Signs An Iud Is Right For Youand 5 It Isnt
Maybe a friend recently sang the praises of her IUD, an excited gleam in her eyes as she tried to get you to join the club. Perhaps youve had a few too many broken condoms ruining the moment. Or maybe you want the option of an incredibly effective, reversible, yet hormone-free method of birth control.
There are plenty of reasons why you might consider an IUD, but before you settle on one, there are few things you need to know.
IUDs are split into two categories: hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs use varying levels of progestin, the synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, to prevent pregnancy. Progestin thins your uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus so its harder for sperm to swim through, and partially suppresses ovulation so sometimes theres no egg to be fertilized in the first place, according to the Mayo Clinic. Theres only one non-hormonal IUD, ParaGard, which releases copper that bathes the lining of your uterus, creating an inflammatory reaction thats toxic to sperm, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Do Iuds Have Less Hormones Than The Pill
There are two main types of IUDs: hormonal IUDs and copper IUDs.
Copper IUDs do not contain any hormones, and therefore are a non-hormonal method of birth control. The most common copper IUD is called Paragard. Once inserted by an Ob/GYN, copper IUDs can be effective for up to 1012 years.
Hormonal IUDs are a type of hormonal birth control. They are a long-acting form of birth control that slowly releases low levels of the hormone progestin or levonorgestrel. There are several options for hormonal IUDs, including Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, and Liletta. Once inserted by an Ob/GYN, each IUD option lasts for 37 years, depending on which one you choose.
Combination pills usually contain a combination of low levels of estrogen and progesterone. The minipill only contains progesterone. There are many options for birth control pills. Some pills have higher doses of hormones while others have extremely low levels of hormones. Different levels of hormones will work better for different people and their unique medical situations.
The hormones from IUDs are delivered locally to the uterus and cervix, so there may be fewer side effects. The hormones from oral contraceptives are distributed in the bloodstream throughout the body so there is an increased risk of side effects from the hormones.
How Is The Implant Placed
Your doctor will first use a numbing solution on your arm. Then, using an applicator, your doctor will gently guide the device under your skin. Youll need to wear a special bandage for the first 24 hours, and then a smaller bandage for the next few days.
Removing the implant is also a minor surgical procedure. Its removed by your doctor through a small incision on your arm where the Nexplanon was originally placed.
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Mirena And Your Hormones
Weve talked before about issues with birth control pills, and Ill admit that while they are one of the oldest forms of hormonal birth control, they are probably my LEAST favourite.
In 2020 many more women are aware of the concerns with the pill, and they are unwilling to accept the common side effects the weight gain, breast tenderness, mood changes, zero libido, migraines, and more. So whats a woman to do?
Iud Vs The Pill Final Thoughts: Take It Personally
Again making the decision to use contraceptives is a personal decision! There are so many different forms of birth control options that are offered that we only have been able to scratch the surface on the most commonly chosen options. Talk with your local licensed Naturopathic Doctor, to help stay informed and help support you in a decision that feels comfortable for your body and the goals you wish to achieve.
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Will I Still Get My Period If I Have An Iud
Most women have some cramping and spotting with IUDs, but this goes away within three to six months. Hormonal IUDs can reduce period cramps and make them lighter. Some of my patients periods went away altogether. Copper IUDs can make periods heavier and cramps worse, but this usually goes away over time.
Which Releases Less Hormones: The Pill Or Iud
So how exactly do the hormones in the IUD compare to the those in the pill? IUDs have only progestin and most IUDs release less than 20 micrograms of the hormone each day. In comparison, the birth control pill has 1 milligram of progestin and 0.02 to 0.06 milligrams of estrogen. According to Dr. Howe, most studies have shown that in women with IUDs there are typically none of progestin in their bloodso the majority of the hormones do stay in the uterus and pelvic areahaving only local effects. The copper IUD contains no hormones and the progestin-releasing IUDs have minimal amounts of progestin, when compared to oral contraception, and work primarily within the uterus with minimal absorption in the bloodstream, said Dr. Ross.
Short answer: The IUD emits significantly less hormones than the pill.
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Can You Use Iuds For Emergency Contraception
Yes, both copper-containing IUDs and progestin-containing IUDs can be used as a form of emergency contraception when used within 120 hours of having unprotected sex. This is the most effective form of emergency contraception. The benefit of using IUDs for emergency contraception is that youre seeking a method of birth control and youre preventing future unwanted pregnancies.
Progestin-containing IUDs work by causing your cervical mucus to become thicker so sperm cant reach an egg. The hormone also thins the lining of your uterus, so menstrual bleeding becomes lighter. The copper-containing IUD works by stopping the sperm from reaching the egg.
How is it available?
A healthcare provider prescribes and inserts IUDs.
How effective is it?
IUDs can be close to 100% effective at preventing pregnancy when inserted within five days of having unprotected sex.
Which Is Better Iud Or Birth Control Pills
Both the IUD and birth control pills are highly effective birth control options.
When taken perfectly at the same time every day, birth control pills are about 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, with average or imperfect use, birth control pills are closer to 91% effective. Both hormonal and copper IUDs are close to 100% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.If you are someone who can be responsible to take a pill at the same time every day, birth control pills might work well for you. If you do not want the responsibility or cannot take a pill each day, an IUD might be a better method for you because it can last for years after IUD insertion is performed by a doctor.
Both methods can help regulate your menstrual cycle, lighten period flow, reduce painful cramping, and help manage the symptoms of conditions such as endometriosis.
Negative side effects are rare, but they are possible. Birth control pills can increase your risk of blood clots. This risk is lower with pills with low doses of estrogen. Birth control pills might not be safe for people with high blood pressure.
IUDs do not increase your risk of blood clots or complications from high blood pressure because they do not contain estrogen.Neither of these contraceptive methods protects against sexually transmitted diseases , so a secondary barrier method of contraception, such as condoms, should always be used to prevent the spread of disease.
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How Does The Mirena Work
The Mirena IUD, like all hormonal IUDs, contains a synthetic hormone called Levonorgestrel, a progestin, that it slowly releases in your body over time. While progestin sounds like progesterone, it is not, nor does it behave like progesterone in your body.
Instead, the progestin released thins the lining of your uterus, the endometrium, so a fertilized egg would be unable to implant. This is one way in which women have lighter or absent periods while using a hormonal IUD.
It is also designed to stop ovulation by suppressing the production of two brain hormonesFollicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone . FSH and LH work together to mature an egg and trigger ovulation. They are also responsible for signaling the rise and fall of your hormones. It also thickens cervical secretions, making it difficult for sperm to make it to the egg in the event ovulation does occur.
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In Terms Of The Intensity Of The Pain I Would Have Told You It Was A 10/10 Anna Foley
But one major concern many women have is that having an IUD inserted will be painful. And while this isnt always the case, it certainly can be. Foley doesnt mince words about her own experience. In terms of the intensity of the pain, I would have told you it was a 10/10. It was really, really bad. And whenever I thought about the pain for the rest of the day Id just start crying.
Generally the most intense pain goes away within minutes its like a fleeting spasm and women are left with a dull ache for the rest of the day. And as several women have pointed out, its much less painful than one possible alternative: childbirth.
The copper IUD paralyses and even decapitates sperm, making egg fertilisation highly unlikely
In fact, for years doctors thought that the pain of inserting an IUD would only be bearable for women who had already given birth, because their birth canals would be slightly stretched. This had an unfortunate effect: for years, many women didnt hear about this method from their doctors. We now know that it doesnt make a lot of difference women who have already given birth tend to rate their pain as a level four, as opposed to a level six.
Who knows maybe articles about how they exist will soon be redundant.
This story is part of the Health Gap, a special series about how men and women experience the medical system and their own health in starkly different ways.
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How Do Hormones Affect Mood
Its a challenge to make any general statements about how hormones impact people since everyone is different. Studies about the relationship between female hormones and mood have had mixed results. While some recent research has suggested that hormonal methods may slightly increase the likelihood of depression, the most scientifically soundstudies show that stress and overall health have a largerand steadierimpact on mood than hormones.
But some people have serious depression that comes and goes with their periodsabout 1% have a medically recognized condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder . These mood changes are not caused by higher levels of hormonesstudies of women with PMDD show they have normal levels of estrogen and progesterone. The actual cause isnt well understood, but it may be related to differences in the way our bodies process these hormones. People with a mental health condition like bipolar or anxiety disorder may also process hormones differently, leading to different experiences of hormone changes during menstrual cycles.
Because there are as many ways to react to hormones as there are human beings, each individual will be the best judge of how their mood changes during the menstrual cycle.
How Much Does An Iud Cost
The hormonal IUD prescription is covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia. It costs around $6.50 if you are a Health Care Card holder and around $40.00 if you are not.
The copper IUD is not covered by a Health Care Card The cost in pharmacies can be around $70 to $120. There may also be an insertion cost from the health professional.The overall cost of the procedure will vary depending on whether you attend a private or public provider. If you dont have a Medicare card or private health insurance, it will be more expensive.
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Advantages Of The Iud
The biggest advantage of the IUD is its convenience. Once its fitted, the IUD will last for three to 10 years as a form of birth control. During this time, theres no need for you to worry about daily pills, weekly patches or other forms of contraception.
Because the IUD works continuously after its fitted inside your uterus, theres no risk of missing a dose or other common issues that can make the pill less effective. Its also impossible to use the IUD incorrectly, which is a common problem with barrier methods such as condoms.
Because the IUD is available with either copper or hormones, it offers a few unique advantages over other forms of birth control.
If youre sensitive to estrogen and/or progestin hormones, the copper IUD allows you to protect yourself from pregnancy without any exposure to exogenous hormones. This makes it a possible form of birth control if you experience side effects from the pill, the patch or the ring.
If you experience pain and discomfort before and during your period, the hormonal IUD can help to make your period lighter and easier to tolerate. Many women experience fewer cramps and a lighter, shorter period after they start using the hormonal IUD.
Like the pill, the IUD doesnt stop you from becoming pregnant in the future. If you decide that youd like to become pregnant, you can contact your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment for your IUD to be removed.
I Havent Had Much Success With Hormonal Contraceptive Optionsnow What
When youre considering an IUD vs. the pill, a personal favorite of mine for those who have the goal of preventing pregnancy in mind, but maybe havent had success with hormonal birth control options or want the opportunity to help balance hormones naturally is the ParaGuard . The copper IUD provides the ease and convenience of skipping the pharmacy or remembering to take a pill daily, has a 99% success rate of preventing pregnancy, contains no hormones, and allows for ladies to start addressing hormone imbalances naturally.
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They Are Highly Effective
The IUD is one of the most effective types of birth control currently on the market. The pregnancy rate for IUD users is less than one percent. In fact, its as effective as tubal ligationgetting your tubes tied. For this reason, its often recommended as an alternative to tubal ligation since it has the benefit of being easily reversible.
What Are The Most Effective Forms Of Birth Control
The most effective form of birth control is to not have sexual intercourse . Even for the most motivated couples, this can be difficult to maintain. So, its important to have a backup form of birth control in mind.
Birth control only works when you use it correctly and consistently. Forms of birth control that are more convenient and dont require much maintenance are usually most effective. These forms include the birth control implant, intrauterine devices and sterilization.
Methods of birth control like fertility awareness or pulling out are least effective at preventing pregnancy.
Doubling-up on birth control is typically best like using a condom and a birth control pill. Thats because youre protecting against STIs, using a barrier method, and taking hormonal medication all at the same time.
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How Long Do Mirena Side Effects Last
In many cases, unwanted effects of the Mirena IUD are not long-term. According to Planned Parenthood, common side effects such as spotting between periods and cramping typically get better in 36 months.
Meanwhile, a person might want to have some side effects of Mirena, such as lighter periods or none at all. Research suggests that these are usually long-term changes for people who experience them while using the IUD.
Serious complications, such as PID, typically develop shortly after the person starts using the IUD often within the first month. These issues are uncommon.
Speak with a doctor about any severe or persistent symptoms that occur during Mirena IUD use.
The Mirena IUD releases the hormone levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of progesterone. Levonorgestrel works by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus, which prevents pregnancy from taking place. This synthetic hormone can also prevent ovulation, though it does not always have this effect.
The Mirena IUD has several key advantages. It:
However, there are some disadvantages, such as the:
- insertion procedure, which can be painful
- possibility of unwanted effects
- small risk of infection and other complications
- symptoms that may occur after the IUD is removed
It can take some time after a doctor removes the Mirena IUD for periods to return to normal. Also, some people experience a Mirena crash, which involves changes to their mood, sleep, weight, and skin health.
Even With All Their Benefits Iuds Arent For Everyone Here Are A Few Reasons Why A Different Birth Control May Be Better For You
Maybe you like the sense of control that comes with taking a pill every day or youd prefer a method that you can start or stop at any time . IUDs have been established as safe and effective for most birth control users, but you also need to feel completely comfortable with your birth control method.
Its true that IUDs come with a small risk of expulsion, which is basically when your body starts to push out your IUD. According to the limited research on IUD expulsion, the average incidence rate is between 3 and 5 percent of all IUD users and 5 to 22 percent of adolescent IUD users, says the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. But its important to note that this research was done in 2009 and 2010 and only looked at Mirena and ParaGard, not any of the newer options that have been developed over the last several years.
IUDs also come with the risk of perforation, which happens when an IUD pushes through your uterus, although this is even less likely than the chance of expulsion. One study published in the journal Conception in 2015 found that out of 61,448 women who had an IUD, only 81 reported having a perforation.
Technically, you could use an IUD until youre ready to start trying and be just fine, but thats not exactly cost-effective, Dr. Streicher says. IUDs can be expensive if your insurance doesnt cover them.
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