What is an IUD?
An intrauterine device or IUD, is a small plastic or metal object placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are popular because it is a set it and forget it method that is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. With an IUD there is no pill to remember every day and no condom interfering with intimacy.
Depending on the type of IUD you choose it will be effective for 3-10 years. If you want to become pregnant sooner, can be taken out sooner by your doctor.
Which IUD is best for me?
There are 5 different brands of IUDs that are FDA approved for use in the United States: Paragard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla.
These IUDs are divided into 2 types: copper IUDs (Paragard) and hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla).
The Paragard IUD does not have hormones. It is wrapped in a tiny bit of copper, and it protects you from pregnancy for up to 10 years.
We offer the Mirena, Kyleena,and Skyla IUDs which use the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin is very similar to the hormone, progesterone that our ovaries make. Mirena works for up to 6 years. Kyleena up to 5. Skyla for up to 3 years.
How does an IUD work?
The five kinds all work roughly the same way: They thicken cervical mucus so sperm can’t enter the uterus to fertilize an egg. In the rare event that some mighty swimmers do get past the cervix, the IUD’s active ingredient (either copper or synthetic progesterone) makes it more difficult for them to travel through the uterus and tubes toward an egg.
How is Mirena different than other IUD’s ?
Unlike other IUD’s that increase bleeding during your period, Mirena decreases and even prevents periods in most women. This not only helps prevent pregnancy but also relieves most women of their monthly cramping, fatigue, bloating and back aches.
Is it safe to stop my periods?
Yes! The Mirena prevents blood from building up in the uterus so it’s safe not to have a period. Many women hear from the older generations that “it’s not good to stop your period. You need that cleansing every month.” Research has proven that there is no health benefit to having your period every month so enjoy the benefits of Mirena!
How is Mirena placed ?
Your provider will prescribe a Cytotec pill the night before your IUD is placed. Once at the office, she will put in a speculum (like during a Pap), numb the cervix and measure the uterus. If your uterus is long enough, they will place the Mirena. The procedure takes about 5 minutes and is generally well-tolerated. You may feel a slight pinch as the IUD goes in and some mild cramping throughout the day. Insertion is the same with all of them: not comfortable, exactly, but usually manageable. Ibuprofen is the best for the cramps but they will generally subside within a day or two.
How long will I spot after Mirena is placed?
Spotting is common for the first 3-6 months after Mirena is placed. This is supposed to happen ! Mirena works by thinning the lining of the uterus but it takes several months to do this. Wear a pantyliner every day and expect to spot or even have a light period some days. Eventually, it will stop and you will enjoy a life free of periods for the following 4.5 years.
Is Mirena expensive?
Most IUDs are usually fully covered by insurance. But if you do not have insurance, they are less expensive than the birth control pill, if you use it for 3 years or longer.