You may know that when it comes to birth control, there are quite a few options on the market. But what are they? How do they work? Are they effective?
Below and in related installments, you’ll find a comprehensive list of birth control methods, along with their function, failure rates, and if applicable, potential risks and side effects.

In this post, we will cover intrauterine conception, or the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs). An IUD is a small T-shaped device inserted into the uterus by a doctor. While it remains in the body, it prevents pregnancy by either inhibiting sperm or preventing the fertilized egg from implanting.

Copper T Intrauterine Device (IUD): The copper IUD prevents pregnancy for up to ten years, when it is removed by the doctor. It is effective because copper is toxic to sperm. This device fails about 0.8% of the time.

Levonorgestrel Intrauterine Device (LVD IUD): For up to five years, the LVD IUD, also called a hormonal IUD, prevents pregnancy by means of a daily release of a small amount of progestin. This synthetic hormone makes it difficult for sperm to get through the cervix, and for the egg to implant if it is fertilized. This IUD fails about 0.2% of the time. Hormonal IUDs can decrease menstrual bleeding and cramping. However, they can also cause ovarian cysts in rare cases, as well as breast tenderness, acne, mood swings, and headaches (similar to to the side effects of oral contraceptives; please see “Birth Control: Condoms, Injections, and Pills – Oh My! Hormonal Methods” for more information about hormonal birth control).

Risks of both types of IUDs include:
● Perforation of the uterus during insertion
● Menstrual problems including spotting in between periods (especially with the copper IUD)
● Expulsion of the IUD in the first year, 2-10% of the time

Please see other posts from this series for information about barrier methods, hormonal methods, and fertility awareness-based methods.

Think you may be pregnant, or just want to know more? At Harmony, we offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and even STD testing and treatment at no cost to you. Click here to schedule an appointment.

This information is not meant to replace professional advice.

Sources:
“Contraception.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 09 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

“Intrauterine Device (IUD) for Birth Control.” WebMD. WebMD, 22 May 2015. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

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