Do you have an IUD and are concerned about a possible pregnancy? Are you considering an IUD but aren’t sure what the risks are? We’ll take a look today at the effectiveness of intrauterine devices (IUDs) with preventing pregnancy, as well as further information regarding the device & how it works.
Avenue Women’s Center is a women’s limited medical clinic geared towards women facing unplanned pregnancy. We have been assisting women in the Chicagoland area for over 37 years with helpful services and nonjudgmental support. If you are concerned you might be pregnant or recently took a positive test, contact us today.
How effective are IUDs?
Intrauterine devices, commonly known as IUD’s, have been shown to be over 99% effective if properly maintained. Maintenance involves periodic checking to assure that it remains in place and that it is replaced according to a prescribed schedule.
What exactly is an IUD & how does it work?
Intrauterine devices are either plastic or metal (copper) structures that are surgically inserted into the uterus. The two types of structures work somewhat differently. The plastic devices contain birth control hormones that are released slowly into uterus rendering it unreceptive to being implanted by an embryo. Although their exact mode of action is not totally clear, studies have shown that embryos are formed in the tubes of IUD users at a much lower rate than those of non-users. The copper devices cause their effects somewhat differently, but their results are similar.
What are some of the advantages of IUDs over other birth control?
- A woman using an IUD is generally protected from pregnancy with nothing to remember.
- IUDs start working right away and can be removed at any time.
- IUDs are relatively inexpensive.
- Women who cannot use birth control pills may be able to use an IUD.
- Many women experience less menstrual blood loss and pain with hormonal IUDs.
- Copper IUDs can be left in the body for up to 10 years.
What are some disadvantages of IUDs?
- A doctor must insert and remove an IUD.
- Cramping and backache may occur in the first few hours after an IUD is placed.
- Bleeding may occur for a couple of weeks after an IUD is placed.
- Some women have increased menstrual pain and heavy periods while using the copper IUD, but these symptoms are decreased in those using the hormonal IUD.
- IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease is also possible with IUD use.
It is recommended to speak to your doctor and partner before beginning any form of birth control. Please note that no birth control is 100% effective and each will impact you differently. It’s important to gather information and speak to a trusted professional before making a decision regarding contraception.
If you have an IUD and think you might be pregnant, Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We provide medical-grade pregnancy tests that are accurate just ten days after possible conception at no cost to you. Contact us today for an appointment at one of our five DuPage County locations to confirm (or un-confirm!) your suspicions right away. If you have a positive result, we also provide a pregnancy options consultation where you will receive information and support from our expert staff. Call, chat, email or text right away.
- American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG). (2018, January). Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Intrauterine Device and Implant. Retrieved from: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Long-Acting-Reversible-Contraception-Intrauterine-Device-and-Implant
- Web MD. (2016, November). Birth Control and the IUD (Intrauterine Device). Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/iud-intrauterine-device#1
- eMedicineHealth. (2017, November). Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) for Birth Control. Retrieved from: https://www.emedicinehealth.com/birth_control_intrauterine_devices_iuds/article_em.htm
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.