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Whether you’re getting the copper or hormonal IUD, long-term birth control methods are a great decision for lots of people. IUDs are convenient, easy to use, and very, very good at preventing pregnancy — less than 1 out of 100 people who use an IUD will get pregnant each year. 

Like any birth control method, there are benefits and disadvantages. Here are some of the main differences between the copper IUD (AKA Paragard) and hormonal IUDs: 

Hormonal IUDs  

  • 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

  • Different hormonal IUDs last for different lengths of time: the Mirena and Liletta IUDs work for up to 8 years. Kyleena works for up to 5 years. Skyla works for up to 3 years.

  • The hormonal IUD releases hormones similar to the progesterone hormone that our bodies create naturally.

  • For some people, hormonal IUDs can cut down on cramps and make your period way lighter. And some people stop getting their periods at all while they have the IUD.

  • Hormonal IUDs can also help treat the symptoms of health issues like endometriosis and PCOS.

 Copper IUD: 

  • 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

  • Lasts up to 12 years.

  • The copper IUD is non-hormonal, so it’s a good option for people who prefer non-hormonal birth control.

  • Some people have heavier periods or worse period cramps with the copper IUD, but that tends to get better over time.  

Finding the right birth control method can take some trial and error. Talking through your options with your doctor or nurse or the staff at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center is a good first step.

Tags: IUD, birth control, hormonal birth control