IUD for birth control and abnormal bleeding
An intrauterine device, or IUD, is one of the most effective forms of birth control available, with less than one pregnancy occurring in every 100 women within the first year of use. In other words, an IUD is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
This long-acting form of contraception is convenient and reversible, and can remain in place for years at a time, providing effortless protection. Your Austin OBGYN can remove the device at any time, and there’s no need to wait once your IUD is removed if you want to start trying to conceive.
How an IUD works
An IUD prevents pregnancy by preventing fertilization of eggs, as well as implantation of any fertilized eggs in the uterine lining. Some IUDs also release a small amount of hormones to help prevent pregnancy.
- Copper T IUD: This is a hormone-free device that can stay in place in your uterus for up to 10 years. Copper interferes with sperm movement, fertilization, and implantation.
- Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG): This device releases a small amount of progesterone daily and can remain in your uterus for up to three to five years, depending on the device. In addition to being an effective form of birth control, it can reduce heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping. For many women, menstruation ceases completely while the IUD is in place.
Once your IUD is in place, you’re immediately protected. You won’t have to remember to take a pill or get a refill of any medication, and there’s no worry about accidentally forgetting to use barrier contraception correctly.
Because an IUD doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases, we do recommend use of condoms in conjunction with an IUD to reduce the risk of STD transmission.
Some women have increased spotting or bleeding after placement, which typically resolves within two to three months. If you get an LNG, rare hormonal side effects, such as breast tenderness, mood swings or headaches, may occur temporarily.
IUDs are not the best choice for women who have a pelvic infection, are prone to infection or have certain types of cancer. If you experience issues such as abdominal pain or the IUD coming out, be sure to contact your Austin OBGYN right away and use a second form of protection.
Make an appointment
To learn more about IUD birth control and other birth control options, contact us to schedule a consultation.