Intrauterine Device

An IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic made with copper or progesterone. It is about 3.5 cm long, and is put into the female's uterus.

IUDs have a thread that hangs down from the uterus into the vagina, which allows the female to make sure that the IUD is still in place after each period.

How does it work?

  • It works by causing a reaction in the uterus, so that sperm cannot survive in the uterus, and a fertilized egg cannot be implanted.

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How effective is it?

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How do I use it?

  • A physician inserts the IUD into the uterus.
  • It is important for the woman to know the signs which show that the IUD has been moved.

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Where can I get it?

  • You must go to your doctor to get an IUD and to have it inserted.

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Who can use it?

  • It is easier to use if the woman has had at least one child, and has one sexual partner.
  • You should not use this method if you:
    • Are pregnant
    • Have a uterine, cervical, or vaginal infection
    • Have a sensitivity to copper
    • Have unusual vaginal bleeding
    • Have an increased risk of  sexually transmitted infections (have more than one partner per year)
    • Have a poor immune system
    • Have abnormalities of the cervix or uterus
    • Have a history of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)  
    • Have a history of ectopic pregnancy

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What is the cost of an IUD?

  • Approximately $60-$80.
  • The IUD may stay in your uterus for five years depending on the type of IUD.
  • Mirena TM IUD is a unique type of IUD that contains low doses of progestin and costs $350.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages to using an IUD?

Advantages

  • Nothing must be taken daily or used at the time of intercourse, therefore the use of an IUD as your method of birth control does not interrupt sexual intercourse.
  • It is very effective (98%), if correctly in place.
  • Mirena TM is 99% effective.

Disadvantages

  • An IUD offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) .
  • It may accidentally come out of the uterus.
  • It must be removed immediately if the woman becomes pregnant accidentally.

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