Saturday, July 26, 2014

IUDs: Contraceptives without Worry

When the time is right, many women are eager to begin their family. Until then, if you are within the child-bearing age range, pregnancy can occur even if you aren’t ready. To prevent unwanted pregnancies, seek a form of birth control that works for you and your lifestyle. One such method is the IUD. IUD stands for intrauterine device. Earlier devices included the Dalkon Shield which fell out of favor some twenty or more years ago when women began getting serious infections with them. Now, the IUD has made a comeback. The IUD is over 99 percent effective at stopping pregnancy. It rivals the traditional birth control pill for pregnancy prevention. With an intrauterine device, pregnancy is prevented for anywhere from five to ten years as long as the device stays in place. The general shape of an IUD is like a capital letter “T.” the device is inserted into the vagina by a doctor. The top of the device extends into the fallopian tube openings with the rest of it hanging inside the vagina. There are two strings that extend from the end of the device for easy removal when you are ready. There are two types of IUDs on the market: copper and hormonal. The copper IUD is branded ParaGard. It can be inserted for up to ten years at a time. The device works by releasing copper into the vagina which in effect, kills the sperm. The device also inhibits implantation of the egg should the sperm reach it. The Mirena is a hormonal IUD. It contains hormones much like the pill that makes the uterus unsuitable for implantation by an egg. It has the same shape as the copper IUD and inhibits the motility of the sperm to reach the egg. Pros of IUD Methods of Birth Control: • Both IUDs, copper and hormonal, offer protection from pregnancy without worry. The device stays in place with low  maintenance.
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 Doctors recommend you check once a month for the presence of the strings to be sure it is still in place in the vagina. • The Mirena offers women lighter or, for some, the absence of periods. Also, cramping is virtually nonexistent with the hormonal version. Cons of IUDs: • IUDs do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases. If you are not in a monogamous relationship, this device may not be for you. • There is a chance of bacterial infection after insertion. • The device can expel itself spontaneously. This is why doctors recommend you check to see if you can feel the strings regularly. Once the device is out, pregnancy can occur at any time. • Heavy menstrual bleeding is a side effect. IUDs offer birth control without worry. You don’t have to remember each day to take something or have to concern yourself with regard to insertion and removal. IUDs work best when the two partners are committed to each other, but are not ready to start a family just yet.

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