Frequently Asked Questions about the IUD

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What is an IUD?
An IUD is an acronym which means “IntraUterine Device”. Modern IUDs are small, flexible and are shaped like a “T”. They are mostly used to prevent pregnancies. 

What types of IUDs  are available? Which one should I choose?
Our practice offers two types of IUDs. The first one is  the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS, Mirena). Levonorgestrel is a progesterone-like hormone that thickens cervical mucus, thins the lining of the uterus and prevents release of the egg from the ovary. It is  approved for 5 years of use. The second one is a copper IUD (ParaGard) which can be used for 10 years. It works by stopping sperm from reaching the ovary and does not contain hormones.  Both IUDs prevents pregnancy 99% of the time. 

Depending of your plans for future fertility, your medical history and other factors, your gynecologist can help you make the right choice for you. 

What other benefits can the IUD provide?
The LNG-IUD is also approved to help with heavy menstrual bleeding. The copper IUD can be used for emergency contraception, if inserted within 5 days after unprotected intercourse. 

Can I use the IUD if I never been pregnant? Does it hurt to have an IUD inserted?
You do not need to have a child before using an IUD.  The insertion feels like a strong menstrual cramp, but is usually well-tolerated and the procedure takes less than 5 minutes.

Do IUDs prevents sexually transmitted infections?
No, while excellent at preventing pregnancies, IUDs do not prevent sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia and condoms should be used at the same time.