When you’re trying to prevent pregnancy, intrauterine devices (IUDs) are convenient and more than 99% effective. At FPA Women’s Health, located in various central locations throughout Los Angeles County and across California, each team of experienced and caring physicians and nurse practitioners offer several different IUDs including low-hormone and hormone-free options. When you want a reversible way to prevent pregnancy for 3-10 years without having to think about birth control, an IUD is an ideal solution. Call the office nearest you or make an appointment online.
An IUD prevents pregnancy by making it difficult for sperm to reach an egg to fertilize it. Some IUDs, like Mirena® and Kyleena®, use hormones to prevent pregnancy, and Paragard® uses copper. The hormones in the small, flexible, T-shaped IUD thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from traveling to fertilize an egg.
The copper in Paragard inhibits sperm from fertilizing an egg and alters the ability of a fertilized egg to successfully implant in the uterine lining. Paragard can also be a form of emergency contraception after unprotected sex. If you get Paragard inserted within five days of unprotected sex, this IUD is more than 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy.
In addition to being a powerful form of long-term birth control, IUDs also offer other benefits including:
One of the greatest benefits of IUDs is that you don’t have to think about it on a daily basis. Once inserted, your IUD begins to prevent pregnancy immediately, or within seven days, depending on the type of IUD.
The insertion process for an IUD is simple. During an office visit, your provider inserts a speculum into your vagina and then uses a small tube with which to insert the IUD. The IUD goes through your cervix and into your uterus. The string on the IUD hangs down through the opening of your cervix so your provider can remove the IUD in the future.
The insertion process takes just a few minutes. You won’t feel the string or the IUD at all once it’s in place, though, typically you experience some cramping and pain for the first few minutes. Immediately following IUD insertion, you may have some back pain and cramping, but many people don’t experience any unpleasant symptoms at all.
While IUDs don’t protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, they are a great long-term birth control option if you’re in a long-term relationship with the same partner and don’t wish to become pregnant.
To learn more about IUDs and other forms of birth control, call the office to schedule an exam or request an appointment through the convenient online booking tool.