What is an IUD?
IUD stands for intrauterine device. An IUD is a small, flexible device shaped like a T that is placed inside your uterus by your gynecologist. There are two types of IUDs, and each works differently. One type is made with copper, which makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg during ovulation (since sperm don’t like copper). The other type of IUD uses hormones to thicken cervical mucus and prevent ovulation from happening. IUDs can last for years inside the uterus, but they will need to be replaced eventually. Your gynecologist can also remove it at any time.
Is an IUD right for me?
IUDs are one of the most effective birth control methods available. One of the greatest benefits is that you can choose between a hormonal or non-hormonal type based on your health and preferences. Hormonal options can even reduce or stop your periods. If you’re looking for a long-term method that is not permanent, then IUDs are an effective and hassle-free option. Once inserted, you won’t need to do anything with it until you want it taken out or replaced. Additionally, you can become pregnant soon after taking out your IUD so there’s no long time delay if you decide to have kids.
What are the risks?
There are certain health conditions that may indicate an IUD is not your best option (or that you may be a better candidate for a different type of IUD). Some of the risks of IUDs include misplacement or displacement which means it may not be as effective. This can also cause cramping or discomfort. It’s possible for an IUD to damage the wall of the uterus, requiring surgery for removal, but this is very rare. If you notice discomfort or that your IUD feels like it moved out of place (as in, the strings feel longer than usual or you can feel the plastic bottom), you should see your gynecologist as soon as possible. An IUD will not protect against STDs, so you should still use additional protection like a condom.
How do I get started on an IUD?
Once you and your gynecologist decide the right type of IUD for you, we can insert your IUD during an appointment at our office. This can be uncomfortable for some women, so it’s commonly recommended to take some over-the-counter painkillers before your appointment. The process is quick and usually takes less than five minutes, after which you can return home. You may experience some mild cramping and spotting after an IUD insertion, but this goes away within a few months.
Schedule a Consultation
IUDs are one of the best options available if you want birth control that doesn’t require any maintenance and is effective for many years. To learn more about your IUD options, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.