An IUD (Intra Uterine Device) is a tiny device that's put into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It’s long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective female contraception methods. It's a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a “T”. Sometimes it’s called an IUC which stands for intrauterine contraception.
There are two types of IUDs:
- Copper IUD: contains copper.
- Hormonal IUD: contains the hormone progestogen (Mirena or Jaydess)
How does it work?
Both copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm cells move so they can't get to an egg. If sperm can’t make it to an egg, pregnancy can’t happen. Copper and hormonal IUDs are at least 99% effective. Only 1 in 100 people will get pregnant each year.
The IUD is put into the uterus by an experienced nurse or doctor. This is simple and safe and takes about 5 to 10 minutes. You can’t feel it or tell it is there except by checking for the strings.
How well does it work?
One of the great things about IUDs is that they last for years, but if you decide to get pregnant or you just don’t want to have your IUD anymore, your nurse or doctor can quickly take it out. You’re able to get pregnant right after the IUD is removed.
Some people might notice some changes to their period, while others might not. With a copper IUD, your periods might be longer, heavier and more painful, especially in the first few months. With a hormonal IUD, you might have spotting in the first few months and then light or no periods. You can still use tampons!