The contraceptive IUD is a relatively no fuss, insert and forget form of birth control. It can provide an extremely high level of protection and when it works well with your body can be left for years at a time with minimal check ups.
Available in a hormonal and a copper IUD, both are small devices that are fitted inside a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. They work by changing the lining of the uterus making it inhospitable for pregnancy and preventing sperm from being able to travel through the uterus and fertilize eggs. The hormonal IUD also thickens mucus and stops sperm from entering the cervix.
The contraceptive IUD is perfect for busy women who don't want the concern of taking a daily pill or the fuss of other more cumbersome female contraceptives. Best suited to women in stable relationships who are at minimal risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, when the IUD works, it really is a peace of mind contraception.
The main advantages of the contraceptive IUD are that firstly it is very long lasting, the with hormonal IUD lasting up to five years and the copper IUD a staggering 10 years. Both IUD's are also relatively inexpensive.
The disadvantages vary depending on the type of IUD. For example the copper IUD can result in heavier more painful periods, where the hormonal IUD usually results in lighter periods or no bleeding at all. Both can cause abdominal pain and cramping and have a risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease.
Although the contraceptive IUD does have some disadvantages and like all other forms of female contraception, possible side effects, one of the biggest adjustments when using the IUD is not necessarily physical but rather mental.
It can take quite a bit of getting used to not having to worry about falling pregnant or fretting about whether or not it's really working. Once of the contraceptive IUD's main advantages is that it cannot be felt by either the woman or her partner during intercourse, which at first can cause a little uncertainty when it is first being used. It can also take a while for some women to come to terms with having a permanent plastic or copper device sitting inside their uterus.
To offer piece of mind, most coils have a piece of string or fine nylon threads attached to the lower end that curtail through the cervix and into the upper vagina. Their purpose is to make for easy insertion and removal of the IUD (both of which can only by performed by a doctor) but they are also there so the woman can reach inside and ensure that the contraceptive IUD is still in place, sitting where it is supposed to be.
Doing this can also take a bit of getting used to and it can be rather unnerving if you can't locate the threads. In some instances, the threads can be pushed partially or completely out of the uterus. Or in rare cases, the device can slip through the wall of uterus and in to the pelvic area. This is called uterine perforation and in this event the IUD can only be removed during surgery.
However, for the majority of women who choose to use the IUD contraceptive, once their body has adjusted to the device enjoy the benefits that it provides. The main benefit being that once inside it is left to do the job it is meant to do.
All in all the side effects of intrauterine contraception are no more than other forms of contraception. If it works well with your lifestyle and you are in a monogamous relationship, the IUD can be very advantageous. Another huge benefit is that once removed, there is generally a very quick turnaround back to fertility.