An intrauterine device (IUD) is a plastic device wrapped with copper or hormones that has a T shape. This device inhibits sperm from reaching an egg and therefore prevents the fertilization of an egg. The IUD is surgically inserted through the cervix into the vagina and it is placed in such a position that the pathway from the cervix to the ovaries is blocked.
There are 2 types of IUD’s:
- Releases levonorgestrel, a form of hormonal progestin
- It is slightly more effective than that of the copper device
- It can last for 3 years or 5 years
- Most commonly used method
- Duration : up to 10 years
- It is a highly effective form of contraception
How do the devices work?
This device releases hormones that can kill the sperm and therefore preclude the fertilization of the egg. Studies have shown that this method can also reduce menstrual bleeding and cramping.
The copper device is similar to the hormonal IUD. In this case copper, which is toxic to sperm, makes the uterus and the fallopian tubes produce a fluid that kills sperm.
What should you expect after the insertion of an IUD?
- The first days (1-2 days) you may experience some mild cramping and light bleeding.
- Do not have sex, use tampons or insert anything to your vagina for at least a day after the insertion.
- You should probably schedule an appointment with your doctor 4-6 weeks later to make sure everything is working well.
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