IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control. An IUD is a tiny device that’s inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is long-lasting and reversible!
IUD stands for Intrauterine Device. It’s a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T.
There are 5 different kinds of IUDs in use in the United States: ParaGard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla. These IUDs are divided into two types: copper (ParaGard) and hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla). The ParaGard doesn’t use hormones. It is wrapped in copper and it protects from pregnancy for up to 12 years!
Hormonal IUDs use progestin to prevent a pregnancy. Progestin is similar to the hormone progesterone that our bodies make naturally. Mirena works up to 6 years. Kyleena works for up to 5 years. Liletta works for up to 4 years and Skyla works for up to 3 years.
IUDs prevent pregnancy by altering the way sperm cells move so they can’t get to an egg. If sperm can’t make it to an egg, pregnancy cannot occur.
Sperm doesn’t like copper, so copper IUDs like ParaGard make it almost impossible for sperm to get to the egg, preventing a pregnancy. Hormonal IUDs work to prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1. They thicken the mucus on the cervix, which traps the sperm, and 2. Hormones can also prevent eggs from leaving the ovaries (a process called ovulation), which means there is no egg for a sperm cell to fertilize.
If you are hoping to avoid a pregnancy for the long-term, and IUD might be the right birth control choice for you. One of the best things about an IUD is that they’re not permanent. If you decide to get pregnant or don’t want your IUD anymore, they can be removed quickly and easily by the staff at a PPGP health center and you’ll be able to get pregnant right away.
Schedule an appointment at a Planned Parenthood Great Plains health center today to learn more about the IUD and other birth control options. If you’re in the Kansas City metro area, we have a free IUD and implant placement program, while supplies last. Click here to learn more about this free program.