If you’d like birth control that’s inserted once and then lasts 3-10 years, you should consider getting an intrauterine device (IUD). The IUDs on the market today are safe, highly effective, and can be removed at any time. The doctors at Capital Women’s Care offer all types of IUDs currently available, so don’t hesitate to call one of their offices in Rockville or Silver Spring, Maryland, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
An IUD is a flexible, T-shaped device that’s placed inside your uterus. IUDs are nearly 100% effective, which makes them about as effective for preventing pregnancy as permanent sterilization. Your IUD begins preventing pregnancy as soon as it’s inserted and it continues to protect you until it’s removed.
An IUD can physically prevent sperm from getting through the uterus, which means they can’t access the fallopian tube to fertilize an egg. But that’s not the primary mechanism IUDs use to prevent pregnancy. There are two basic types of IUDs that have different actions:
These IUDs – Mirena®, Skyla®, and Kyleena® – slowly and continuously release the hormone progestin, which changes the lining of your uterus and thickens mucus in your cervix so sperm can’t get through the cervix.
One brand of IUD – Paragard® – contains copper, which has a more direct effect on sperm. Copper acts like a spermicide and inhibits movement in sperm.
IUDs are called long-acting reversible contraceptives for good reason. Once they’re inserted, they can stay in place and prevent pregnancy for 3-10 years. They’re completely reversible because you can choose to have it removed at any time.
It’s possible to get pregnant as soon as your IUD is removed, so if you’re not ready for a baby, talk to your doctor at Capital Women’s Care about another form of birth control.
Hormone-containing IUDs last 3-5 years, depending on what brand you use. They have to be removed and replaced when the hormone supply runs out. Copper IUDs can stay in place for 10 years.
IUD insertion is easily performed in the office. Your doctor at Capital Women’s Care checks the depth of your uterus, sets the IUD insertion tube to the proper depth, then inserts it through your cervix and into your uterus.
When the IUD is in place, the insertion tube is removed and a string attached to the IUD is trimmed so that it reaches just below the opening of your cervix. While you can reach into your vagina and feel the string, it’s not noticeable any other time, including during intercourse.
If you’re interested in an IUD, call Capital Women’s Care or book an appointment online today.