IUD Specialist

Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center

Barbara Grazette, MD

Gynecology & Women's Health located in Edina, MN

Birth control is of the utmost importance to ensure women only have babies when they are ready, and the IUD is one of the safest and most effective options for contraception. Barbara Grazette, MD, of Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center in Edina, Minnesota, is an expert in finding the right contraceptive method for each individual patient. To get advice on choosing what birth control method is right for you and more information on IUDs, call Dr. Grazette today, or book an appointment online.

IUD Q&A

What is an IUD?

An IUD is an intrauterine device that gives long-term protection against unwanted pregnancy. The IUD is a small plastic insert shaped like a capital “T” that fits into the uterus where you can’t feel it, providing effective birth control for several years before it needs replacing.

The IUD has an advantage over oral contraceptives because the effects are constant, whereas you can forget to take a pill, or its effectiveness can be affected by ill health. Figures from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists show that fewer than one woman out of every hundred using an IUD will get pregnant in the first year.

How does the IUD work?

There are two types of IUD:

Hormonal IUD

A hormonal IUD releases progestin into your uterus. Progestin is a hormone made naturally by your ovaries, and at higher levels it thins the endometrium lining of the uterus and thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for any sperm to reach the egg.

Copper IUD

A copper IUD doesn’t use hormones but releases copper into your uterus instead. The copper causes sperm to slow down and behave abnormally, preventing them from entering the uterus and fertilizing an egg.

What are the benefits of using an IUD?

There are numerous benefits of using an IUD, such as:

  • You don’t have to remember to take a pill
  • There’s no need to use other forms of contraception to prevent pregnancy
  • It’s simple to insert
  • It doesn’t affect sexual pleasure or normal activities
  • You can continue to use tampons
  • It’s suitable for women after miscarriage or abortion
  • It can be used immediately after childbirth
  • It’s safe for women who are breastfeeding
  • There’s no effect on future fertility

 

Copper IUDs are also an excellent form of emergency contraception, while hormonal IUDs can help reduce menstrual bleeding and pain.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with using an IUD?

You may feel some discomfort when the IUD first goes in, but this should ease off if you use over-the-counter pain medication. Other possible risks and side effects include:

  • IUDs don’t protect against STDs
  • Copper IUDs may increase menstrual pain and bleeding at first
  • The IUD may in rare cases come out of the uterus
  • The IUD could go through the uterine wall during placement
  • In rare cases, women develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

 

Hormonal IUDs may cause spotting and heavier bleeding at first, but over the longer term, your menstrual cycle should be less painful and the bleeding lighter. Hormonal IUDs may also cause side effects such as headaches, tender breasts, mood swings, emotional problems, and nausea.

Is the IUD better than other forms of birth control?

At Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center, Dr. Grazette recommends IUDs because they’re an effective of birth control. Other methods include:

  • Birth control implant
  • Combined contraceptive pill (estrogen and progestin)
  • Progestin-only contraceptive pill
  • Spermicide
  • Condom
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap
  • Sponge
  • NuvaRing

 

Your choice of birth control depends on your health and lifestyle and is something Dr. Grazette discusses with you in detail at your consultation. No method of birth control is 100% effective, so you need to find the method that’s most likely to be the best for your individual needs.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Grazette to learn more about IUDs and discover if it is the best contraception method for your lifestyle by calling Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center today, or book using the online tool.