solutions, we’re here to make sure you understand all the risks and benefits, so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family-planning goals. One of the most misunderstood methods of contraception is the IUD. Here are a few reasons you might want to reconsider it.

1. More effective

When it comes right down to it, the primary reason to choose any form of birth control is to prevent pregnancy. If it doesn’t work, or it has a chance — even a small chance — of not working, then you may want to consider a different method. When it comes to choosing the most effective method, you can’t do better than an IUD.

Compared to other long-term birth control methods, IUDs are 20 times more effective than birth control pills, the patch, and the vaginal ring. In fact, IUDs reliably prevent pregnancy just as well as sterilization.

The IUDs high level of effectiveness can be credited to two things: the way they work to prevent pregnancy and their low need for maintenance.

After you get an IUD inserted, you only need to come back and see us about a month later to make sure it hasn’t shifted. After that, your IUD provides continuous protection from pregnancy, and you only need to return for your regular annual checkup. The effectiveness of an IUD doesn’t depend on whether you remember to take a pill every day or change a patch every week. 

2. Longer-lasting protection

Typically, your IUD will give you continuous pregnancy protection for 3-10 years — even if it doesn’t contain any hormones.

How IUDs work

IUDs are small, flexible, plastic, T-shaped devices that are placed into your uterus. Although there are five types of IUDs on the market today, they all do the same thing — prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs. 

Four of them contain hormones that are released gradually in very small amounts. The fifth one is hormone-free. It releases copper, which is just as effective as hormonal IUDs for preventing pregnancy.

How long does an IUD work?

Most of the IUDs that contain hormones last at least three years; some work for five years before they have to be replaced.

The IUD that releases copper can be used for 10 years. Of course, you don’t have to keep your IUD in place for 3-10 years, but it’s good to know that you’re protected continuously and won’t have to think about contraception for a very long time.

3. Reversible

Before we prescribe any type of birth control, we get to know you and your personal plans for having — or not having — children. Your goals and personal preferences will help determine the best contraceptive choice for you, as some are permanent choices and some are reversible.  Even those that are reversible may require time for normal menstrual cycles to return, which may mean it’ll take more time than you planned to become pregnant.

With all types of IUDs, you can get the convenience of fast and easy removal. The procedure is simple, and it only takes a few minutes to take the IUD out of your uterus. You can start trying to have a family as soon as the IUD is removed. 

4. Safe for most women

IUDs are considered one of the safest forms of birth control, and nearly all women can use them with confidence. They’re so safe, in fact, that the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists recommends long-lasting reversible contraceptives (LARC) as first-choice methods for most women, including adolescents.

If you’ve never had children before, two IUDs, including the copper-releasing type, are FDA-approved for you. Others are used by women who have had at least one child. An IUD can even be inserted right after delivering a baby and used by women who are breastfeeding.

While other types of birth control might not be right if you have certain health conditions, IUDs are okay to use even if you have:

Very few health conditions prevent women from using IUDs. We always make sure you’re a good candidate by reviewing your medical history, verifying you’re not pregnant, and checking for ongoing infections before inserting an IUD. 

5. Lower dose of hormones 

IUDs use progestin, so they’re safe for women who can’t take estrogen. The dose is lower than with the Pill, and so small that side effects are almost never a concern. 

If, like many women, you’ve steered clear of IUDs simply because they’re unfamiliar to you, we hope this information has helped you understand them a little bit better. Studies show that when women learn about the advantages, a little more than half of them choose the convenience and effectiveness of IUDs. 

When you’re searching for birth control options and answers, trust our team at Capital Women’s Care to be open and honest about your choices and to put your health and safety above all else. Call us or request an appointment online

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