Birth control methods are essential for a woman these days. The importance of taking a solid step towards birth control surely needs no explanation. It is more than just a way of proper family planning. It can help with population control (which is something we need to think about now, given the current overpopulation problem), as well as provide freedom to a woman. One of the most popular birth control methods is the use of an Intrauterine device or the IUD, also known as an intrauterine contraceptive device or just coil, which is a long-acting reversible birth control method.

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about IUD.

How does IUD work?

IUD is a T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy with the help of the hormone progestin of the copper in the IUD until it is taken out. The effect of this form of birth control is reversible, i.e. after the removal of the IUD, the ability to become pregnant can be regained rapidly.

Is it safe to use for women of all age-groups?

IUD is appropriate for users of all age groups, starting from adolescents. This is because the effect of IUD is reversible. They are the safest mode of birth control, with very few side effects, even for women who have not had children or had sexual intercourse.

How does the IUD work in preventing pregnancy?

IUD, especially the hormonal IUD, prevents pregnancy in multiple ways. They damage the sperm and eggs to prevent them from functioning properly. In addition, Hormonal IUD thickens the cervical mucus to stop the sperm from entering the uterus and thins the uterine lining to prevent fertilized eggs from getting implanted.

What are the differences between hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs?

There are mainly two types of IUDs - hormonal and non-hormonal. The hormonal IUDs contain levonorgestrel. The non-hormonal IUDs contain copper. The failure rate of non-hormonal devices is about 0.8%; on the other hand, the failure rate of hormonal IUDs is only about 0.2%. While copper IUDs may lead to increased bleeding and cramps, hormonal UIDs are known to decrease both.

Is using IUD uncomfortable?

The process of insertion of the IUD is quick. You need to consult a doctor for the same. However, it can be a little uncomfortable in the beginning, as you may feel nausea and dizziness, which subsides soon, though most women do not go through these. After the insertion, you may face spotting and cramps for the first few months, which again lasts for not more than three months. These symptoms, too, are not faced by everyone.

Can menstrual cups be used?

If you use menstrual cups and are planning to get IUD, it is recommended that you speak to your gynecologist. This is because a handful of women using IUDs ended up dislodging the device while removing menstrual cups. However, this is extremely rare.

Risks of IUD

Some of the side effects of IUDs include changes in the menstrual bleeding pattern and pelvic inflammatory disease in the first 21 days. In the rare occasion of pregnancy while on IUD, it is likely to be an ectopic pregnancy. Hormonal IUD may increase the risk of ovarian cysts, while non-hormonal devices can lead to heavier bleeding and cramps.

IUDs are known to provide the highest satisfaction to the users, and their effectiveness is higher than any other method of birth control. It is for long-term usage, and its effect can be reversed when the user decides to have a child. Plus, it’s side effects are rare, temporary, and localized. So, if you want to be in complete control of your life, IUD is an excellent option for birth control!