IUDIn the case of IUD copper, no hormones are used.
Instead, copper is used, which damages the spermatozoa and prevents them from reaching the egg. It also helps in preventing implantation.
– Many doctors use this method of birth control if emergency contraception is needed. Copper IUDs can be used for 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. Each of these has a different ratio of copper in its composition.
Let us see some of the benefits and risks of using hormonal IUDs
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Both types of IUDs are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. In 2015, a study found that hormonal IUDs are marginally more effective as compared to copper IUDs. It reduces the risk of endometrial cancer.
Hormonal IUDs may not be safe for people with pelvic infections, cervical cancer, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or uterine disorders. These IUDs are not to be used in cases where there is a history of breast cancer and must be used with caution by women who have a high risk of getting breast cancer due to their family history.
It also helps in reducing menstrual bleeding, hence, helps in keeping haemoglobin up.
If you are exploring birth control options, then IUD may be considered as one of the best options for multiple reasons namely:
- Once inserted you do not have to strictly adhere to taking oral contraceptive tablets.
- Its effect lasts long and is cost-effective.
- It can be used immediately after delivery.
What is an IUD?
The IUD is a T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD) and is more than a quarter in size as compared to the size of the uterus. The device sits inside the uterus after insertion and it works locally.
How does an IUD work?
This small device prevents pregnancy by preventing sperm from reaching the uterus, which prevents fertilization of the eggs, and prevents implantation.
Types of IUD
There are two types of IUDs available in the market i.e. Hormonal and Non-Hormonal (copper devices) IUDs.
1. Hormonal IUDs release a synthetic version of progesterone, known as progestin. Progestin is also known as levonorgestrel, which is the same hormone used in many birth controls pills. Progestin helps to thicken mucus in the cervix, making it impossible for sperm to reach the egg.
2. Another way in which progestin works is by thinning the lining of the uterus. This makes it more difficult to implant the egg in the uterus because it does not allow the sperm to reach the uterus and fertilize the egg.
3. The durability of Hormonal IUDs is 5 years.
Benefits of copper IUDs include:
Emergency contraception – This type of IUDs start working immediately, so it works as emergency contraception.
No hormones needed – Copper IUD does not need hormones to work and is a safer option for people who cannot use hormonal contraceptives.
It prevents pregnancies for a long period of time depending on the type of copper IUD used.
IUDs offer significant advantages over risks with the right combination of effectiveness, safety, and fewer side effects. If you are considering using an IUD, then discuss your options with your healthcare provider to select the type of IUD that best suits your needs.
Special thanks to Dr. Kunal Doshi (MBBS FCPS DGO DFP) for the expert advice.