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IUD As A Contraceptive Device- Effectiveness & Risks

By Nishkak +2 more

IUD is a method you might want to consider if you’re researching your birth control alternatives. IUDs today are considered safe and successful for most women, while they are not for everyone. Additionally, they last a long time.

Intrauterine Device or IUD – A popular contraceptive?

A tiny T-shaped device called an intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into the uterus to prevent conception.
They are reversible and offer dependable, long-lasting protection against pregnancy. IUDs come in two varieties: hormonal and non-hormonal (copper).

Copper IUD: The compact, T-shaped copper IUD is made of plastic and copper. A tiny amount of copper is continuously released into the uterus.

A hormonal IUD: This is a tiny, T-shaped piece of plastic technology. A hormone called progestin is gradually released into your uterus. Similar to the hormone made by the ovaries. 

Benefits of IUD:

  • Effectiveness: They are some of the best birth control options available.
  • Longevity: Depending on the type, they can live from three to twelve years.
  • Convenience: You don’t need to prepare for or remember sex.
  • Reversible: Have it removed and you can begin trying if you wish to become pregnant.
  • Easier Menstruation: Many people report having lighter periods and less cramping.
  • Free of Cost: Indian government provides it free of cost at its family planning centres.

Disadvantages of IUD:

  • They do not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 
  • It may hurt to insert, but it is comfortable after a day of the procedure.
  • There are certain hazards, but very few.

How reliable is an IUD?

Very reliable. To be precise, they are over 99% effective. This indicates that fewer than 1 in 100 people who use an IUD will become pregnant in a year.

How should you apply IUD?

  • Talk to your gynaecologist about the appropriate method of contraception for you. Discuss the type of IUD that is best for your case.
  • A qualified doctor or nurse places the IUD inside your uterus. It is linked to a tiny nylon thread, which emerges through the cervix (opening to the uterus). The thread cannot be seen since it is high up in the vagina. You may verify that the thread is present and that the IUD is still in place by feeling high up in your vagina.
  • It’s wise to keep a record of the day your IUD was implanted. You must ensure that it is removed before it expires (5 or 10 years, depending on the type, after being inserted).
  • Please check for the IUD threads in the vagina after menstrual cycles. 

How soon do IUDs begin to function?

As soon as it is inserted, the non-hormonal IUD starts working.
Hormonal IUDs begin functioning immediately if they are implanted during your period. If not, it could take this type up to 7 days to take effect.

After insertion, are there any negative effects?

  • Cramping and backaches are frequent within the first few hours to a few days following IUD installation. You might have some relief from both by utilising a heating pad, a hot bath or over-the-counter painkillers.
  • Additionally, spotting typically should stop in three to six months.
  • Wearing period underwear or keeping panty liners on hand can help you stay clean.
  • Some women experience lightheadedness immediately following the IUD insertion, although this should subside in a few minutes. You can anticipate experiencing cramping similar to menstruation in the first few days following insertion.
  • While using an IUD, getting pregnant is extremely unlikely. 
  • However, if it does, your risk of miscarriage, infection and early labour and delivery increases. You run the chance of developing an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilised egg implants outside your uterus. If you experience stomach pain or vaginal bleeding or believe you could be pregnant, let your doctor know.

How does one remove an IUD?

Your doctor will remove the IUD. It should take a little while. The doctor will slowly remove the IUD using forceps, ideally on the 3rd to 5th day of the cycle, as you position your feet in stirrups. The cramps and bleeding should stop in 1-2 days.


  • There are numerous birth control methods available and your doctor can help you choose the most effective one. If you decide to use an IUD for birth control, consult your doctor to determine which IUD will work best for you. Check the strings frequently after having your IUD implanted.
  • If you observe that the IUD has migrated or if you suffer any negative effects, let your doctor know. If your IUD needs to be removed for any reason, keep in mind that your doctor’s clinic should be able to handle the process rather easily.

Also Read: Benefits of Getting Off Birth Control: A Research-Based Overview

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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