An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control, with a failure rate of less than 1%.
IUDs work in two ways:
There are two main types of IUDs:
IUDs offer a number of benefits, including:
Most women can get an IUD, regardless of their age, parity (whether or not they have had children), or medical history. However, IUDs are not recommended for women with certain medical conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or active sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
IUDs are inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional during a pelvic exam. The insertion procedure is usually quick and easy, and most women experience only mild cramping.
The most common side effects of IUDs are spotting and cramping. These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few months of insertion. Other potential side effects of IUDs include:
The length of time you can keep an IUD in place depends on the type of IUD you have. Copper IUDs can last for up to 10 years, while hormonal IUDs can last for 3 to 7 years, depending on the type.
If you are considering an IUD, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of IUDs and to choose the type of IUD that is right for you.
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