When it comes to birth control, intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are one of the better methods for preventing pregnancy. If you’re considering an IUD as a method for birth control, Myles Kobren, MD with offices in Syosset and Whitestone, New York, can talk to you about your options and how an IUD might work for you. If you’re curious about whether an IUD would be an effective form of birth control for you, call Dr. Kobren’s office today to schedule an appointment with him, or book an appointment using the online app.
An IUD is a T-shaped device Dr. Kobren inserts into your cervix to prevent pregnancy. Once implanted, you can’t feel it. They’re effective for 3-10 years, depending on the type of IUD the doctor inserts.
There are two types of IUDs:
Although any woman who needs birth control can use an IUD, Dr. Kobren prefers to use it in women who’ve already had children.
The non-hormonal copper T-IUD is made of copper and plastic. Copper is a spermicide and prevents pregnancy by preventing the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
The non-hormonal copper T-IUD is effective at preventing pregnancy right away.
The non-hormonal copper IUD is effective for up to 10 years.
The hormonal IUD contains the hormone progestin levonorgestrel. This hormone prevents pregnancy by thickening mucus in the cervix, which prevents the sperm from swimming to the egg for fertilization.
It can take up to a week for the hormonal IUD to be effective at preventing pregnancy. Dr. Kobren may recommend you use alternative forms of birth control, such as a condom to prevent pregnancy during this period.
The hormonal IUD can protect you from pregnancy for three to five years.
You may feel some pain and a little cramping during the insertion of an IUD. However, the pain doesn’t last long, and Dr. Kobren may recommend medication to alleviate symptoms.
Some women experience cramping and spotting for up to six months following insertion of the IUD. Women with a hormonal IUD experience lighter periods after insertion. However, women with non-hormonal copper T-IUDs may experience heavier periods and more cramping.
Once an IUD is in place, it’s fairly secure, but can slip out. If the IUD comes out, call Dr. Kobren’s office to schedule an appointment for reinsertion.
However, once the IUD is out, you’re no longer protected from pregnancy and should use another form of birth control.