Almost every woman in the United States uses contraception at some point during her life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though female sterilization (tubal ligation) and the oral contraceptive pill are the two most popular forms of birth control in the U.S., long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like the intrauterine device (IUD) are a close third.
You may wonder why more and more women are choosing IUDs for birth control. Our contraception specialists at Cary OB/GYN in Cary and Morrisville, North Carolina, are family planning experts who want you to know more about the IUD and why it’s so popular.
IUDs leave little chance for mistakes
IUDs are T-shaped birth control devices we insert in your uterus during an office visit. The insertion process only takes about 5 minutes. Though you may feel some slight pain and cramping after placement of your IUD, these side effects don’t usually last long.
Once your IUD is in place, there’s nothing else you need to do. You don’t need to remember to take a pill, replace your patch, or make an appointment to get your next shot — leaving very little room for the human errors that sometimes lead to unexpected pregnancies.
There are two types of IUDs:
Copper is a natural spermicide. Copper IUDs, also called non-hormonal IUDs, like Paragard® are plastic T-shaped devices wrapped in the sperm-repelling metal. Copper IUDs are effective immediately and work up to 10 years.
Hormonal IUDS contain progestin, a female hormone that thickens your cervical mucus to stop sperm from reaching the egg and thins the lining of your uterus to prevent egg implantation. Brands of hormonal IUDs we use include Liletta®, Mirena®, Kyleena®, and Skyla®.
Unlike copper IUDs, it takes your hormonal IUD a week before it’s effective. This type of IUD prevents pregnancy for 3-5 years.
IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy
IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, less than one out of every 100 women who use an IUD for a year get pregnant. By comparison, nine out of every 100 women who use birth control pills for a year get pregnant. IUDs are a set-it-and-forget-it form of birth control.
IUDs are easily reversible
Based on data from the CDC, female sterilization is the most common method of birth control. Like the IUD, tubal ligation is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, in most cases, this minimally invasive surgical procedure is permanent.
IUDs, on the other hand, are effective and reversible. We can remove your IUD at any time. Once removed, your fertility goes back to normal immediately, which means you can try to get pregnant right away. If you don’t want to get pregnant after we take out your IUD, we can talk to you about other birth control options.
Convenient and effective, more and more women are choosing IUDs to prevent pregnancy. To schedule a consultation with our contraception specialists to discuss your birth control options,
contact us today by calling the Cary OB/GYN location nearest you.