IUD – Intra-Uterine Device (IUD)
The use of IUD is becoming more popular among women who will like to reduce the risk of pregnancy. Unlike other birth control methods, IUD has little side effects and more effective at the same time. According to experts, IUD can last for a period of 5 years or even more depending on your choice.
However, there are times when they’re wrongly inserted or fall out of position. Accidental IUD-removal isn’t impossible; hence, it is important to know the next step to take when that happens.
What Is An IUD
An IUD or “intrauterine device” is a method of contraception inserted into the uterus by a health professional. The IUD is T-shaped and inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. This form of contraceptive comes in two forms: Copper or hormonal. It’s one of the most effective birth control mechanism and guarantees 99% possibility of not getting pregnant.
How does the IUD work?
The diffused progestin acts locally on the uterus, with a triple contraceptive effect. The cervical mucus thickens, complicating the passage of spermatozoa to the uterus. The endometrium becomes thinner, less conducive to implantation. Finally, spermatozoa are made less mobile.
The IUD does not have the mechanism of blocking ovulation, like some other contraceptives and neither does it contain estrogen which may make it unsuitable for women who are advised against combined contraceptives (pill, patch, ring).
Generally, the effectiveness of the hormonal IUD is more superior to that of pills and other birth control methods available. Contraceptive protection begins with placement if it is done within 7 days of the start of menstruation. At another point in the cycle, use additional local contraception (condoms) for 7 days after IUD insertion.
Types Of IUD
There are two types of IUDs:
- The copper IUD
It is plastic with one or more copper sleeves. The larger the copper surface, the more effective the IUD is — since it is made of copper, the sperm becomes inactive. The copper IUD comes in two sizes: “short” and “standard”. This makes it suitable for all women regardless of the size of the uterus. For example, a woman who has never been pregnant (whose uterus is smaller) can have a “short” IUD inserted.
- The hormonal IUD
This type of IUD contains a protestation hormone (levonorgestrel) that is delivered in small quantities. This hormone creates several effects, which makes it nearly impossible for the passage of semen. First, it thickens the secretion of the cervix, which makes the chances of sperm passage very slim.
Secondly, it’s less painful and can be used for a longer period. In some cases, users who have IUD do not have their period, which increases the chances of fertility.
Depending on the model, the IUD can be kept between 4 to 10 years. A check once a year is to be made to ensure that it is well-positioned.
The IUD-removal can be done at any time, as soon as the woman wants it, by a doctor or a midwife. The health professional then gently, using small forceps, pulls on the wire attached to the tip of the IUD, which is visible at the entrance to the uterus.
Who Cannot Use A IUD
- For copper IUDs
- Women with a malformation of the uterus (which is rare) or a large fibroid: the IUD can not be inserted in people where the cervix (orifice) of the uterus is too wide due to multiple or difficult deliveries (the IUD may be expelled).
- Women with cancer of the cervix or endometrium (before treatment).
- Women with STIs (but the IUD can be inserted once the STI has been treated and has been cured for more than 3 months).
- Women with a high genital infection (uterus or fallopian tubes) in progress, recurrent, or less than 3 months old.
- Women who have just put to bed (it is necessary to wait between 48 hours and 4 weeks after delivery).
- Women who had an infection after childbirth or after abortion less than 3 months ago.
- For the hormonal IUD
The contraindications are the same as for the copper IUD, but the presence of hormone makes it unsuitable for people who have phlebitis, embolism pulmonary, breast cancer, endometrial or ovarian cancer, tumour (benign or malignant) liver, acute liver disease (acute viral hepatitis).
After IUD insertion, regular gynaecological follow-up is necessary. At a minimum, an annual check-up will ensure that it is properly placed and will allow you to take stock of your gynaecological health. The
The frequency of these checks is to be discussed with the health professional.
Namely: the age set for the first “smear test” is 25 years for any woman who has sex (you can still do it for 20 years if you wish). The second smear can be done a year later if the first smear is normal, then every 3 years.
How Effective is IUD
IUDs are very effective than regular contraceptives. The chances of getting pregnant are 0.1%. Since manipulation errors do not exist outside the moment of insertion, the effectiveness of this means of contraception does not depend on the user. To avoid mistakes, it’s important to follow the right procedure when inserting an IUD. However, you have little to fear since the insertion is carried out by a health professional.
- The copper IUD is effective from the day of insertion. It is for this reason that it can be used as emergency contraception (in this case, it must be placed within 5 days after the date of ovulation).
- The hormonal IUD is effective two days after insertion. To avoid the risk of pregnancy, it is, therefore, necessary to use condoms for two days after insertion of the hormonal IUD. Then you will be protected from pregnancy by the IUD.
It may be interesting for you to know that 9 out of 100 women do not experience pregnancy in their first year of IUD use.
IUD, like other contraceptives, can cause side effects such as:
- Irregular bleeding often spotting during the first months.
- Vaginal discharge.
- Breast sensitivity.
- Mood swings and depressed mood.
It can also lead to:
- Back and stomach pain.
- Benign ovarian cysts that often go unnoticed.
- Very low risk of expulsion, total or partial.
- In the second case, contraceptive protection may decrease.
Any unusual pain and bleeding should be reported to the doctor. Hormone IUD does not protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Hence, it’s important to try as much as possible to reduce the risk of STI when using IUD
Before using IUD, it’s important to first decide what birth control option is more suitable for you. We agree that IUD is very effective but some conditions may limit its use in some people. Before deciding on any birth control method, it is important to discuss with your doctor to figure out the right one for you.
If you decide to go for IUD, it becomes even more important to choose between hormonal and copper. Also, visit your doctor if you notice any abnormality or discomfort when using IUD