Pros and Cons of an IUD

With so many contraception choices, it's not always easy to know which option is right for you. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the most popular methods right now. They're 99% effective, making them one of the best birth control choices around. That's why you've heard so much buzz about these small, but powerful, devices.

But, how can you really know whether this method is right for you?

Our medical professionals at One Oak Medical want you to make an informed decision when it comes to birth control. Here’s what you need to know about IUDs, so you can decide if they're the right family planning method for you.

Pro: They’re small

An IUD is a T-shaped appliance that’s about one inch long and has two tiny strings attached. An IUD works by creating an environment in your uterus that’s inhospitable to sperm. There are several different types of IUDs that work differently. Depending on the type, your uterine lining could thin, your cervical mucus could thicken, or you could stop ovulating. The strings hang into your vagina, so you can always feel whether the device is in place.

Your OB/GYN inserts the IUD into your uterus, where it can remain for up to 12 years. This means you'll have birth control you don’t even have to think about. When you want to get pregnant, your doctor simply removes the device. 

Unlike other types of birth control, which you can buy at a drugstore, only an OB/GYN can insert an IUD. The procedure takes only a few minutes, and you may feel cramping right after insertion. Don't worry, over-the-counter painkillers should relieve any pain or discomfort. However, if you suffer from serious pain after your procedure, that might mean an IUD isn't for you.

Pro: They’re reliable

Let’s face it. The only way to make sure you won’t get pregnant is to abstain from sex. But how realistic is that?

IUDs have a 99% efficacy rate. Although they’re not foolproof, your risk of getting pregnant while using an IUD is extremely low.

Con: They don’t protect against STDs

IUDs don’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The appliance can’t block semen from entering your vagina during ejaculation. If your partner has an STD, the IUD won’t prevent you from becoming infected, too. 

If you or your partner is at risk for STDs, always use a condom in addition to your IUD, which lowers (not eliminates) your risk of contracting diseases.

Pro: You don’t have to worry

If you have an IUD, sex can be spontaneous without the worry of conception. 

You should replace hormone-releasing IUDs every three-10 years, depending on the brand. A copper-wrapped IUD should be removed after 12 years.

Because the IUD stays in place for years at a time, it’s a good choice for busy women and teenagers who don't want to take a pill every day at the same time.

Con: They’re not for everyone

Most women have no reactions to IUDs, although some experience pain or spotting. Sometimes you may have chills, heavy bleeding, or vaginal discharge.

If you feel any of those symptoms, contact your OB/GYN immediately. 

Pro: They’re removable 

IUDs are instantly reversible. When you want to get pregnant, or if you no longer want to use an IUD as contraception, your OB/GYN specialist removes the device.

Does an IUD sound like the right birth control method for you? Visit our website today to schedule an appointment at one of our New Jersey or New York locations. 

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