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My older sister says shes getting an iud. Can I get one to?

The IUD is one of many safe and effective forms of birth control. There are two different brands — ParaGard and Mirena. Used correctly, the IUD is more than 99 percent effective against pregnancy, but it offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

Advantages

  • no pill to take daily
  • nothing to put into place before intercourse
  • long-lasting — ParaGard may be left in place for up to 12 years and Mirena for up to five years
  • Mirena may reduce menstrual cramps

Possible Disadvantages

  • increased chance of pelvic infection and infertility if inserted when a woman has a sexually transmitted infection
  • increases spotting between periods
  • rarely, wall of uterus is punctured during insertion
  • pregnancies, which rarely occur, are more likely to be tubal
  • increase in cramps and heavier and longer periods

For teens, the IUD can be a good choice because it’s one of the most private methods of birth control. No one can tell you’re using it. There’s no packaging or other evidence that might embarrass you if found.

But some teens may not be able to use an IUD. A teen might not be able to use an IUD if her uterus is too small — a health care provider can tell you if an IUD might be right for you. Some health care providers, however, may not understand that the IUD is safe and effective for young women and may be unwilling to provide it.

Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center to schedule an appointment.

Tags: IUD, birth control