When considering what method of birth control is best for you, many factors come into play. Some women are very sensitive to hormones, particularly estrogen. This rules out the birth control pill, a common method. The pill also isn't recommended for women who smoke and are over the age of 35. The IUD (intrauterine device) had all but disappeared in the eighties, with studies showing less than 1 percent of women in the mid-nineties using it as their method of protection from unplanned pregnancy. IUD use has increased 83 percent in recent years. Here is a look at the benefits of choosing this device for your contraceptive needs.
IUDs Are Extremely Effective
An IUD has an effective rate that parallels a tubal ligation, over 99 percent. There is no remembering to take your birth control pill, no worrying if you are pregnant because you forgot a day, no skipping a condom in the heat of the moment. For women who are in a monogamous relationship and don't need to worry about STDs, an IUD, along with the birth control implant, is the best protection you can get.
IUDs Don't Require Anything From You
Once you have your IUD placed in the uterus through the cervix, you don't have to do anything more until it is time to take it out. It's a convenient "get it and forget it" birth control method. The average IUD lasts 3-6 years depending on brand, but one IUD, the Paraguard, can last up to 12 years. That's twelve years you don't have to worry about contraception.
IUDs Don't Affect Your Future Fertility
An IUD doesn't affect your fertility or ability to conceive once it is removed. There is no required waiting period to get pregnant. You can get pregnant as soon as the next month after removal.
Hormonal IUDs Can Make Your Periods More Tolerable
One of the best things about the newer hormonal IUDs like Mirena, Sklya, Liletta, and Kyleena, is they can tame horrific periods. They don't use estrogen, which can make things worse; they use levonorgestrel instead. If you suffer from horrible cramps, excessive bleeding, and other pre-menstrual symptoms, a hormonal IUD will dramatically reduce these symptoms. Some women quit getting periods at all. For women who suffer every month, an IUD can feel like they have gotten their life back. Hormonal IUDs are also recommended for perimenopausal women who have out-of-control menstrual cycles.
Traditional IUDs Don't Contain Any Hormones
Some women prefer to not have any hormonal interference. The traditional copper IUD doesn't use any, and the newer Paraguard copper IUD lasts for 12 years. Contact a reproductive health service for more information on IUDs.