An IUD (intrauterine device) is a birth control method designed for a woman. The IUD is a small "T" made of molded polyethylene plastic coated with barium so that, if need be, it can be seen on X-ray.
There are two types of IUDs 1) Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) including the ParaGard, Copper 7, and Mini-7; and 2) Intrauterine system (IUS) including Progestasert and Mirena.
Side effects of the IUD include spotting, infection, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Risks and complications of the IUD are miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and increased menstrual bleeding.Read more: IUD (Intrauterine Device for Birth Control) Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy)
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy located outside the inner lining of the uterus. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube. Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may include abdominal pain, lack of menstrual period (amenorrhea), vaginal bleeding, fainting, dizziness, and low blood pressure. Treatment options for an ectopic pregnancy include observation, medication, or surgery.
Miscarriage is the medical term for the spontaneous loss of pregnancy from conception to 20 weeks gestation. Risk factors for a woman having a miscarriage include cigarette smoking, older maternal age, radiation exposure, previous miscarriage, maternal weight, illicit drug use, use of NSAIDs, and trauma or anatomical abnormalities to the uterus. There are five classified types of miscarriage: 1) threatened abortion; 2) incomplete abortion; 3) complete abortion; 4) missed abortion; and (5 septic abortion. While there are no specific treatments to stop a miscarriage, a woman's doctor may advise avoiding certain activities, bed rest, etc. If a woman believes she has had a miscarriage, she needs to seek prompt medical attention.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies. Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
Menstrual cramps (pain in the belly and pelvic area) are experienced by women as a result of menses. Menstrual cramps are not the same as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Menstrual cramps are common, and may be accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Severity of menstrual cramp pain varies from woman to woman. Treatment includes OTC or prescription pain relief medication.
Birth Control Options
Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method.
Menstrual Cramps and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Medication Guide
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, mood swings, anxiety and more. Treatment for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include regular sleep, exercise, smoking cessation, diet changes, and OTC or prescription medication depending on the severity of the condition.
Normal vaginal bleeding (menorrhea) occurs through the process of menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly most commonly involves excessive, frequent, irregular, or decreased bleeding. Causes of abnormal may arise from a variety of conditions that may include, uterine fibroids, IUDs, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, lupus, STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, emotional stress, anorexia nervosa, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancers, early pregnancy.
Infertility is the diminished ability to conceive a child. Infertility can be a problem with both men and women. Infertility in men can be caused by medical conditions, unhealthy habits, and toxins from the environment. Infertility in women can be caused by problems with ovarian function, the Fallopian tubes, or the physical characteristics of the uterus. Methods of conceiving for couples that cannot conceive include intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), specific drugs, assisted reproductive technology (ART), surgery, and gestational carrier.
Sexual health information including birth control, impotence, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, staying healthy, women's sexual health concerns, and men's sexual health concerns. Learn about the most common sexual conditions affecting men and women.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs include herpes, HIV/AIDS, genital warts (HPV), hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Symptoms include bumps, sores, warts, swelling, itching, or redness in the genital region. Treatment of STDs while pregnant depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy and the progression of the infection.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), aside from AIDS, among women. The signs and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include: fever, vaginal discharge with a foul odor, abdominal pain, including pain during intercourse, and irregular vaginal bleeding. Pelvic inflammatory disease can scar the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and related structures and lead to ectopic pregnancies, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and other serious consequences. Pelvic inflammatory disease treatment includes several types of antibiotics.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite passed from person to person. Trichomoniasis can be picked up from contact with damp, moist objects like towels, wet clothing, or toilet seat. Symptoms include yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge with a strong odor, painful intercourse or urination, genital irritation and itching, and lower abdominal pain. Antibiotics are the only treatment to cure trichomoniasis.
Menstruation (Menstrual Cycle)
Menstruation (menstrual cycle) is also referred to as a "period." When a woman menstruates, the lining of the uterus is shed. This shedding of the uterine linking is the menstrual blood flow. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. There can be problems with a woman's period, including heavy bleeding, pain, or skipped periods. Causes of these problems may be amenorrhea (lack of a period), menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), or abnormal vaginal or uterine bleeding. There are a variety of situations in which a girl or woman should see a doctor about her menstrual cycle.
Reproductive health encompasses the beginning of menstruation for women, choosing the right birth control method for you and your partner, preventing contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and for women, ending with the menopausal transition.
Bladder Infection (Cystitis)
Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder, usually caused by bacteria or, rarely, by Candida. Certain people, including females, the elderly, men with enlarged prostates, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for bladder infection. Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics, but cranberry products and adequate hydration may help prevent bladder infections.
Birth Control Pill vs. Shot (Depo-Provera): Similarities and Differences
Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and the Depo-Provera shot are two hormonal methods of birth control. Both methods work by changing the hormone levels in your body, which prevents pregnancy, or conception. Differences between "the pill" and "the shot." Birth control pills are available as combination pills, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, or mini-pills that only contain progestin. In comparison to the Depo-Provera injection, which prevents pregnancy for three consecutive months. Both methods of birth control are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Both the combination pill (if you take them as directed) and shot are up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. While the mini-pill is only about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. Both methods cause weight gain, and have other similar side effects like breast pain, soreness or tenderness, headaches, and mood changes. They may lead to decreased interest in sex in some women. There are differences between the other side effects of these methods (depending upon the method) that include breakthrough bleeding or spotting, acne, depression, fatigue, and weakness. Both oral contraceptives and the Depo-Provera shot have health risks associated with them, such as, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and cervical cancer. Birth control pills appear to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Talk with your OB/GYN or other doctor or health care professional about which birth control method is right for you.
DVT and Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that has traveled deep into the veins of the arm, pelvis, or lower extremities. Oral contraceptives or birth control pills can slightly increase a woman's risk for developing blood clots, including DVT. DVT symptoms and signs in the leg include leg or calf pain, redness, swelling, warmth, or leg cramps, and skin discoloration. If a blood clot in the leg is not treated, it can travel to the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or post-thrombotic syndrome, both of which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Increased risk factors for DVT and birth control pills include over 40 years of age, family history, smoking, and obesity. Other medical problems that increase the risks of blood clots, for example, lung or heart disease, or inflammatory bowel disease or IBD (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Other options for preventing pregnancy include IUDs, birth control shots, condoms, diaphragms, and progestin-only oral contraceptives.
Local ResourcesFind a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Barrier Methods of Birth Control Side Effects, Advantages, and Disadvantages
- Hormonal Methods of Birth Control
- Natural Birth Control
- Contraceptive Measures after Unprotected Sex
- Birth Control: Surgical Sterilization
- Hysteroscopy Surgery
- How Painful Is Getting an IUD?
- What Are the Natural Contraception Methods?
- What Are the Methods of Permanent Contraception?
Medications & Supplements
- levonorgestrel-releasing 5 year system - intrauterine, Mirena
- Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel, Next Choice One Dose, My Way)
- norethindrone (Nor QD, Nora-BE, Ortho Micronor)
- Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptive) vs. Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection)
- Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) vs. Plan B (levonorgestrel)
- Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives) vs. Patch (Ortho Evra)
- Birth Control Pills vs. Condoms
- Birth Control Pills vs. Nuvaring
- Side Effects of Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel)
- What Are the Barrier Methods of Contraception?
- What Are Hormonal Methods of Contraception?
- What Are Intrauterine Devices?
- Side Effects of Ortho Micronor (norethindrone)
- Side Effects of Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone)
Prevention & Wellness
- Employers Can Refuse to Provide Birth Control Coverage: U.S Supreme Court
- How Does Your Choice of Birth Control Affect Sexual Desire?
- Long-Acting Birth Control in a Patch?
- Before Choosing an IUD for Birth Control, Know the Facts
- Health Tip: IUD Fast Facts
- Are Some Birth Control Methods Doomed to Fail?
- FDA Announces Safety Monitoring Measures for Essure Birth Control Device
- Conceiving Despite IUD Use Is Tied to Higher Odds for Pregnancy Complications
- IUD May Lower Cervical Cancer Risk
- White House to Roll Back Birth Control Mandate in Employers' Health Care Plans
- IUD Won't Interfere With Breast-Feeding
- FDA Explains Pros, Cons of Permanent Birth Control
- Women Brace for Changes to Health Benefits
- Put Birth Control in Place Right After Childbirth
- Teen Birth Rate at Record Low in U.S.
- Obese Women on Birth Control Pills May Face Higher Risk of Rare Stroke
- Steep Decline in Unintended Pregnancies in U.S., Study Finds
- Women Spend Far Less on Birth Control Because of 'Obamacare'
- Obese Teens Less Likely to Use Birth Control
- Miscarriage Misunderstood, Often Leaves Women With Guilt
- Teen Use of Long-Term Contraception Rising, But Remains Low
- Use of Long-Acting Birth Control Rises Fivefold in a Decade: CDC
- IUDs, Contraceptive Implants Work Longer Than Thought, Researchers Report
- The Pill Remains Most Common Method of Birth Control, U.S. Report Shows
- Free, Long-Acting Contraceptives May Greatly Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rate
- Pediatricians Endorse IUDs, Implants for Teen Birth Control
- The 'Hobby Lobby Ruling' and What It Means for U.S. Health Care
- U.S. Abortion Rate Drops to Lowest Level Since 1973: Report
- IUD Won't Hurt Future Fertility, Study Contends
- 1 in 3 Young U.S. Women Uses 'Withdrawal' for Birth Control
- IUDs Safe Contraceptives for Teens, Study Finds
- Many Women Victims of 'Contraceptive Sabotage,' Experts Say
- IUD May Be Best for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- IUDs Increasingly Popular Form of Birth Control
- Which Birth Control Methods Are Best for Teens?
- 2 in 5 Women Don't Use Birth Control
- Study: Heart Attack, Stroke Risk Low with Birth Control Pills
- IUD Beats Pill at Preventing Pregnancy
- Blood Clot Risk Linked to Some Non-Pill Contraceptives
- IUDs Work as Emergency Contraceptive: Review
- IUD Use Tied to Modest Weight Loss
- New Guidelines to Help Breast Cancer Survivors
- IUDs May Lower Women's Risk for Cervical Cancer: Study
- Health Tip: Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy
Women's Health Resources
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