The world is getting more and more updated and with this, new ways and possibilities for female care are also emerging. Contraceptive methods that were so limited are expanding in types and options adaptable to any woman and any need. Thinking about this differentiated need in women, the IUD contraceptive method was developed.
What is an IUD?
The acronym IUD comes from the name intrauterine device, due to its form of use, which is a small device produced in totally flexible plastic and shaped in the shape of a T that is introduced into the uterus, with the sole focus of preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Unlike the vast majority of contraceptive methods, the IUD cannot be placed easily at home or in a pharmacy as in the case of contraceptive injection. It is necessary a complete medical preparation and be inserted in the gynecological office , as well as on the day of its removal.
Its main differentiator from other contraceptive methods is the 99% effectiveness and the long protection period that it provides , which can occur from 5 to 10 years and can be removed as soon as desired. Its form of action is also differentiated from other methods that focus only on preventing ovulation from occurring naturally.
The presence of the IUD in the uterine cavity causes a type of inflammatory process, which prevents ovulation from occurring as it should and also interferes with the transition of sperm to the uterine cavity , preventing fertilization from occurring. Another important point of using the method is that specialists guarantee that it causes less side effects than the other medication methods.
Types of IUDs
There are two types of IUDs, copper and hormonal , also known as Mirena. They are composed of differentiated material and have different values too, so the ideal is to talk to your gynecologist about which type is ideal for your body and your pocket.
The copper IUD, also known as Multiload, is produced in plastic material and has a rod coated in copper material or in some types copper and silver, in the shape of a T. Its effectiveness occurs due to the release of copper in the uterus, the which causes an inflammatory process that alters the production of the endometrium, cervical mucus and the function of the tubes , which provides a hostile environment for sperm that cannot survive long or reach the uterine cavity.
Even though it is the cheapest option of the IUD and the most accessible, its effectiveness is 0.7%, practically null, which guarantees a great safety and comfort for women who do not wish to become pregnant. The copper IUD can be used for 5 to 10 years.
Hormonal IUD (Mirena)
The hormonal IUD, or Mirena, is also produced in resistant and flexible material and has a T shape, which has a small reservoir containing the hormone levonorgestrel. The difference between copper IUDs and Mirena is that instead of copper being released, hormonal doses are gradually released, causing the same effect on the uterus that makes fertilization impossible.
Its differential is that the vast majority of women who use the Mirena IUD have their menstruation suspended, which may be the solution for those who suffer with intense menstrual flow, anemia due to this cause and still benefits women who have endometriosis. The chances of a woman using the Mirena IUD to become pregnant is 0.2% . Unlike the copper IUD, the time of use of the Mirena IUD is reduced to up to 5 years.
Side Effects of Using an IUD
Like any contraceptive method, side effects may occur, which are not very common, but it is necessary to warn them. Side effects may appear right after the IUD is inserted and that is why it is requested that each sign be carefully observed during the days after the procedure.
- Intense bleeding after placement procedure;
- Vaginal discharge;
- Abdominal pain;
- Uterine contractions;
In the case of copper IUDs, there are occurrences of menstrual bleeding that are longer than normal and menstrual cramps that are stronger than usual soon after the method is placed. Mirena IUDs are more natural when there is no menstrual periods or minor bleeding. Frame spines, sensitivity in the breasts, fluid retention , headaches and weight increase can be observed.
If the symptoms are so intense that they disrupt the woman’s routine, the doctor should be sought. Fever, chills, genital swelling, pain and bleeding during sex can be indicative of a problem, see your gynecologist for evaluation.
Questions about IUD Use
Because it is a method placed only in the office and its functionality and correct positioning are not seen, it is natural for women to have many doubts about what care they should take while using the IUD.
Can I use a tampon or menstrual cup with the IUD?
In the case of using an IUD, the use of the external pad is recommended, more as a precaution than as a risk. Since, after being inserted, the IUD leaves the device wires a few centimeters out (from 2.5 cm to 5 cm), and when placing the tampon or menstrual collector it can be pulled unintentionally. Therefore, internal absorbent methods can be used, provided that great care is taken at the time of removal.
Can My IUD Come Out Alone?
This can hardly happen, but yes, it can leave alone if it detaches from the inserted area. It can happen that the IUD is naturally expelled from the body, especially during menstruation, which makes it even more difficult to perceive its displacement. Always observe the menstrual flow, if it is very intense, it may indicate that you have had a displacement of the IUD.
Can IUD Use Disrupt Sexual Intercourse?
No, it shouldn’t get in the way. Since it is a contraceptive method and its use is precisely to prevent an unwanted pregnancy from occurring. The only indication is that you do not have sex within 24 hours after IUD placement. But if any discomfort is noticed during sexual intercourse , bleeding, or even the presence of the intrauterine device is felt, your gynecologist should be contacted immediately.
And if I don’t feel the IUD wire, what to do?
The gynecologist is asked to observe the signs of possible displacement of the IUD, but it can be felt through touch as well. When inserting the finger in the vagina, it is possible to feel the tip of the IUD wire, which may be exposed 2 to 5 cm, more than that it may be indicative that it has moved, as well as if you do not feel the wires. If the wires are not felt, the doctor’s office should be sought immediately and if not found during the consultation, an ultrasound may be requested for analysis.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.