The IUD is almost mistake-proof, making it one of the most effective methods available.
How effective are IUDs when used as birth control?
IUDs are one of the best birth control methods out there — more than 99% effective. That means fewer than 1 out of 100 women who use an IUD will get pregnant each year.
IUDs are so effective because there's no chance of making a mistake. You can’t forget to take it (like the pill), or use it incorrectly (like condoms). And you're protected from pregnancy 24/7 for 3 to 12 years, depending on which kind you get. Once your IUD is in place, you can pretty much forget about it until it expires.
How effective are copper IUDs when used as emergency contraception?
The ParaGard (copper) IUD is the most effective method of emergency contraception available. If you get it within 120 hours (5 days) after having unprotected sex, it’s more than 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy. Then, if you want to, you can keep it in to continue preventing pregnancy for up to 12 more years.
Do IUDs protect against STDs?
No, IUDs don't protect against STDs. Luckily, using condoms or female condoms every time you have sex does lower the chance of getting or spreading STDs. So using condoms with your IUD is the way to go.