In case you are looking for birth-controlling options, one procedure that is worth considering is the IUD. The IUDs, these days, are seen as both safe and useful contraceptives for almost every female. And, moreover, they last very long.
IUDs – what are they?
The expanded form of IUD is called intrauterine device. Fashioned like a big “T”, it can fit in the uterus. The device helps in preventing pregnancy as it stops the sperm in the semen accessing the fertilized egg.
Types of IUDs
There are four types of IUDs available. The three – Skyla, Mirena and Liletta – discharge a small quantity of the progestin hormone (levonorgestrel) in your body. This hormone is also used in several birth controlling pills. These kinds of IUDs have the tendency of making your menstruation lighter and are seen as a good choice in case you are confronted with Mennorhagia (heavy periods).
The 4th one is widely known as “Copper T” and is available under the name ParaGard. The copper T is free from hormones and activates your immune system in preventing pregnancy. It may initially make your periods heavier and lasts for a longer period as compared to hormone-IUDs.
How useful are IUDs?
In case you have been using an IUD properly, the probability of your getting pregnant is less than even one percent.
Benefits of IUDs
- The IUDs are long lasting.
- They are not irritating and once one is placed in the uterus, you or your copulating partner do not need to even think about it.
- You don’t have to worry about recurrent expenses, once you have purchased it with upfront costs.
- They are harmless to your baby even while you are breast– feeding.
Who can use IUDs?
All the females, not afflicted with disease, may use an IUD. They are very useful for females, who have just one partner and there is a reduced risk of catching an STD. None of the IUDs is meant as a protection against an STD.
You are not advised to use an IUD, in case:
- You are afflicted with an STD or have had developed pelvic infection, like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea recently.
- You happen to be pregnant.
- You are suffering from cancer in the cervix of your uterus.
- You are suffering from vaginal bleeding for unknown reasons.
- The copper T or IUD is not advisable to those allergic to copper or suffering Wilson’s disease wherein the body tissues contain too much substance of copper.
- The IUDs with hormones are deemed to be useful if you are not afflicted with breast cancer or running a risk of it or a liver ailment.
- Though rare, the shape and size of the uterus are unable to accommodate an IUD.
How is an IUD device placed?
Your doctor may recommend you to take medicines for pain like ibuprofen a short while before performing the procedure. The medicine will counteract the effect of cramping.
The procedure is parallel to a Pap smear method. You will perhaps be asked to gather your feet in a stirrup position. The doctor will then place a small tube containing IUD through your vagina. By pushing the tube through the cervix, it will get introduced into the uterus. The IUD will be pushed out of the tube and the tube will be pulled back out. The IUD strings will hang around 1 to 2 inches out in your vagina.
The method makes you uncomfortable and you are likely to experience cramps along with bleeding. But don’t you worry! These will vanish in some days. Some females may also feel giddiness coupled with the pain.
The IUDs can be placed at any given time during your menstrual cycle. But it is advisable to have one placed while your periods are going on. It is the time when your cervix is widely and conveniently open.
When the IUDs begin working?
The ParaGard, a hormone-free IUD, is useful as and when placed.
Even the IUDs laced with hormone begin working straight away in case they are placed in your periods. Else, they take around 7 days to become effective.
How long an IUD lasts?
The life of an IUD depends on the type of it you receive, like
- Skyle or Liletta generally last for nearly three years
- Mirena lasts for about five years, and
- ParaGard has the longest life span of about ten years.
Will an IUD change my periods?
The females using hormonal IUDs experience lesser cramps. During the initial months, many females see abnormal spotting. Finally, most of the females experience lighter periods or the absence of periods.
There are rare chances of pregnancy while the IUD is placed in your uterus. But in case the absence of your periods make you worrisome that you might be pregnant, it is advisable to use a copper IUD in its place.
With the use of copper ParaGard, your periods become heavier and worsen your cramping. But these generally vanish after the IUD use for a few months.
Will my partner feel the IUD?
Your copulating partner may not feel anything. But in case he does, it may be a ritual contact with the IUD strings causing him no harm or discomfort. However, the strings get softened over a certain period and may also be trimmed to avoid any contact.
Side effects of IUDs
No serious issues can generally be expected from the use of IUDs. But certain females using hormonal IUDs may experience pre-menstrual symptoms, besides tenderness in their breasts and headaches.
But some serious issues emanating from the use of IUDs are:
At the time or even afterwards some bacterial infections may creep into the uterus.
The uterine walls may get punctured
Can an IUD get detached?
Your treating doctor may examine the IUD device regularly. The cervix generally holds the device properly, but in some rare cases there is a probability of it falling out, if
- You are below 20-years of age
- You are childless
- You had got placed the device after undergoing abortion in the second trimester or immediately after having a child.
- Your uterus is abnormally shaped or sized
- Your uterus contains fibroids
Most likely, the IUDs fall out while you are having your periods. You may view the IUD on a tampon or a pad. You are advised to ensure they feel through their strings periodically.
If you feel the IUD has either become longer or shorter or the device is making pushes against the cervix, there is a possibility of its being displaced. In such an eventuality, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
What will happen if you wish to have children in your future?
With the use of an IUD, your ability of having children in the future is not compromised. Your doctor may remove the IUD device, in case you wish to attain pregnancy and have children. As and when the device is removed, your menstrual cycle may become normal as it used to be before its insertion.
How to get an IUD detached?
Your doctor may detach your IUD within almost no time. As at the time of insertion, you may be asked to gather your legs in a stirrup position and the doctor will gradually pull out the IUD. You may experience a certain amount of bleeding coupled with cramping but it vanishes within one or two days.