An IUD is a long term, reversible mode of contraception. It is one of the most effective birth control methods available, with an over 99% success rate at preventing pregnancy. It is a tiny T-shaped device which is inserted through the vaginal canal and cervix into the uterus, where it sits and prevents pregnancy.
What are the Different Types of IUDs
There are two types of IUDs available – the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD. They both work to prevent pregnancy by affecting the way sperm cells move so that they are unable to get to the egg.
The hormonal IUD also changes your internal environment to prevent the sperm from meeting the egg and may also inhibit the release of an egg by your ovaries.
Depending on the type of IUD, it can last anything from between 2.5 to 10 years.
Are There Any Side Effects for IUD
The side effects of the IUD depend on the type. Some initial bleeding and spotting may occur with both types. The copper IUD results in heavier menstrual periods, while with the hormonal IUD, you can expect your period to become lighter over time and possibly even stop altogether.
Insertion of IUD
Insertion of the IUD is best done during your menses as this is when your cervix, the entrance to your womb, is most relaxed. An IUD is suitable even for women who have not given birth before. Your doctor will speak to you to determine which IUD is suitable for you depending on your needs.
During the insertion of the IUD, a speculum is inserted to open up the vaginal canal. The cervix is then cleaned, and a metal sounder is gently inserted through the cervix opening and into the womb to determine the depth of your womb and whether the IUD can be inserted. Your doctor may have to use a small pair of forceps to hold your cervix in place.
The IUD is then inserted into your womb. You may experience a little cramping and discomfort, as well as some minor bleeding.
What Happens After Insertion of the IUD
About 2-4 weeks after insertion of the IUD, you will have to do an ultrasound scan to confirm the placement of the IUD. When your IUD is due, it can be removed quickly and simply in the clinic. Your doctor simply pulls on the string to gently remove the IUD.
The IUD is a safe and convenient option for someone who is not looking to conceive in the immediate future. It lasts for years and is easily removed should you wish to conceive.