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IUD stands for Intra-Uterine Device, it is a small, “T” shaped, plastic device that is inserted into a women’s uterus by a trained nurse or doctor. Some IUDs are just plastic, Some IUDs are wrapped in copper, some IUDs contain hormones and some do not. Even though IUDs may look different they all prevent unwanted pregnancies equally effectively! IUDs are statistically some of the most effective birth control methods available on the market today! One of the reasons they are so effective is the lack of maintenance they require. Once a clinician inserts an IUD the woman with the IUD doesn’t have to do much to protect herself from an unwanted pregnancy other than check periodically to make sure the IUD is still positioned properly. There is no prescription she can forget to use or behavior she has to change! Pretty simple!

Watch this video about the iud to learn more about how they work and what to expect.

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Who Can Get An IUD?

The IUD is great for women who are looking for a long term birth control method. IUDs (depending on the type) can be used anywhere from 5 to 10 years! IUDs are also great for women who may have a hard time remembering to take daily birth control pills or change monthly birth control rings. Women who have not yet had children may have more difficulty with the IUD because the uterus may not be large enough.This would be determined by the clinician before the IUD would be inserted.

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How Do I Get One?

To get an IUD you have to make an appointment to come in and see a clinician. During your visit a clinician will talk to you and ask you some questions to help you decide if the IUD is the right method for you! If after talking with the clinician you decide that the IUD IS the right method for you, the clinician will help you make an appointment to come in and have the IUD inserted! Click on the CONTACT US tab on the drop-down menu to the left for clinic contact information.

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What Is The Difference Between Copper IUDs And Plastic Ones?

The difference between the two types of IUDs is the mechanism by which each device protects a woman from Pregnancy. The Paragard® IUD is wrapped in Copper. This IUD prevents pregnancy by blocking sperm from entering the uterus and by stopping a fertilized egg from implanting. Basically it does this by irritating the walls of the uterus so that the uterus builds up deposits of mucus and callous and not the healthy tissue necessary for maintaining pregnancy. Paragard contains no hormones and can last up to ten years.Women who choose this IUD may experience a small increase in menstrual bleeding and cramping, however, their periods will be regular. If a woman has an allergy to copper or history of Wilsons disease, this IUD would not be recommended.

The Mirena® IUD is plastic and is inserted into the Uterus the same as Paragard but it works instead through the use of hormones. The Mirena IUD contains the hormone progestin, which prevents ovulation, thickens the cervical mucous and decreases the lining of the uterus. The hormone is the same as those found in birth control pills, patches and rings. Mirena is effective for five years. Because of the progestin, women choosing this IUD may experience irregular periods and/or spotting or bleeding. Some women will not have any periods because there is no lining to shed within the uterus.

Both IUD types are equally effective at preventing unintended pregnancies and your clinician can help you decide which one is best for you.

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Does The IUD Prevent STDs Too?

The IUD is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE.

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Are There Any Side Effects Associated With The IUD?

After insertion, both types of IUDs may cause mild to severe cramping in the uterus. This is normal and should diminish within 24 hours. Taking ibuprofen prior to the insertion can decrease this side effect.

Within the first year after IUD insertion, 2% to 10% of users spontaneously expel their device. Women who have not yet had children, women who have severe menstrual cramping, and women who had the device place immediately after delivery are at higher risk for expulsion. Be sure to check the cervix regularly to feel for the short strings attached to the device. If you cannot feel the strings, you should return to the clinic ASAP and use an alternate method of birth control.

In rare cases (1 in 1000 women) the IUD may perforate the uterine wall. If you experience any severe abdominal pain please call the clinic immediately.

Because the Mirena IUD contains a hormone, most women will experience a change in their menstrual pattern, including, irregular periods or spotting, frequent periods or spotting, or no periods at all.

Some women may be allergic to the Copper that is in the Paragard IUD.

Though infrequent, if a pregnancy occurs while the IUD is in place, it will need to be removed by your health care provider to prevent infection.

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Uterus: a pear shaped organ in the lower abdomen of females. It is where babies develop before birth, also called a womb