INTRAUTERINE DEVICE (IUD)
An IUD (Intrauterine Device) insertion is usually well tolerated by most women. Local anesthesia may be applied to the uterine cervix prior to the insertion. Some women may experience pain and dizziness after insertion, which usually settles after resting for a short time.
Women using an IUD are more likely to experience an increase in blood loss each month than non-users. This typically occurs because of increased duration and heaviness of menstrual flow, but may also result from irregular bleeding and spotting in between periods.
A woman who has not had children generally can use an IUD, but she should understand that the IUD is more likely to come out because her uterus may be smaller than the uterus of a woman who has given birth.
The IUD can be used as an emergency contraception and must be inserted within 5 to 8 days (ideally within 120 hours) after unprotected sex. Because of the insertion procedure, the IUD is not suitable to be used regularly as emergency contraception.
Women with an IUD can experience an increased duration and heaviness of menstrual flow.
The IUD never travels to any other part of the body outside the abdomen. The IUD normally stays within the uterus like a seed within a shell. Rarely, the IUD may come through the wall of the uterus into the abdominal cavity. This is most often due to a mistake during insertion. If it is discovered within 6 weeks or so after insertion or if it is causing symptoms at any time, the IUD will need to be removed.
The IUD must be inserted by a trained healthcare provider who will follow the necessary procedure to ensure it is correctly positioned. Occasionally, the muscular contractions of the womb during menstruation may sometimes push it out of place or expel it. Very rarely it can perforate the wall of the uterus. If a user of an IUD experiences any unusual bleeding, pain or discomfort, her doctor must be informed as soon as possible.
An IUD can be left in place from 5 up to 10 years, depending on the type. After this time, it will need to be replaced with a new device. If this method of contraception has worked well for you, and if you still wish to use a long-term contraceptive option, then you can discuss with your doctor or healthcare provider about continuing with this method.
For a woman having menstrual cycles, an IUD can be inserted at any time during her menstrual cycle if it is reasonably certain that the woman is not pregnant. Inserting the IUD during her monthly bleeding may be a good time because she is not likely to be pregnant, and insertion may be easier. It is not as easy to see signs of infection during monthly bleeding, however.
Use of sanitary pads is recommended. If tampons are used, you should change them more frequently, and with care so as not to pull the threads of the IUD when manipulating the tampon.
There are two main types of IUD, or intrauterine device. Both are permanently placed into the womb, but differ in mode of action and life-cycle.
The IUS (intrauterine system), aka the hormonal coil, prevents pregnancy by constantly releasing a low dose of the hormone progestin. Depending on the product you select, it can remain in your womb for 3 to 5 years.
The IUD, aka the copper coil, releases copper ions that interfere with sperm mobility and prevent fertilized eggs from implanting into your uterus.
Both methods are completely reversible, which means you can have the device removed whenever you decide.
No, a woman can become pregnant once the IUD is removed just as quickly as a woman who has never used an IUD, although fertility decreases as women get older. Research studies find no increased risk of infertility among women who have used IUDs, including young women and women with no children. Whether or not a woman has an IUD, however, if she develops pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and it is not treated, there is some chance that she will become infertile.
Neither you nor your partner should feel the IUD during sexual intercourse. If you do, sexual intercourse should be avoided until your doctor has checked that the IUD is still in the correct position.
The IUD (intrauterine device), aka the copper coil, is a small T-shaped device which is placed in your uterus by a trained healthcare provider. The tiny IUD releases copper ions, which prevent pregnancy by making it difficult 1) for sperm to move and 2) for fertilized eggs to settle in your womb. Once inserted it can stay in place for 5 and up to 10 years (depending on the type you choose) or until you decide to remove it.