Intrauterine Device Information

An intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into your uterus and prevents pregnancy. There are 2 types of IUDs available:

  • Copper IUD. This type of IUD is wrapped in copper wire and is placed inside the uterus. Copper makes the uterus and fallopian tubes produce a fluid that kills sperm. The copper IUD can stay in place for 10 years.

  • Hormone IUD. This type of IUD contains the hormone progestin (synthetic progesterone). The hormone thickens the cervical mucus and prevents sperm from entering the uterus, and it also thins the uterine lining to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. The hormone can weaken or kill the sperm that get into the uterus. The hormone IUD can stay in place for 5 years.

Your caregiver will make sure you are a good candidate for a contraceptive IUD. Discuss with your caregiver the possible side effects.

ADVANTAGES

  • It is highly effective, reversible, long-acting, and low maintenance.

  • There are no estrogen-related side effects.

  • An IUD can be used when breastfeeding.

  • It is not associated with weight gain.

  • It works immediately after insertion.

  • The copper IUD does not interfere with your female hormones.

  • The progesterone IUD can make heavy menstrual periods lighter.

  • The progesterone IUD can be used for 5 years.

  • The copper IUD can be used for 10 years.

DISADVANTAGES

  • The progesterone IUD can be associated with irregular bleeding patterns.

  • The copper IUD can make your menstrual flow heavier and more painful.

  • You may experience cramping and vaginal bleeding after insertion.