5 Benefits of IUDs for Birth Control

5 Benefits of IUDs for Birth Control

While female sterilization and birth control pills rank as the most common contraceptive methods in the United States, intrauterine devices (IUDs) are becoming a more common choice as more women understand the benefits of these devices. Worldwide, about 14% of women of reproductive age who use contraception choose the IUD. 

An IUD is a T-shaped flexible plastic device that is placed inside your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It thwarts conception by interfering with the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. The device must be inserted and removed by a medical professional.

The best way to determine whether an IUD is right for you is to consult with a gynecology practitioner. Dr. David Chisholm here at Park Avenue Obstetrics and Gynecology PC in Glendale, Arizona, can help you evaluate your birth control options. Dr. Chisolm helps you consider whether an IUD is the ideal choice based on your lifestyle, future plans, and overall health. 

Today’s IUDs rank among the safest and most effective options for women considering long-term reversible birth control. We share five benefits of IUDs to help you consider whether this method is the best way to manage your fertility. 

1. Effective pregnancy prevention

IUDs are among the most effective types of birth control available. All types of IUDs are reported to be more than 99% effective, with a pregnancy rate of less than one per 100 women per year. 

The efficacy rate of IUDs is comparable to female and male sterilization and the implantable rod. This makes them a choice worth considering if you have a medical condition that makes pregnancy a threat to your well-being.  

An IUD provides more reliable protection than injections, all types of birth control pills, the patch, vaginal ring, and barrier methods, such as the diaphragm and condoms.

2. Available without hormones

IUDs are available in two forms – hormonal and nonhormonal. A non-hormonal IUD is wrapped in copper. The copper ions are slowly released into the uterus, and they reduce the sperm’s movement and ability to penetrate the eggs, which prevents fertilization. 

Since nonhormonal IUDs begin working immediately, they can be used as a form of emergency contraception when inserted within five days of unprotected intercourse. 

Hormonal IUDs are coated with progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, which makes it more difficult for the sperm to fertilize an egg. The IUD releases a small amount of progestin into your uterus every day.

Progestin causes changes in your uterus that can partially suppress ovulation and make it unwelcoming for sperm. It thickens your cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to swim toward the egg. It also thins out the inner lining of the uterus, making it more unlikely for a fertilized egg to implant.

Because the progestin released by the hormonal IUD works locally on the uterus, it’s safe to use during breastfeeding and can be inserted immediately after giving birth.

3. Convenient to use

The convenience of using an IUD surpasses most other forms of birth control, except for sterilization. After the IUD insertion procedure, you may be advised to check the strings of your IUD monthly to confirm that the device has remained in place, but no other maintenance is necessary.

There’s nothing to remember or do until it’s time to have your IUD removed. There’s no risk of human error, like forgetting to take a pill or not having a condom available. The devices don’t interfere with sexual spontaneity because they’re always in place and remain unnoticed during intercourse.

4. Long-term protection from pregnancy

Only one copper non-hormonal IUD is available in the US. It provides protection from pregnancy for up to 10 years. 

Four brands of hormonal IUDs are approved for birth control in the US. They differ in use, size, and length of years they remain effective. Hormonal IUDs provide protection that lasts between three and five years, depending on the type you choose. 

5. Immediately fertility restoration upon removal

While IUDs provide long-term protection, their effect isn’t permanent. You can have an IUD removed at any time and return to your normal fertility. You don’t have to wait before trying to conceive after it’s removed. 

IUDs don’t affect your fertility. Your chances of conceiving after IUD removal are the same as before your IUD was inserted. An inability to conceive after IUD removal may be due to underlying fertility problems that weren’t apparent before you began trying to get pregnant.

Find out more about the benefits of using an IUD and whether this is the right birth control option for your needs. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chisholm online, or call our Glendale office today.

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