Is an IUD Safe?

Although IUDs had a well-earned bad reputation in the 1970s, modern-day IUDs are very different and safe. IUD, which stands for intrauterine device, is one of the most effective birth control devices available.

In the 1970s, the IUD at the time was called the Daikon Shield. It was found to have health and safety issues and was taken off the market. Today’s IUDs are FDA-approved and a popular choice for birth control.  The medical team at Women’s Health Care Center in Helena, Montana, shares information you should know about IUDs, including their many benefits, as well as risks and side effects.  

How does an IUD work?

Five FDA-approved IUDs are on the market. Four of them contain hormones, and one, which uses copper, does not. 

The hormonal IUDs contain progestin, which is similar to our body’s progesterone. The progestin thickens the mucus that lives on the cervix, which then blocks sperm from penetrating the egg. The hormones also sometimes prevent the egg from dropping, which means there’s no egg for the sperm to penetrate. 

With the copper IUD, the sperm is repelled by the copper, so it never makes its way to the egg. IUDs are considered a reversible birth control method. This means that when you remove the IUD, you can get pregnant right away.

IUDs: risks, benefits, and safety

Benefits of IUDs include the fact that they are inserted into your uterus, so you don’t have to think about them, and they last, depending on the type you get, from 3 to 12 years. Also, they are 99% effective in preventing pregnancies. 

One of the reasons they’re so effective is that they’re hard to mess up. You won’t forget to take one every day, run out, or get too lazy to put one in. Another benefit is that if you change your mind and want to get pregnant, you can take the IUD out at any time, and it won’t affect your ability to get pregnant.  

However, IUDs are not the best birth control choice for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have an STD, a pelvic infection, cervical cancer, cancer of the uterus, or think you might be pregnant. Risks can happen, although they are rare. These include:

Risks and complications are rare and minor, and don’t last long. All can be easily treated. Side effects include cramps, bleeding between periods, and no periods. Some possible side effects are also benefits. They include a reduction in period flow, cramps, and PMS.  

For more information on IUDs and birth control, call Women’s Health Care Center to make an appointment with one of our health care team providers. You can also book an appointment online through this website.

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