An IUD (intrauterine device) is a tiny T-shaped device that is implanted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs provide birth control by preventing eggs from adhering to the walls of the uterus. Once an IUD is implanted, it can remain in place from 3 to 10 years, depending on the type used. When removed, another simple office procedure, most women’s fertility returns to normal a few weeks. Many women favor this form of birth control because it is 99% effective and doesn’t require any thought on a daily basis or every time they have sex.
There are two types of IUDs:
Implantation of an IUD is a simple in-office procedure. It begins just like a pelvic exam, using a speculum to gently widen the vaginal canal. The IUD is then inserted into the uterus through the cervix in a procedure within a matter of minutes. Some women may experience cramping or mild discomfort while the IUD is being inserted into the uterus, and a local anesthetic can be injected to numb the cervix if desired to prevent discomfort.
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