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- Patient Comments: Birth Control - IUDs
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- Patient Comments: IUD (Intrauterine Device) - Experience
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- IUD (intrauterine device) facts
- What is an IUD (intrauterine device)?
- How does an IUD work?
- What are the side effects of an IUD?
- Does an IUD cause pain?
- What are warning signs and symptoms of possible complications from an IUD?
- What are the advantages of an IUD? How effective is an IUD?
- What are the types of IUDs (ParaGard, Mirena, Skyla)?
- Who can use an IUD?
- How is an IUD inserted?
- How soon does an IUD start working?
- How long does an IUD last?
- How is an IUD removed?
- Will an IUD affect my periods?
- Will my partner feel my IUD?
- What are the risks and complications of IUDs?
- Does an IUD protect a woman from sexually transmitted infections (STDs)?
Quick GuideChoosing Your Birth Control Method
Will an IUD affect my periods?
The woman must check her IUD every month to be sure that it is still in place. The woman with an IUD in place will still have normal menstrual periods, although some women notice that flow is heavier. Other women, especially those with a hormone-releasing IUD, may have a lighter menstrual flow. Sometimes, the uterus expels (pushes out) the IUD. Expulsions may not cause any specific symptoms and can be overlooked. In addition to the woman checking the IUD, the device must also be checked periodically by a health-care professional.
Will my partner feel my IUD?
You and your partner should not be able to feel the IUD itself. However, you may feel the strings of the IUD at the upper end of the vagina.
What are the risks and complications of IUDs?
- An IUD may not be appropriate for women who have heavy menstrual bleeding, had previous pelvic infections, have more than one sexual partner, or plan on getting pregnant. This is because IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STDs) and should not be in place if a woman intends to become pregnant.
- If women become pregnant with their IUDs in place, 50% of the pregnancies end in miscarriage. Any woman with an IUD who develops signs or symptoms of pregnancy, or has a positive pregnancy test, should see a health-care professional soon.
- Women who use non-progesterone types of IUDs are less likely to have an ectopic pregnancy compared to women using no contraception. When a woman using an IUD does become pregnant, the pregnancy is more likely to be ectopic. Nevertheless, ectopic pregnancy in a user of an IUD is a rare occurrence.
- Serious complications due to infection (pelvic inflammatory disease) associated with an IUD may prevent a woman from being able to become pregnant in the future.
- Also, with the progesterone-releasing IUDs (levonorgestrel IUDs), a reduction in menstrual flow and a decrease in painful menstrual cramping are often observed with continued use. This is because the progesterone hormone can cause thinning of the lining of the uterus. These menstrual changes are not dangerous in any way and do not mean that the contraceptive action of the IUD is diminished.
Does an IUD protect a woman from sexually transmitted infections (STDs)?
No, the IUD does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Samra-Latif, O.M. et al. "Contraception." Medscape. May 02, 2014.