How Does IUD Work?

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Insertion

IUD is short for Intrauterine Device. It is a small T shaped device placed inside the uterus of a woman as a form of birth control. It is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancies. The IUD has both advantages and disadvantages that must be considered before using. The IUD must be inserted by a doctor. The clinic visit is usually scheduled during a woman’s menstrual cycle when the cervix is open slightly. Before the procedure tests are performed to ensure that she is not already pregnant, has an STD, has an infection that could be complicated, or any other potential complication. The procedure lasts less than 15 minutes. If cramping results Ibuprofen can be taken.

Affects on the Uterus

The IUD works by altering the lining of the uterus and fallopian tubes. It interferes with the movement of the egg and sperm, preventing them from reaching each other. This stops fertilization. IUDs are over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. The IUD comes in two types. Mirena has synthetic progesterone hormone in it that is released into the uterus and then absorbed by the body. The hormone additive helps women who use it to experience less cramping and bleeding as a result of using the device. The ParaGard is wrapped with a copper wire and has no hormones added. The advantage of using an IUD is that it is a reliable form of birth control. It is long lasting and does not require daily attention, such as the birth control pill. It is not messy to use like spermicidal creams. The IUD does not interfere and is not noticeable during intercourse. IUDs can work for up to 10 years.

Monitoring

Woman with IUDs should check them monthly following each menstrual cycle. A small cord dangles from the base of the device. This cord passes through the cervix and into the upper vagina. It can be checked by touch or with a speculum and a mirror. The cord should be the same length each time. A short or missing cord indicates complications that need to be addressed by a doctor. There are several disadvantages to using an IUD. Some women experience more cramping than usual during their cycles. The device can be expelled during menstruation. In some cases the IUD has become embedded in the uterus, even to the point of puncturing the organ. In the rare event that the IUD fails to prevent pregnancy it needs to be removed immediately. The removal process might trigger a miscarriage.

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