An Intrauterine Device(IUD) is a female form of contraceptive placed in the uterus. The advantages of using an IUD are long protection and ease of use. Depending on the product, cycles may be heavier, or in some cases, lighter or even absent. IUDs have a slight risk of causing a serious pelvic infection, and are ideally suited for women between children, or after their families are completed. The failure rate is approximately 1%, with an increased risk of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy if pregnancy occurs.
Overall, IUDs are very effective methods of birth control which are very popular world wide, but less so in the United States. Years ago, older IUDs were associated with complications that are now infrequent with the newer products available.
The ParaGard T-380A is a product that can provide contraception for 10 years, and the Mirena is a 5 year product. Both are inserted at an office appointment after appropriate medical counseling and examination, and IUDs are not right for everyone. North Pointe OB/GYN physicians are available to discuss and prescribe this form of contraception with you.