How Much Does It Cost
An IUD can cost anywhere from $0 to $1,300. The cost can vary depending on the health insurance plan and the type of IUD. Many health insurance plans cover the costs, and family planning clinics may charge less.
Myth: Problems After Removal
Some couples do not want to use the IUD because they incorrectly believe that the IUD will cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or miscarriage.
Fact: no increased risk of infertility
Good studies find no increased risk of infertility among women who have used IUDs, including young women and women with no children. Whether or not a woman has an IUD, however, if she develops pelvic inflammatory disease and it is not treated, there is some chance that she will become infertile. PID can permanently damage the lining of the fallopian tubes and may partially or totally block one or both tubes enough to cause infertility.
Fact: no increased risk of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage after removal
Because any pregnancy among IUD users is rare, ectopic pregnancy among IUD users is even rarer. An IUD does not increase a womans overall risk of ectopic pregnancy. In fact, an IUD users risk of an ectopic pregnancy is much lower than the risk to a woman who is not using any method of contraception. In the unlikely event of pregnancy in an IUD user, 6 to 8 in every 100 of these pregnancies is ectopic. Thus, the great majority of pregnancies after IUD failure are not ectopic. Still, ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, so a provider should be aware that ectopic pregnancy is possible if an IUD fails.
IUDs do not cause miscarriages after they have been removed. If correct insertion technique is used, the use of an IUD will not cause any difficulty in future pregnancies.
How Do I Use An Iud
Your doctor or nurse practitioner will write you a script and you can get the IUD from a pharmacy. Sometimes you can buy a copper IUD from the clinic providing the IUD insertion.
Its good to make a record of the date when you had the IUD inserted. You will need to make sure it is taken out before it expires .
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Nonhormonal Or Copper Iuds
Copper IUDs do not use hormones. Instead, the copper damages sperm to prevent it from getting to the egg. It also creates an immune response that stops the development of healthy eggs and destroys any eggs that do develop.
In the United States, the brand name of the copper IUD is ParaGard.
ParaGard IUDs begin working immediately, so doctors may choose them when emergency contraception is necessary. The copper IUD can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years and possibly longer.
As with any birth control, the IUD offers benefits but also carries risks. People may wish to talk to a doctor about their medical history and any plans regarding future pregnancy before deciding which IUD is right for them.
The pros and cons of different types of IUD include:
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What Happens If You Want To Continue The Pregnancy
If you choose to continue with the pregnancy, a healthcare professional will likely remove the IUD. This may help reduce the risks of complications, but the pregnancy will still be considered high risk. Most pregnancies with IUDs in place result in ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
Still, it is possible to deliver a healthy baby if the embryo is viable. Your healthcare professional will help you choose the best options for your health and the fetus.
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Can The Iud Cause Any Serious Health Problems
In about 1 in 500 users, a small hole in the wall of the uterus may be created while the IUD is being inserted. The IUD can move through the hole and sit in the wrong place. If this happens, keyhole surgery is required to have the IUD removed.
Around 1 in 300 users get an infection when the IUD is first inserted. This can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
It is very unlikely to get pregnant when using an IUD. If you do get pregnant with an IUD in place, there is a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy. This means that the pregnancy may settle in the fallopian tubes . This should be medically assessed urgently and treated as required.
Iuds Are Really Convenient
Once your IUD is in, you barely have to think about it it works until it expires or you have it taken out. That means no trips to the pharmacy, no pill to take or ring to put in, and nothing you have to do before sex to prevent pregnancy. Plus youre protected against pregnancy for 3 to 12 years, depending on what kind you get.
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How Long Can I Leave My Iud In
An IUD can stay in place for three, five or 10 years, depending on the type of IUD. When you have it put in, the nurse or doctor will tell you when it will need to be replaced.
You may be able to keep the IUD longer if you’re in your 40s. If you get a copper IUD put in after you turn 40 or a hormonal IUD put in after you turn 45, your IUD may be able to stay in place until menopause. Ask the nurse or doctor if this is an option for you.
If you want your IUD removed, read our ‘Getting your IUD removed’ page.
Pro: Its Ready When You Are
Having an IUD means that as long as youre practicing safer sex, you can be spontaneous without worrying about pregnancy. Your IUD offers reliable contraception for years at a time. The copper IUD starts working instantly.
Hormone-releasing IUDs should be removed and replaced every 3-10 years, depending on the brand. The copper-wrapped IUD can stay in place and offer continuous protection for up to 12 years.
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How Effective Is Emergency Contraception
Currently, emergency contraception options include IUDs and emergency contraception pills , which are commonly called morning-after pills.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the copper IUD is the most effective form of EC. However, a 2021 study found that hormonal IUDs, such as Mirena, are not inferior to ParaGard as EC options.
A medical professional must insert the IUD within 5 days, or 120 hours, of sexual intercourse without a barrier method. Once in, the IUD lowers the chance of getting pregnant by more than 99.9%.
If a person wants a short-term solution, they can take an ECP.
Pills containing ulipristal are prescription-only ECPs a person takes within 5 days of sexual intercourse without a barrier method. About 6 or 7 out of every 10 people who would have become pregnant will not become pregnant after taking ulipristal.
The FDA states that morning-after pills containing levonorgestrel prevent pregnancies in seven out of every eight people who would have become pregnant. These pills are most effective when a person takes them within 3 days of sex without a barrier method. They are available OTC.
It is important to note that ECPs are not abortion pills. ECPs work to prevent pregnancy from happening, while abortion pills end an existing pregnancy.
What Should You Do If You Get Pregnant With An Iud
Youll want to contact your ob-gyn ASAP, Dr. Minkin says. Our first step will be for us to determine if it is a pregnancy inside the uterus or ectopic, and we will utilize an ultrasound to help us do so, Dr. Aagaard says. Next, we will look to see if the IUD is still in place and if we can see and grasp the strings when doing a speculum exam.
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Can You Get A New Iud Immediately After Removal
You can! IUD replacement is done in the same appointment as removal. The removal of the old one and insertion of the new one typically takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
Just like with the initial insertion appointment, you can ask your clinician to prescribe medication in advance to help with discomfort and anxiety.
IUD removal and replacement isnt at least anecdotally considered as painful as when you first get an IUD.
Iuds Can Be Used As Emergency Contraception
The Paragard, Mirena, and Liletta IUDs are the most effective form of emergency contraception out there. If you get one of these IUDs put in within 120 hours after unprotected sex, its more than 99% effective against pregnancy. And bonus! your IUD can keep preventing pregnancy for as long as you like, up to 8 -12 years .
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The Copper Iud As Emergency Contraception
Did you know the copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception ?Its
Hormonal IUDs shouldnt be used by people whove had breast cancer.
Other possible risks include:
- Infection. Theres a small risk of infection after insertion. The risk is highest in the first 20 days, and then it drops significantly.
- Expulsion. Theres a slight chance that your IUD could shift out of place. Using a menstrual cup, being under the age of 20, and never having been pregnant can increase the risk of expulsion.
- Perforation. Theres a very low risk of perforation during insertion. Were talking a 1 to 2 in 1,000 chance.
Taking A Pregnancy Test
If you suspect youre pregnant, consider taking an at-home pregnancy test. These tests claim to be up to 99% effective. In most cases, the tests provide accurate results, but their reliability depends on following the instructions and not testing too early after conception.
Its also recommended to discuss your concerns and symptoms with your healthcare provider to ensure the IUD is working correctly. They may also perform a pregnancy test in the office to confirm whether you are pregnant.
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Disadvantages Of An Iud
- You have to have the IUD inserted. This is usually a simple, safe procedure carried out by a doctor or nurse who is experienced at inserting IUDs. It takes about five to 10 minutes.
- Most women have some period-like cramping. Some women feel pain and occasionally feel faint when the IUD is put in or taken out.
There are some risks from having an IUD put in:
- there may be a small chance of infection when an IUD is put in
- there is a very small risk of damage or perforation of the womb
- you may get pregnant with an IUD in place but this is rare
- any pregnancy can be ectopic . This risk is less than in women not using any contraception
- a Copper IUD may cause more bleeding and cramping during periods
- the copper can very rarely cause an allergic reaction
- the IUD can occasionally come out by itself . You can check the strings are still in place after each period or at the beginning of each month.
- Mirena may initially cause irregular, light bleeding for more days than usual
- Search the Medsafe website for more information about Mirena’s side effects.
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What Happens If I Get Pregnant While I Am Using The Copper 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 continue the pregnancy or have an abortion. If the IUD cannot be removed and you continue the pregnancy, there is a higher risk of losing the pregnancy.
Past The Expiration Date
IUDs have expiry dates that indicate until when they can stay inside the uterus and still remain effective. If you keep it past its expiration date, you might have a slightly increased chance of being pregnant.
Although more research is needed to confirm whether keeping an IUD longer than its expiration date can trigger some side effects, experts do not really recommend it for your safety.
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Does The Age Of An Iud Matter
An IUD can work for years before you need to replace it. But eventually it expires. Using an expired IUD may raise your risk of pregnancy.
In most cases, a copper IUD can last for up to 12 years. A hormonal IUD can last for up to 3 years or longer, depending on the specific brand you use.
Ask your doctor when you should have your IUD removed and replaced.
If you have an IUD, contact your doctor if you:
- want to become pregnant
- think you might be pregnant
- suspect that your IUD has slipped out of place
- want to have your IUD removed or replaced
You should also contact your doctor if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms while using an IUD:
- fever, chills, or other signs of infection
- bad pain or cramps in your lower belly
- pain or bleeding during sex
In most cases, the potential side effects of using an IUD are minor and temporary. But in rare cases, an IUD can cause serious complications, such as:
- ectopic pregnancy
What Are The Benefits Of An Iud
No matter the type of IUD you choose, this birth control method carries many benefits, including:
- An IUD is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Depending on the type of IUD, only 0.1 to 0.8 percent of women become pregnant while using this birth control method.
- Its reversible. You will immediately return to fertility as soon as you have your IUD removed, no matter how long it has been inserted in your uterus.
- No maintenance required. An IUD is a long-term, low-maintenance option for women who dont want to have to remember to take a pill every day. Depending on the type of IUD, once inserted, it can remain in place for three to 10 years.
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What Are The Side Effects And Complications
The nonsurgical implantation of the IUD usually takes just a few minutes. But some women experience discomfort during placement, including pinching, cramping, nausea, faintness, and dizziness. Patients are given a follow up appointment about a month later to check placement.
The IUD is supposed to be painless once implanted. All women should feel are the monofilament threads with their fingers during their monthly at home self-check.
During the first three months, some women experience heavier and longer periods as well as vaginal bleeding / spotting. But then the menstrual cycle should go back to normal. If they do not, women should contact their doctors. According to Paragards prescribing information, other side effects may include:
Rare but potential complications include:
IUD removalbreak offsurgeryconditions
Does Birth Control Cause Blood Clots
Using a method of birth control with estrogen increases a young womans risk of forming a blood clot by several times, but for women who have no history of stroke, blood clots, or heart attack, and whose family members have never experienced a blood clot, the risk is still quite low. Women with a history of these medical conditions in their family have a higher risk of forming a new blood clot adding birth control with estrogen to the mix increases that risk to an unacceptable level. Progestin-only methods like the implant, mini-pill, the shot, and Skyla and Mirena IUDs dont increase your risk. If youre worried about blood clots, we recommend talking to your doctor about which birth control options are best for you.
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Are Iuds A Safe Form Of Birth Control
Safety is a concern when using any kind of medication. However, most women can use an IUD safely, especially when only one sexual partner is involved. Certain preexisting conditions, such as sexually transmitted infections, cancer, and pelvic infection following recent a childbirth or abortion may increase the risk of complications. In rare cases, the IUD can penetrate the uterus and in very rare cases, it can end up outside the uterus. Typically, any complications that result from IUD use are easily treated.
If youre interested in using an IUD, your healthcare provider will discuss any potential risks and complications and make sure its the right choice for you.
Iud Birth Control Faq: Is An Iud Right For You
You may have heard a lot of talk about IUDs recently. Like many reproductive healthcare providers, carafem has seen a recent spike in clients coming in for IUD insertions. These tiny devices take just a few minutes to insert cant be seen or felt once theyre in place last for anywhere between 3-12 years , and are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Theyre also covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid, thanks to the Affordable Care Act! We held our first live IUD Ask Me Anything chat on Facebook.
Couldnt make it? No worries we compiled a few questions from the chat, along with some frequently asked questions about IUDs, below. Already decided youre ready get an IUD, or just want to talk through your options in person? Give us a call anytime at 1-855-SAY-CARA to make an appointment.
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