January 14, 2022 03:20 PM | by Jasmine Kamal
Here Are the Answers to the 10 Most Frequently Asked IUD Questions
Contraception is any method that keeps you from getting pregnant. Every now and then, a new method emerges and captures women's attention, but the IUD has maintained its place among many women seeking an effective and safe method of contraception. When you hear the term IUD, you may have a lot of questions, such as "what is an IUD?" and "how does it work?" Here are the answers to the 10 most frequently asked IUD questions.
Here's everything you need to know about IUDs
1. What exactly is an intrauterine device?
An intrauterine device, also known as a coil or intrauterine contraceptive device. It is a small, T-shaped contraception device used to prevent pregnancy. A doctor inserts it into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are a type of reversible long-acting birth control.
2. What are the different types of intrauterine devices/IUDs?
You've probably seen an Instagram post or heard one of your friends tell you that there are different types of IUDs, and you're right. They are classified into two types:
- The hormonal IUD (platinum)
- Non-hormonal IUD (copper)
3. How does the intrauterine device (IUD) work to prevent pregnancy?
The procedure of the IUD varies depending on its type, for example:
The hormonal IUD works in two ways to prevent pregnancy:
- Hormonal IUDs thicken the mucus on your cervix. This mucus prevents sperm from reaching an egg.
- The hormones in the IUD can also prevent eggs from leaving your ovaries, resulting in no egg for a sperm to fertilize.
Non-hormonal IUD (copper):
A T-shaped plastic frame is inserted into the uterus. The coiling of copper wire around the device causes an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs, preventing sperm from reaching the egg therefore the fertilization process that leads to pregnancy.
4. Is the IUD a safe and effective method of contraception?
Unlike many ineffective contraception methods, the hormonal or non-hormonal IUD is 99% effective, which means it is both effective and safe. However, some women have complained about the side effects they experienced as a result of it.
5. So, what are the risks or side effects of an IUD?
To clarify, the risks or side effects of IUDs vary depending on the type of IUD inserted:
Non-hormonal (copper) IUD: After it is inserted, you may experience a heavy period that lasts several months before returning to normal. If you are sexually active, you may experience pain during intercourse, back pain, and small drops of blood between menstrual cycles.
The hormonal (Platinum) IUD: After putting it in, you will notice irregular periods as well as a lightening of your period. It also has side effects similar to birth control pills, such as headaches, nausea, pills, weight gain, breast pain, and mood changes.
6. Are the IUD's side effects dangerous, and how should I handle them?
In general, the side effects of the IUD, whether hormonal or non-hormonal, are minor and can be tolerated; however, if they worsen or cause you discomfort, you should consult your doctor, as the IUD may be an unsuitable contraceptive for you or the nature of your body. After all, we are not all the same, and what one woman finds comfortable may not be comfortable for another.
7. What is the average lifespan of an IUD?
The lifespan of a coil/IUD varies depending on its type and brand, with some lasting three years and others lasting ten. So, before you install it, you should thoroughly discuss it with your doctor, inquiring about the type and effectiveness, so you have a clear picture of what you are getting and the expected results.
8. Is there anything that should keep you from getting an IUD?
To clarify, every woman's body is different, so you must ensure that the IUD suits you, as there are already some things that may prevent you from getting an IUD, such as:
- Cervical cancer
- Vaginal bleeding of unknown cause
- Having a sexually transmitted disease
- The presence of inflammation in the pelvis or uterine tissues
- Birth defects of the uterus
9. Can I rely on an IUD during sexual intercourse, or should I also take birth control pills?
Of course, you do not need to use another method of pregnancy; you can rely entirely on the IUD. If you are concerned, you can ask your partner to use a condom, but this is not necessary because, as previously stated, it prevents pregnancy by 99%.
10. What should I do if I want to be pregnant while having an IUD?
If you want to have children, simply go to your doctor and tell them you want to remove the IUD because you want to have children, and he will remove it in a few minutes.
PS: Although the IUD is very effective, it does not guarantee that you will not become pregnant; pregnancy can occur even if you have an IUD, take pregnancy pills, or your partner wears a condom. It is simply a method of increasing your chances of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
Main Image Credits: Natália Pery
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