For women with active sex lives, one of the most effective forms of birth control on the market is the IUD. Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that the IUD works to prevent pregnancy and that they do not offer protection against STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). If you have several partners, then you will need to use alternative forms of protection, especially if you are unsure about a new partner or if your partner has an STD. Otherwise, the IUD is a great way to lead a healthy sex life.
What is an IUD?
An IUD, or Intrauterine Device, is a form of birth control for women. It’s a small T-shaped plastic device inserted into the uterus by a medical professional. Typically, a string will be tied to the end of the device and hangs down from the cervix to the vagina. This string can easily be identified by opening the labia and locating the string with your fingers. This string is attached so that women with the device inside them can check to see if the IUD is still in place. If the device is not present and the individual has had sex, then they could become pregnant, so it is important to check if the IUD is still there. After long periods of time, the IUD string can become frayed and hard to locate. If this happens, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor so that he can determine if the IUD is still in place and working. It is always important to keep up with regular doctor’s appointments so that the physician can check if the IUD works.
How the IUD Works?
The device will either be wrapped in copper or hormones which will prevent women from becoming pregnant. IUD’s are sometimes wrapped in copper because copper is a natural spermicide. This means that it kills sperm on contact. Copper IUDs are actually the most common type of birth control used by women. This may be because copper IUDs will last for up to 10 years, therefore this is one of the most effective contraceptives available. One common concern about copper IUDs is that they will set off metal detectors at airports, but this myth is not true. The Hormonal IUD works by releasing a hormone called levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic form of the hormone called Progesterone. This hormone regulates the growth and shedding of the uterine lining during every period cycle. IUDs with levonorgestrel prevent pregnancy by making the mucus of the cervix thicker so that sperm cells can’t get to the uterus. It also prevents the lining of the uterus from becoming thick, so that sperm cells can’t attach themselves to an egg. On top of this, the hormone can also damage and sometimes kill sperm cells. Additionally, hormonal IUDs help alleviate cramping and reduce menstrual bleeding associated with heavy periods. Lastly, the hormonal IUD will typically last for around 3 – 4 years.
The operation to put an IUD inside a woman is typically done at doctors offices, but it can also be done at clinics and hospitals. The procedure itself only lasts a couple of minutes. The doctor can easily insert an IUD by pushing it into the cervix. Usually, there is no pain associated, however, the doctor can always use a local anesthetic should any displeasure or pain occur. Women are not allowed to have this procedure done if they are already pregnant or if they have a vaginal infection. Patients should be aware that light spotting or cramping can sometimes occur after the procedure, but this should only last for 1 day. If the symptoms persist, then women should speak to their doctor. Women should also abstain from sex or from inserting anything into their vagina during the first 24 hours to ensure that the IUD stays in place. The doctor will typically follow up with the women around 5 weeks after the procedure to make sure the IUD works.
Getting a prescription for an IUD can be difficult because of the costs associated. The procedure alone can be very expensive. Thankfully, the Rx Helper can help individuals who are uninsured or underinsured afford a prescription. Our program connects patients to prescription assistance programs for three different IUDs. Individuals who qualify could receive prescriptions like Liletta, Skyla, and Mirena at a discounted price. Of course, patients would need to speak with a health professional first to see which IUD works best for their specific needs. For more information, call at 877-767-3297.