6 Benefits of Using an IUD

Choosing birth control that’s right for you is a highly personal decision. Depending on where you are in your life, your family history, and your age, some birth control methods may be better for you than others. There’s really no shortage of methods for you to choose from, and it seems new birth control products are coming on the market regularly.

The IUD (intrauterine device) has been around for a while, but it’s only just recently started growing in popularity. For women ages 15-44, about 7.2% use the IUD as their preferred form of contraception. That compares to less than 1% of women opting for the IUD just two decades ago. The majority of women using the IUD are aged 24-35.  

Benefits of the IUD
The reason for the uptick in the IUD as a birth control choice is most likely due to the efficacy rate and ease of usage. If you’re thinking about changing your birth control method, you may want to consider the IUD for its many benefits. Here are six reasons you should think about an IUD:

1. Your IUD is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy  

With an efficacy rate of less than one pregnancy per 100 women, the IUD offers excellent protection against unplanned pregnancy. The device is implanted, so there’s no chance of forgetting it or using it incorrectly.

2. The IUD can provide up to 10 years of protection, on average

Depending on the type of IUD you decide on — copper or hormonal — you can be protected for up to 10 years. Copper IUDs are effective for up to 10 years, or whenever you choose to have it removed. Hormonal IUDs last about 3-5 years, at which time you can choose to have it replaced. IUDs offer the best option for long-term birth control.

3. You don’t need to think about birth control until you have the IUD removed

With the oral contraceptive (birth control pill) it’s necessary to remember to take it each day during the same time frame, and you need to remember to pick up your refills. Other forms of birth control can interfere with spontaneity and romance, as they must be planned. Once the IUD is in place, it remains effective for quite some time, or until you have it removed.

4. Hormonal IUDs can cut down on some of the worst period symptoms

If you suffer from severe, debilitating cramps or heavy bleeding during your period, you should discuss hormonal IUDs with your gynecologist. If you suffer from heavy bleeding, cramps, and anemia, your doctor may have already suggested the hormonal IUD to resolve your issues.

5. You can have it removed at any time

Should you decide you’d like to get pregnant you can have your IUD removed. Just a quick visit to your gynecologist and you can try to conceive immediately.

6. You can opt for a hormone-free IUD  

If you’ve had a negative reaction to hormonal forms of birth control, such as oral contraceptives, and prefer to rely on hormone-free methods, the most effective method is going to be the hormone-free (copper) IUD.

Additional information about the IUD

Your IUD insertion does need to be performed by your gynecologist, in office. This can take less than an hour, but you may experience some cramping and discomfort, and it may last the rest of the day. If it lasts longer, or increases in intensity, contact your gynecologist.

Insertion is easiest while you’re experiencing your monthly period. Although an extremely effective method of contraception, your IUD won’t protect against STDs. Always practice safe sex, or discuss concerns with your partner.

Speak with your doctor

There are some risks, albeit rare or minimal, attached to all forms of birth control and none are 100% effective all the time. Be sure to discuss all of your birth control options with your gynecologist so that you can make an informed decision. Dr. Marsha K. Howerton provides compassionate, attentive, and comprehensive care to her patients and will be happy to help you make an educated decision regarding your method of birth control.

Dr. Howerton’s clinic is located in Midtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her team are happy to serve women located in and around Tulsa. For more information or to make an appointment with Marsha K. Howerton, MD, please feel free to contact us.

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