Intrauterine devices are devices (IUD) that can be placed directly into the uterus by a skilled NYC gynecologist to prevent unplanned pregnancies. IUDs are one of the most efficient forms of birth control providing a greater than 99% success rate, which means less than 1% of women with IUDs correctly in place will become pregnant. Additionally, IUDs are placed in the office in only a few minutes, generally experiencing only mild discomfort during the small procedure.
Gynecologist of Manhattan Women’s Health & Wellness offer comprehensive Obstetrics & Gynecology care in NYC for women of all ages. At our obgyn clinic we provide a full range of gynecology services, from annual check-ups and routine pap smears to IUD insertions and removals, and gyn procedures, surgeries performed in our office or in the hospital. Our state of the art gynecology NYC facility equipped with the latest obgyn equipment.
Overall evidence suggests that the risk of adverse outcomes related to pregnancy, perforation, infection, heavy bleeding, or removals for bleeding among young IUD users is low and may not be clinically meaningful. IUDs are safe for young women and provide highly effective reversible contraception.
Types of IUDs
When first searching for IUDs online, it may seem quite daunting at how many different IUDs exist in the US, with even more IUDs outside of the US. However, all of the IUDs generally follow two basic types. Hormonal, or non hormonal i.e., the presence of a medication within the IUD that is slowly emitted into the uterus as it sits inside.
- Hormonal IUD: his includes many of the IUDs people are familiar with, such as Liletta, Kyleena, Skyla, or Mirena. These are small, usually quarter sized pieces of soft flexible plastic with a string attached, that go directly into the uterus where they can stay for several years, depending which IUD you have chosen. The hormonal IUDs generally contain one hormone called progesterone, that helps thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and meeting with an egg. They also slow down contractions of the fallopian tubes which may prevent an egg from even reaching the uterus. In some cases, they may even prevent the egg from ever leaving the ovary (ovulation). The benefits of progestin based IUDs is that they generally reduce how much you bleed on your menses and many women have no bleeding on their menses after a few months
- Copper IUD: these are also quite popular as they generally have a longer lifespan within the uterus. They also contain zero hormone, so this may be advantageous to women who have allergies or are sensitive to progestins. They prevent pregnancy by creating an environment unsuitable for fertilization and sperm. The copper IUD must be placed in the perfect part of the uterus for it to work successfully.
Risk of IUDs
IUDs are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy
IUDs are generally considered to be extremely low risk during placement, maintenance, and during removal. During placement, the risk of infection, perforation (poking a hole through the uterus and the iud going inside the abdomen which would require a small surgery to remove), or pain, can all occur. Luckily, these are all very rare, and there are ways your gynecologist can mitigate these risk, such as using an ultrasound during the placement of the IUD.
Progestin based IUDs may help if you have heavy periods
After placement, the biggest side effect of an IUD is changes in how you bleed. You may initially note spotting when you are not on your period, but as time goes on, you should experience less and less bleeding during your menses, with some women not having any bleeding at all. This is more noticed with the hormonal IUD vs the copper IUD. Cramping may also occur in a similar pattern.
The IUD is quite easily removed so if you experience any of these, you and your Midtown gynecologist can discuss whether you wish to remove the IUD.
Facts About IUD Insertion
You can get an intrauterine device only from a gynecologist, and only an obgyn specialist, a doctor can insert it properly. Inserting it takes less than a minute in cardiology NYC office. The intrauterine device insertion process has been compared to getting a pap smear with some accompanying cramping. Some women experience lightheadedness or nausea, but it’s rare.
The procedure can be temporarily uncomfortable, but most women who make use of this option say the discomfort is worth it for years of painless birth control. The best way to prepare is to educate yourself. Your gynecologist uses a speculum to see into your vagina. After cleaning your vagina and cervix, your healthcare provider may measure how deep your uterus is to ensure that the IUD will fit. Then the device is inserted into your uterus using an applicator tube. Once the tube is removed and the strings of the device are cut, you’re finished.
Pros and Cons of IUD
Like all contraception methods, IUDs provide benefits but there are some risks. Consider the following:
- The device represents a completely reversible form of birth control.
- They start working as soon as they’re inserted.
- Compare IUD vs pill, and IUD is often the better choice. You have to remember to take the pill every day while the IUD is maintenance-free. Intrauterine devices are more effective.
- IUDs also reduce the likelihood that an embryo can attach to your uterine wall, further lessening the chance of pregnancy.
- You can use the copper IUD as an emergency method to prevent pregnancy if inserted within five days of your unprotected sex.
- Hormonal IUDs ease menstrual cramps and make your periods lighter.
- With copper IUDs, your period might disappear altogether.
- You must visit a gynecologist or a family planning clinic to get an IUD. Only a gynecologist can insert one.
- IUDs do nothing to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
- The insertion procedure can be uncomfortable for some women.
- You have to be comfortable with the idea of inserting a device into your uterus.
- The hormonal intrauterine devices release chemicals into your bloodstream. As a result, you may experience unusual cramping or IUD bleeding, at least temporarily.
- The device can fall out of your uterus, although it’s rare that this happens. But if the device isn’t in your uterus, it can’t protect you and needs to be re-inserted by a gynecologist.
Sex After IUD Insertion
While the birth control efficiency of the intrauterine device is unmatched, the ultimate question is whether the device negatively affects sex. It is possible that your partner may feel the strings left on the device, these strings soften with time, and the feeling is not painful at all.
Some women report that their sex has improved because using an IUD removes any worry of an unwanted pregnancy. Of course, your experience may differ, but using a worry-free contraceptive — and one that can be reversed completely at any time — offers women the freedom they seek.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that using any intrauterine device — whether the ParaGard, Mirrena or Skyla — leads to IUD weight gain. Numerous studies point to no unwanted weight gain at all. If you’re weighing the copper intrauterine device vs Mirena, your best bet would be to consult your local obgyn specialist or gynecologist NYC Dr. Fernando Mariz. While the copper version lasts longer, the Skyla is smaller. All have their advantages and issues. All of them are equally effective birth control devices. All options and your specific case should be discussed with your gynecologist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an intrauterine device?
An intrauterine device, commonly referred to as IUD, is a small T-shaped device, which is placed in the uterus by your healthcare provider. The main goal of this tiny device is to prevent pregnancy. According to several reputable studies, IUD is considered one of the most effective birth control methods on the market. Currently, there are two types of IUDs, which are the hormonal-levonorgestrel IUD and the non-hormonal-copper T IUD
How does an intrauterine device (IUD) work?
Both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs are aimed at preventing pregnancy by modifying the way sperm cells move so they cannot get to an egg. One of the greatest advantages of IUDs is that they can last for years and whenever you decide to get pregnant, your gynecologist can quickly and easily remove it.
Can an intrauterine device prevent transmitted diseases?
A lot of people have a misconception that IUDs can protect them from transmitted diseases. Unfortunately, that is not true. It has been already proven that intrauterine devices do not protect a woman from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Couples who are having sex must always use condoms in conjunction with IUD to protect themselves from STDs. Keep in mind that before putting in an IUD, you should get checked for sexually transmitted diseases.
Do you need a prescription for an intrauterine device?
Yes, you need to obtain a prescription to get an IUD. This small device should be inserted by a qualified specialist. Before prescribing an IUD, your healthcare provider will make you aware of all the potential side effects that may occur, such as irregular periods, severe menstrual cramps, etc. Although, these side effects typically disappear once your body adjusts to the IUD.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide gynecology guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult OBGYN doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced gynecologist or certified gynecology specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Have questions about Intrauterine Devices? Schedule an appointment with the best rated OBGYN in Manhattan, Dr. Fernando Mariz by calling our office today
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