7 reasons why IUDs are so awesome
IUD stand for "Intra-Uterine Device," and it's the favorite form of contraceptive among many OBGYNs because...
1. It's easy to place right there in the office.
2. It is >99% effective at preventing pregnancy and that's the best it can get (we never say anything is 100%)
3. You do not have to remember to take a pill everyday or do anything once it's placed.
4. It's reversible - it's easy to remove if you want another baby and you are fertile again immediately.
5. It can help with periods (if you pick one with progesterone), and we use it all the time for this.
6. IUDs do not contain estrogen, so they are safe to use in women that can't have estrogen.
7. It is very rare to have complications from the IUD, and we like that.
There are 2 basic types of IUDs:
1. Progesterone-containing IUD
There are few different brands (Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, Liletta)
Effective for preventing pregnancy for at least 3-5 years
Make periods lighter
There are some smaller ones that are easier to place, which are great for women who have not had kids yet.
2. Copper IUD
This one is "hormone-free"
May actually make your periods a little heavier
good for 10 years
What to expect after placement:
It is normal to have some light irregular bleeding that can last up to 6 months after placement, but it seems to usually last about 1-2 months. This bleeding is usually light.
After the initial light bleeding that can occur for the first few months, you really shouldn't be thinking about your IUD. If you're in pain or having persistent bleeding and cramping, then you should go see your OBGYN. When an IUD is working well, you forget you even have it.
An IUD really is awesome. They have become a very popular form of contraception, as well as a great treatment option for heavy periods. I have placed IUDs in hundreds of women over the years, and most women love them. Talk with your OBGYN about which one would be best for you.