What is an IUD?
An IUD (intrauterine device) is a tiny t-shaped device that’s inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It’s long-term, completely reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there (over 99% effective).
What are the different brands of IUDs?
There are 5 different brands of IUDs: ParaGard, Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta. Skyla and Kyleena are a little bit smaller then Mirena and ParaGard. ParaGard is made out of copper and the Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta IUDs are hormonal. Specifically, the hormonal IUDs use the hormone progestin. Progestin is the synthetic form of progesterone, the hormone that our body makes naturally.
How long do the IUDs last?
The ParaGard IUD protects you from pregnancy for up to 12 years, Mirena works for up to 6 years. Kyleena works for up to 5 years. Skyla and Liletta work for up to 3 years. Nonetheless, if you wish to become pregnant or if you want to stop using it, you can simply have the IUD removed.
How do IUDs work?
The ParaGard IUD uses copper to prevent pregnancy. Sperm doesn’t like copper, so the ParaGard IUD makes it almost impossible for sperm to fertilize the egg. ParaGard can also be used as an emergency contraception for up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The hormones in the Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1) they thicken the cervical mucus, which blocks and traps the sperm, and 2) they prevent ovulation.
Will IUDs lighten my period?
IUDs can make your periods better. Hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta) can cut down on cramps and make your period way lighter. Some people stop getting periods at all. Hormonal IUDs can also help treat people who suffer from severe cramps, heavy periods, and anemia.
Speak with your healthcare provider if an IUD seems right for you.