Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An Intrauterine Device (an IUD) is a form of birth control that is inserted into the uterus and left inside to prevent pregnancy. There are two IUDs available in the U.S.: the hormonal IUD and the copper IUD.

Effectiveness

Very effective- almost as effective as sterilization

Advantages

The IUD is easy to use. Once the IUD is in place, there is not much to do. A woman should check to make sure that the string is in place once a month but it is otherwise without maintenance.
The hormonal (progestin) IUD is effective for 5 years.
The copper IUD is effective for 10 years.

Disadvantages

A trained health care provider must insert and remove the IUD.
The IUD seems relatively expensive as it needs to be paid for up front. Over time, however, it is very cost-effective.
A woman may not be able to use an IUD if her uterus has a shape that is not compatible.
The copper IUD may cause increased menstrual cramping and bleeding.
IUDs do NOT protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

The Health Service is not able to insert IUDs but if you think you might be interested is getting one, the Health Service staff can discuss this with you and answer your questions.

For more information about the IUD: Intrauterine Device