Hormonal Iud: Sperm Shall Not Pass
Hormonal IUDs release the progestin levonorgestrel and prevent pregnancy by:
- Thickening your cervical mucus so the sperm cant reach the egg.
- Making your uterus a hostile environment for sperm and eggs, impairing any chance of implantation by inhibiting the sperms ability to swim toward the egg.
- Thinning out the inner lining of the uterus, impairing implantation and also giving you lighter periods .
Hormonal IUDS can interrupt your cycles, but most women won’t experience any changes to ovulation. Studies show that in the first year, about 45% of cycles were ovulatory for women using Mirena, 45-75% for women using Liletta, 88% for women using Kyleena, and 97% for women using Skyla .
The differences between these three brands are:
- The amount of hormone released: Skyla, for example, releases 19.5 micrograms/day of progestin while Mirena releases 52.
- The size: Skyla and Kyleena are slightly smaller and have a narrower inserter, so insertion may be a bit more comfortable which is all kinds of good.
- The approved length of use: Liletta is effective for up to six years, Mirena and Kyleena for up to five, and Skyla for up to three. However, there are promising studies looking into the effectiveness of Mirena and Liletta for up to seven years.
What Are The Benefits To Getting An Iud
The biggest benefit to getting an IUD is that you dont have to worry about birth control for 3 to 10 years, depending on the type of IUD. The manufactures of the Mirena IUD guarantee that the device lasts for up to five years, but research has suggested that it is effective for up to seven., The ParaGuard IUD lasts for at least ten years, and the newest IUD, Skyla, will last for three years. This option caters to women who have busy schedules or often forget to take their birth control pills on time. Additionally, IUDs are extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. About 1-2 out of 1000 users will get pregnant while using an IUD within the first year.
There are specific benefits for each type of IUD as well. The progesterone in the hormonal IUD may reduce menstrual bleeding and cramping, as well as decrease your risk of anemia. The copper IUD can be used as a method of emergency contraception if it is inserted within five days after unprotected sex. Since the copper IUD contains no hormones, there is no risk of weight gain, mood changes, or other adverse reactions to increased progesterone levels.
The cost of an IUD can range from $500 to $1,000. This may seem like a high up-front cost, but when compared to birth control pills, which cost about $30 per month, an IUD is a cheaper method when used for more than two years. In fact, in a 2013 study that compared 15 different methods of contraception, the IUD proved to be the most cost-effective.
Heres How Three Women Feel About Their Iuds
Christine calls her Mirena IUD a godsend. She needed a birth control method that made less of an impact on her hormones, and as someone who is massively impacted by hormones, its been a breeze. Not getting a period is the best.
Sarah had similar feelings: My periods are light to non-existent. I never have to think about taking a pill. I havent experienced any weight gain or heightened emotions. I feel steadier than ever, as if PMS has been mitigated.
And for some women, like Kate, the IUD just straight up wasn’t right. Kate says, My copper IUD made me bloated and gave me a heavier period than ever. I had it removed a few months in. I may try a hormonal one down the road, but Im not sure its the right thing for my body.”
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How Effective Is An Iud
Both types of IUDs are more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Theyre one of the most effective types of birth control available.
Theyre also one of the most convenient forms of birth control because they work for between 3 and 10 years.
An IUD has many benefits. Among them are:
- convenience IUDs dont require preparation before sex
- can be used while breastfeeding
- quickly reversible if you want to get pregnant
- inexpensive after the initial cost of insertion, there are no more costs for 3 to 10 years
Mirena, Liletta, and Skyla can also help relieve:
- menstrual pain
- heavy periods
- pain from endometriosis
ParaGard can also be used as a form of emergency contraception. According to Planned Parenthood, it is 99.9 percent effective at preventing a pregnancy if inserted within 5 days of unprotected intercourse.
As with any birth control method, there are pros and cons youll have to weigh before making your decision on which to use.
IUDs have the following disadvantages:
- they dont protect against STIs
- insertion can be painful
- ParaGard may make your periods heavier
- ParaGard may also make your menstrual cramps worse
- Mirena, Liletta, and Skyla may make your periods irregular
These side effects usually go away within the first six months of use.
There is a risk of infection when you use an IUD. This risk is highest during insertion. You shouldnt get an IUD if you have, or may have, an STI.
In addition, IUDs arent recommended for women who:
How Do Iuds Work
Both copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm cells move so they can’t get to an egg. If sperm cant make it to an egg, pregnancy cant happen.
The Paragard IUD uses copper to prevent pregnancy. Sperm doesnt like copper, so the Paragard IUD makes it almost impossible for sperm to get to that egg.
The hormones in the Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1) they thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm, and 2) the hormones also sometimes stop eggs from leaving your ovaries , which means theres no egg for a sperm to fertilize. No egg, no pregnancy.
One of the awesome things about IUDs is that they last for years but theyre not permanent. If you decide to get pregnant or you just dont want to have your IUD anymore, your nurse or doctor can quickly and easily take it out. Youre able to get pregnant right after the IUD is removed.
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Are There Any Side Effects From Using The Copper Iud
- When it is first inserted some users have period type cramping that usually settles after a few days.
- Your vaginal bleeding pattern will change. Spotting can occur in the first 3 months. This nearly always settles with time and your regular bleeding pattern will return. For most users, periods are about 50% heavier.
- Sometimes the IUD can fall out. This is more common in the first 3 months of it being inserted.
Whats Going On With These Strings
IUDs have thin strings at the end of them. These strings will be used to remove the IUD when its time to insert a new one or when youve decided you want to get pregnant. These strings will rest at the top of your vagina to let you know that the IUD is there.
We think its a good idea to check it periodically to see that the IUD is still in place. If youre not sure how to reach them or youre unsure, just let us know. Well be glad to explain.
And dont worry you cant pull your IUD out by accident. This would be very difficult to do. However, we do advise you not to tug on the strings because we dont want the IUD to shift.
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How Is An Iud Inserted
The IUD must be inserted into the uterus, and the thought of this procedure can be off-putting, however, it is a simple and quick procedure done by a nurse or doctor.
First, you will have your vagina, cervix, and uterus checked. You may also be checked for STIs or pregnancy.
Some women may need medication to numb their cervix before the procedure so its easier to open. The IUD will then be inserted into the vagina in a procedure that usually takes less than five minutes.
Many women feel fine after having an IUD inserted. However, if you experience cramps or dizziness, you should rest after the procedure. Intermittent cramping or spotting can last up to 3-6 months.
What Happens If I Get Pregnant While Im Using An Iud
If you become pregnant while you are using an IUD, it is important that you see a doctor or nurse as soon as possible and have the IUD removed. The doctor or nurse will also need to rule out a pregnancy in your fallopian tubes .
If the IUD is removed, you can choose to continue or terminate the pregnancy . If the IUD is not removed and you continue with the pregnancy, there is a higher risk of losing the pregnancy or delivering the baby early.
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How Do I Get One
In order to get an IUD, you need to talk to your health care professional. They will assess your body, medical history, and lifestyle.
If this method is appropriate, a medical exam should be performed and you might need to get tested for STIs or other infections. The vagina and other organs will need to be checked before insertion as well. Your health care professional will also check for any type of pelvic infection. If a pelvic infection is found, treatment will need to take place before insertion.
The cost of this method ranges from $0-1,000, depending on your location and medical coverage. This is a one-time cost versus other types of birth control methods.
Insertion can be done at any time during the month, but it is more conformable midway through your menstrual cycle. This is when the cervix is the most open. It can also be inserted after pregnancy or after an abortion. It will be inserted during a private appointment with your doctor or physician.
Once it is inserted, some women feel discomfort or cramping. This will go away with pain revilers and rest. It is important to take pain relievers before its inserted to reduce discomfort. It is important you bring someone to drive you home because you may feel dizzy after insertion as well.
After it is inserted, a string will hang down from your vagina.
When To Call Your Doctor
When using an IUD, be aware of warning signs of a more serious problem related to the IUD.
or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have severe pain in your belly or pelvis.
- You have severe vaginal bleeding.
- You are soaking through your usual pads or tampons each hour for 2 or more hours.
- You have vaginal discharge that smells bad. You have a fever and chills.
- You think you might be pregnant.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You cannot find the string of your IUD, or the string is shorter or longer than normal.
- You have any problems with your birth control method.
- You think you may have been exposed to or have a sexually transmitted infection.
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Getting Contraception During Coronavirus
If you need contraception, call your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic as soon as possible. Only go in person if asked to.
It might not be possible to have an IUD fitted or replaced at the moment.
IUDs are normally used for 5 or 10 years, but can be left in for longer.
If your IUD is due to be replaced and you do not want to get pregnant, use condoms or the progestogen-only pill for now.
Disadvantages Of The Hormonal Iud
The hormonal IUD may cause non-cancerous growths called ovarian cysts, which usually go away on their own.
The hormonal IUD can cause hormonal side effects similar to those caused by oral contraceptives, such as breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches, and acne. This is rare. When side effects do happen, they usually go away after the first few months.
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How The Hormonal Iud Works
There are two types of IUDs. The hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy when implanted in the uterus by releasing low levels of progestin, a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. The progestin thickens the cervical mucus and thins out the uterine lining, creating a hostile environment where the sperm can’t reach the egg. While experts can’t say with 100 percent certainty exactly which of these actions is responsible for pregnancy prevention at any given time, none of them stops a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Instead, the mechanisms stop an egg from being fertilized in the first place.
And even if a woman were to get pregnant while using the hormonal IUD , the hormonal IUD wouldn’t hurt her pregnancy, which is why hormonal IUDs aren’t used as emergency contraception, according to Bryant. In fact, in this unlikely situation, the progestin in the IUD might actually help the pregnancy, since the body naturally releases the hormone after fertilization.
Con: Your Ob/gyn Specialist Must Insert It
You cant just buy an IUD at the drugstore. You need your OB/GYN specialist to put it in place, although it takes only a few minutes. In that regard, the procedure is similar to a getting a Pap smear.
You may experience some cramping right after insertion. Regular over-the-counter painkillers should be sufficient to offer you relief. If you have continued pain, have your OB/GYN specialist remove the IUD so you can choose another method of birth control.
Myth: Sexual Desire And Sexual Pleasure
Some couples do not want to use the IUD because they incorrectly believe that the IUD will cause inconvenience during sex, pain for the male partner because the strings will hurt the penis, or that using the IUD causes discomfort and pain for the woman during sex.
Fact: It might make you more relaxed about unintended pregnancies and enjoy sex even more!
There is no reason why an IUD should negatively affect sexual pleasure. On the contrary, being free from fear of pregnancy may allow both partners, especially the woman, to enjoy their sexual life.
There is no reason why an IUD should cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse unless the woman is already having cramps, which sometimes occur during the first few weeks after insertion. Sexual intercourse cannot displace an IUD.
What Is A Intrauterine Device: Iud
An Intrauterine device is a T-shaped piece of plastic placed inside the uterus. The piece of plastic contains copper or a synthetic progesterone hormone that prevents pregnancy. The device releases a constant low dose of a synthetic hormone continually throughout the day.
Both the progesterone IUD and copper IUD prevent pregnancy in one of two ways:
- The released progesterone or copper creates changes in the cervical mucus and inside the uterus that kills sperm or makes them immobile.
- The IUD changes the lining of the uterus, preventing implantation should fertilization occur. It is important to consider the ethical implications of this third method.
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How We Handle Pregnancy With An Iud
Our first step is to determine the type of pregnancy, which could be either:
Intrauterine, which is the normal location for pregnancy development, allowing for fetal growth over 9 months, or
Ectopic, which is when a fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube or other location outside the uterus and poses serious health risks to the woman
We used to believe that having an IUD increased the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Now we understand that because IUDs are so effective at preventing intrauterine pregnancies that, if a pregnancy does occur, theres a higher likelihood that it developed outside the uterus. But patients arent at increased risk for ectopic pregnancies just because they have an IUD.
Next, we look for the IUD strings in the cervix to potentially remove the device. Studies have shown that the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and infection of the amniotic sac and fluid before delivery is significantly higher when IUDs are left in place during pregnancy compared to pregnancies in which the IUD is removed. However, while taking out the IUD improves the pregnancy outcome, there is still a higher risk of pregnancy complications compared to patients who never had an IUD in place. For most women whose IUD strings are visible through the cervix, we recommend removal of the IUD at the first visit.
Is A Copper Iud The Right Birth Control For Me
IUDs are appropriate for most women, especially those looking for the most effective methods of birth control. If you know planning for a baby isnt in your near future, an IUD may make sense for you.
ParaGard® may especially appeal to women who are looking for a hormone-free birth control option. Because of the potential for heavier or more painful periods, women whose periods are heavy or crampy may want to be extra cautious.
While all IUDs are effective at preventing pregnancy, none protect you against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV/AIDS. Discussing your specific needs and circumstances with a trusted healthcare provider can help you find the best birth control option for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/09/2018.
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How Quickly Does An Iud Work To Prevent Pregnancy
Depending on the type of IUD, you might need to use a backup form of birth control after its in place.
Mirena, Liletta, and Paragard start working immediately to prevent pregnancy.
Skyla and Kyleena work right away, but they need to be placed within 7 days of your last period. If theyre placed outside this window of time, youll need to use another form of birth control for the first 7 days after insertion.