Everything You Didn't Know About IUDs

Everything You Didn't Know About IUDs

At Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, our team understands that finding the right type of birth control is highly personal. Our women’s health specialist, Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, knows the lifestyle factors, health concerns, and medical needs unique to you play a large role in determining which contraception choice is best. 

To help meet the varying needs of our patients, we offer a range of birth control options for you to choose from, including:

One of the most popular birth control methods among our patients and women across the world is the IUD (intrauterine device). This tiny device is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy and brings other benefits — like not having to take a pill at the same time every day! 

Here’s a look at everything you didn’t know about IUDs and why this birth control method continues to grow in popularity.  

How IUDs work

There are two types of IUDs that work in different ways. Non-hormonal IUDs use copper to repel sperm and prevent pregnancy. Hormonal IUDs release hormones, like progestin, to prevent pregnancy. All IUDs have strings to help your provider remove the IUD in the future.

IUDs are simple to get

IUDs are small medical devices shaped like the letter T. They’re about the size of a quarter, and are placed into the uterine wall in about a minute or so during a quick office visit with Rickie. Having some cramping during and after insertion is normal, but they resolve quickly. You can take ibuprofen to ease any discomfort. 

IUDs don’t require downtime after implantation

Once your IUD is in place, there aren’t any post-procedure instructions to follow. There’s no downtime required, and you can pick up your normal activities, including sex, immediately. Rickie will have you return to the office in a few weeks to check the IUD placement and adjust the strings as needed. 

IUDs are super convenient

With an IUD, you don’t have to remember to use a barrier method in the middle of sex or take a pill at the same time every day. Once your IUD is in place, you get continual protection against pregnancy — no extra effort required. And you can’t feel your IUD, so you won’t notice it during sex or other activities.  

IUDs offer protection that lasts — and can be reversed immediately 

If you want long-lasting protection from pregnancy, you’ll be safe from conceiving for up to 10 years, depending on which type of IUD you choose. But if you decide you want to have a baby, Rickie can remove your device, and you’ll be able to conceive immediately.

IUDs are very effective 

IUDs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. And since you don’t have to take any steps after they’re placed, the way you do with the pill, they have the highest “real world” effectiveness compared to all other non-hormonal and hormonal alternatives. In fact, the only method more effective is total abstinence.

IUDs can lead to lighter periods

If you have endometriosis or heavy, painful periods, hormonal IUDs can offer relief by bringing lighter periods. That’s because this type of IUD thins the lining of your uterus. This minimizes cramping and lightens your menstrual flow. Depending on the IUD you get and the dose of hormones it releases, your periods could stop entirely. 

Learn more about IUDs by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with Rickie at Alpenglow Gynecology. 

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