You may think pregnancy prevention is one-size-fits-all, but we believe shopping for birth control should be a personalized process.
Unfortunately, a lot of noise among people makes it hard to know which type is best for you.
Should I go all natural? Will I remember to take a pill daily? Is a shot the best option?
These are just some of the many birth control questions we help our patients answer daily at Marina OB/GYN. In this blog, our team of contraceptive connoisseurs dives into the IUD and what it offers you.
Before we highlight what our patients love most about IUDs, we need to explain what they are and how they work.
The device has a plastic frame that unfolds into a T-shape once we insert it inside your uterus. Strings attached to the bottom of the device make it easy to remove when and if needed.
The two main types of IUDs include hormonal and copper. Both types work by triggering an immune response. Your body senses and responds to the IUD as an invader, which causes inflammation in your uterus. The inflammation makes your uterus inhospitable to sperm and prevents it from reaching an egg.
Copper IUDs like Paraguard® have a thin copper wire that coils around the stem part of the T. The copper element heightens the inflammatory response in your uterus — even if fertilization did happen, the lining in your uterus is so unwelcoming that it would be difficult for a fertilized egg to implant successfully.
Hormonal IUDs release small amounts of progestin hormones over time, which thickens your cervical mucus and makes it harder for sperm to get to an egg. It also thins the lining of your uterus and inhibits the release of an egg during your menstrual cycle. Different brands contain different levels of hormones, so talk to us about which is right for you.
There are more than a few reasons why IUDs are growing in popularity by the millions every year, such as the following that top the list.
The plastic frame of your IUD is thin and flexible and only about an inch long; you shouldn’t feel it in your uterus. Even copper IUDs are equipped with a small ball at the end to ensure complete comfort, and it doesn’t hurt your uterus.
If the only way to guarantee not getting pregnant is to avoid sex altogether — IUDs are the next best thing. They offer almost 100% protection, and you could get protection for up to 10 years, depending on which brand you get.
Say goodbye to frantically searching for spermicide or kicking yourself for forgetting to take your pill (again). IUDs are the crock pot of contraception — you set it and forget it. You can be as spontaneous as you’d like as long as you practice safe sex.
Bonus: almost no maintenance is involved. You should remove and replace some hormone-based IUDs every few years; otherwise, you don’t have to think about your birth control once your IUD is in place.
IUDs are easy to quit when you decide to start a family. We take out the IUD and discuss prenatal vitamins and birth plans at your next appointment.
IUDs may sound like the best option since sliced bread, but they don’t come without risk. An IUD can disrupt your menstrual cycle, worsen period cramps, increase menstrual bleeding, and make your periods irregular.
Many women with IUDs continue to ovulate, which can lead to ovarian cysts. Some other risks and potential complications to keep in mind include:
No perfect solution to family planning exists, but we can help you choose one that fits your needs, values, and lifestyle best.
If you have more questions about IUDs, request an appointment online or over the phone today at our Marina Del Rey, Hawthorne, South Gate, or Carson, California, office.