An Intrauterine Device also commonly known as an IUD is an effective method of long term birth control for women. It is a small T shaped device that is inserted into the patient’s uterus by the physician and can stay there for 5 to 10 years depending on the device used. It is important to remember that the an IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or Sexually transmitted infections.
An intrauterine device is a T-shaped device with a string at the end of it. When inserted into the uterus, the string hangs at the end through the cervix into the vagina. This string is designed to allow the physician to remove it easily and for the patient to be able to check conveniently that the device is still in place (occasionally it can be flushed out by body during a period).
Types of IUD
Hormonal Intrauterine devices such as Mirena, releases levonorgestrel, which is a form of the hormone progestin. The Mirena is effective for five years. It is also effective for reducing menstrual cramps and bleeding due to the hormones involved.
Copper Intrauterine devices are the most commonly used type (such as Paragard). Copper wire is wound around the stem of the T-shaped device. It can stay in place for up to 10 years and is a highly effective form of contraception. The copper IUD does not have any hormones and is a good option for anyone looking for a non-hormonal form of birth control. Copper is toxic to sperm. It makes the uterus and fallopian tubes produce fluid that kills sperm. This fluid contains white blood cells, copper ions, enzymes, and prostaglandins.
We offer convenient scheduling of your appointment for IUD insertion (including Saturday appointments). The procedure only takes a few minutes. We want to insure that you are not pregnant, and do not have a current pelvic infection prior to insertion.
Your doctor may want to see you 4 to 6 weeks after the IUD insertion, to make sure it is in place. Be sure to check the string of your IUD after every period. To do this, insert a finger into your vagina and feel for the cervix, which is at the top of the vagina and feels harder than the rest of your vagina (some women say it feels like the tip of your nose). You should be able to feel the thin, plastic string coming out of the opening of your cervix. It may coil around the cervix, which can make it difficult to find.
Call your doctor if you cannot feel the string or the rigid end of the IUD. If you cannot feel the string, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the IUD has been expelled. Sometimes the string is just difficult to feel or has been pulled up into the cervical canal (which will not harm you). An exam and sometimes an ultrasound will show whether the IUD is still in place. Use another form of birth control until your doctor makes sure that the IUD is still in place. If you have no problems, check the string after each period and return to your doctor once a year for a checkup.
Advantages of IUDs include cost-effectiveness over time, ease of use, lower risk of ectopic pregnancies and no interruption of foreplay or intercourse. If interested in getting an IUD an annual exam and gonorrhea/chlamydia testing will need to be done before the IUD is inserted.
All Illinois Abortion Member Clinics are dedicated to providing compassionate Reproductive Health Care access to men and women in the Chicagoland Area and suburbs. We have several convenient locations to choose from (including Downtown Chicago and a few minutes from O’Hare Airport). All our member clinics offer convenient Saturday appointments.