There is a variety of different types of female contraceptives. Short-acting? Long-acting? It can be quite daunting to decide which one is best for you. In this article, we’re going to discuss a long-acting form of female contraception called an intrauterine device, also known as an IUD.
What is an IUD?
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into your uterus. Copper wire is wrapped around the stem of the IUD. Copper is toxic to sperm and causes the uterus and fallopian tubes to produce a fluid that kills the sperm before it reaches the egg.
The advantages of an IUD
The benefits of choosing an IUD as a form of contraception include:
- An IUD falls under the category of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC). A copper IUD can last between five to 10 years. Furthermore, it doesn’t affect your fertility, so if you decide to have children, it can simply be removed.
- It won’t restrict sexual activity or decrease your sex drive.
- It is effective even if you are required to take medication for any chronic or acute conditions.
- Unlike hormonal contraception, it isn’t a potential factor associated with cancer or any type of organ condition.
- An IUD is exceptionally effective. It has a 98 to 99% success rate.
- It does not cause weight gain, unlike certain hormonal contraceptives.
- It is effective immediately.
The disadvantages of an IUD
Despite the many advantages, an IUD does have certain disadvantages that you need to know.
- It’s possible for an IUD to fall out through your vagina in the first three months during or following a period. Women who have had an IUD inserted immediately after having a safe abortion are more susceptible.
- There is a small risk of acquiring a urinary tract infection (UTI) within 20 days of the IUD being inserted into the uterus.
- An IUD doesn’t protect you from contracting sexually transmitted diseases which is why your partner should also use protection during sex.
- Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) is the most common complaint made by women who have an IUD. It’s best to choose another form of contraception if this is the case.
How Marie Stopes can help you
Marie Stopes is the global leader in women’s sexual and reproductive healthcare. We have a number of conveniently-located centres that provide essential services such as STI and HIV testing. We also offer a comprehensive Women’s Wellness assessment. All procedures are performed by medical professionals in sterile clinics to ensure your safety.
Schedule an appointment at your nearest centre. Our staff are fully qualified to answer any questions you may have about the different types of contraceptives. You don’t need to be ashamed. We’re here to help you.