IUD (Intrauterine Device)
The IUD is a small piece of plastic that is placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are low-maintenance, reversible, and one of the most effective types of birth control. Once an IUD is in place, nothing else needs to be done to prevent pregnancy. IUDs primarily work by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg.
IUDs are 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than other types of birth control like the pill, patch, or ring. They provide protection from pregnancy for up to 3 to 12 years, depending on the IUD selected.
Even though they are long-lasting, IUDs are not permanent and can easily be removed anytime.
Safety & Future Pregnancies
Having used an IUD does not affect your ability to get pregnant in the future. You should be able to get pregnant soon after having an IUD removed. If you are not ready for a pregnancy, it is important to protect yourself with another form of birth control.
Experts agree that IUDs are safe for most people, including teens, individuals who have not had children, and breastfeeding mothers.
Types of IUDs
There are two categories of IUDs:
- Hormonal IUDs, which release a small amount of a hormone called progestin, which is similar to a hormone that naturally occurs in the body. There are four types of hormonal IUDs available in the US:
- Non-Hormonal IUDs, which contain copper to safely prevents pregnancy. The only type of non-hormonal IUD in the US is called ParaGard.