When women consider family planning, many overlook intrauterine devices (IUDs). Myths still abound about the method, based mostly on outdated perceptions. Today’s IUD is nothing like your mother’s IUD from the 1970s.
There are two types of IUDs in common use today, hormonal ― such as Mirena® and Kyleena® ― and copper, such as Paragard®. There are a lot of good reasons to consider IUDs, especially if you need a long-term but reversible form of contraception.
Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, inserts IUDs at his office. The procedure is simple and only takes a few minutes. Once it’s inserted, you’ll need to check that it’s in place once a month, which Dr. Weyhrich will show you how to do.
In this blog, Dr. Weyhrich gives the top five benefits of IUDs.
1. They’re safe, including while breastfeeding
Safety concerns are often mentioned as the biggest opposition to IUDs. But today’s IUDs are very safe. In addition, IUDs are a safe option for women over age 40, which many contraceptives are not.
Furthermore, IUDs can be used after pregnancy, even if you’re breastfeeding. Many women are concerned about the use of hormonal contraceptives during breastfeeding. Because hormonal IUDs only use progestin, they’re safe to use while nursing and should not affect your milk supply. If hormones aren’t for you, the Paragard IUD is made of copper, a natural spermicide.
2. They’re easy to use
It can be difficult to remember to take a pill every day or use a condom every time. Once an IUD is in place, you don’t have to worry about birth control again for years. Depending on the type of IUD, it will last 3-12 years.
IUDs are a reliable method of contraception, and they require no effort on a daily basis. That provides peace of mind, especially if you’re a busy mom with young children.
3. They can reduce cramping
Not only do hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy, but many women also use them as a way to reduce menstrual cramps. The hormonal IUDs that Dr. Weyhrich uses most often include Mirena and Kyleena. Most women using hormonal IUDs find that they have lighter periods with less cramping.
4. They’re cost-effective
Although the initial up-front cost of IUDs is more expensive than birth control pills, they can save money over time. The cost without insurance can be up to $1,300, but many health insurance plans pay for them. When compared to the cost of filling monthly prescriptions for birth control pills over a 5-year period, the cost of an IUD comes out the clear winner.
5. They work and are reliable
As a family planning method, IUDs have a high effectiveness rate. They’re 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. By comparison, birth control pills are only about 91% effective. When you know that you don’t want to get pregnant, you need a reliable method. If you decide you do want to conceive, all you need to do is have the IUD removed and your fertility should quickly return to its previous level.
To get an IUD or to learn more about them, book an appointment over the phone with the office of Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, today.