Blog Post

Everything You Need to Know About IUD's
Posted on 06/26/2017
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Everything You Need to Know About IUD's


At Doylestown Women's Health Center, we're proud to provide world-class pregnancy care, OB/GYN services, and women's healthcare procedures. We want each one of our patients to maintain a holistically healthy lifestyle, and we feel patient education is a vital part of that goal. To help you maintain optimal health and make the best choices possible about your health care, we've compiled some helpful information about intrauterine devices – more commonly known as IUDs. 

What Are IUDs? 

IUDs are small, T-shaped medical devices about the size of a quarter. They're inserted into the uterus by your gynecologist or other OB/GYN healthcare provider, and unlike many other forms of birth control, they're semi-permanent: the IUD will stay in the uterus and continue preventing pregnancy until it's removed. Once placed, IUDs emit either progestin, a synthetic hormone, or copper, both of which prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs.

What Types of IUDs Are Available? 

IUDs come in two main forms: hormonal and nonhormonal. Hormonal IUDs release progestin, which is a synthetic hormone designed to prevent pregnancy. Progestin creates a thick lining of mucus on the cervix, making it almost impossible for sperm to swim into the uterus. Non-hormonal IUDs emit copper ions, which are toxic to sperm and impair their ability to swim and fertilize eggs. 

What Are the Advantages of IUDs? 

IUDs come with a number of advantages, and they're the most common form of birth control chosen by female family planning providers themselves. IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control available, with a failure rate of only 0.2–0.8%. This is vastly lower than birth control, with a failure rate of 9%, or condoms, with a failure rate of 18%. Furthermore, many women choose IUDs because they're a simple, "fire-and-forget" solution. IUDs remain in the body and work until they're removed, so you don't have to worry about taking a pill every day. IUDs are also usually very affordable with insurance, but the future affordability of IUDs is dependent on the outcome of current healthcare reforms.

What Are the Disadvantages of IUDs? 

IUDs can also come with a number of side effects, the most common including spotting between periods and cramping. There's a small string attached to the IUD that aids in removal which remains in the vagina, and women can occasionally feel this string – although in these cases, your gynecologist can usually change the position of the string to make it unnoticeable. While IUDs won't always affect menstruation, for some women, they can cause changes. Hormonal IUDs usually make periods lighter or cause women to stop bleeding entirely, while nonhormonal IUDs can temporarily increase flow during periods. 

Contact Doylestown Women's Health Center Today 

While they're not right for everyone, IUDs can be a convenient, effective, and safe form of birth control for many women, providing an excellent option for family planning and reproductive healthcare. If you'd like to learn more about IUDs or are considering getting an IUD for yourself, the treatment team at Doylestown Women's Health Center would be happy to speak with you. We're proud to help women throughout the community of Doylestown make empowered choices about their healthcare and wellbeing, and we're always happy to answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 215-340-2229 or contact us online to learn more about how IUDs can help you make family planning an effortless part of your lifestyle.