There’s no shortage of options when it comes to preventing pregnancy — from on-the-spot condoms to longer-acting birth control methods like implants. Most women use some form of contraception at some point in their lives, so the wide array of options that fit almost every health care need and lifestyle goal is certainly warranted. But the sheer number of choices can also leave women wondering which option is best for them, which is why we’ve pulled together this blog on one of the more popular choices — an intrauterine device, or IUD.
At Women’s Health Services, our team of gynecologic experts feels it’s important that our patients have all the necessary information before making an important decision like birth control. In that spirit, here’s a closer look at the IUD and why it may be the right contraceptive choice for you.
An IUD is a birth control method that falls under long-acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs. IUDs are small T-shaped units that we place inside your uterus, and they prevent pregnancy using one of two different approaches:
Hormonal IUDs slowly release progestin, which works to prevent conception by interfering with your ovulation and thickening the mucus around your cervix to prevent sperm from passing through.
This type of IUD is wrapped in copper wire, which has the effect of repelling sperm.
Both types of IUDs are incredibly easy to place — we can do it in minutes in our offices. They’re also easy to reverse since all we need to do is remove your IUD, which we can again quickly accomplish in our offices.
But the real draw behind an IUD is its efficacy — a 99% protection rate — and its ease of use. Once we place your IUD, it goes to work to protect you against an unplanned pregnancy, and you don’t have to do a thing. And this protection lasts as IUDs work to prevent pregnancy anywhere from 3-12 years, depending upon the type and brand of IUD you choose.
Nearly 65% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 in the United States use contraception at any given time. And the break-out in birth control usage is as follows:
An IUD falls under the LARC category, which also includes implants.
But the really interesting numbers are found in a recent study, which discovered that women’s health care providers are three-and-a-half times more likely to choose an IUD than the general population of women. The takeaway here is that when it comes to their own decisions and using what’s best, women’s health care providers overwhelmingly choose the IUD.
Of course, every woman is unique, and the choice of contraception is yours to make. Our job is to make sure you have the relevant information so that you can make the best decision for your goals. And we’ll guide you as best we can to ensure that your health is looked after, too.
If you’d like to learn more about the IUD, or any other form of contraception, please contact one of our two offices in Arlington, Texas.