Other Types Of Contraception
There are many contraceptive methods available in Australia. When choosing the method of contraception that best suits your needs, it can help to talk to a doctor or nurse about your options. Different methods may suit you at different times in your life. A doctor or nurse can give you information about:
- the benefits and risks of using various methods of contraception
- how well each method works
- the possible risks and side effects
- how easy it is to use
- how much it costs
- how each method meets your current and future needs.
It Requires Consistent Use
Unlike hormonal birth control methods such as implants and injections, nonhormonal options require some planning since they must be used each time you have sex.
Whenever you skip your chosen method, theres a chance you might get pregnant.
No question is too small to ask your doctor, whos a valuable resource in your decision-making process. Possible queries include:
- Is hormonal birth control safe with my medical history?
- How often will I need to refill my prescription?
- Is there any type of medication that can make birth control less effective?
- How can I manage side effects?
- Can I change from one hormonal option to another?
If you write down your questions as you think of them, its easier to remember them during your appointment.
What Are The Cons Of The Copper Iud Compared To Non
Now that weve talked through the benefits of using a copper IUD compared to the hormonal variety, lets go through the potential cons. There really is just one big one, and it has to do with your monthly visitor.
According to Dr. Culwell, IUD insertion, in particular, can be painful and can cause periods to be heavier or very uncomfortable, particularly for the first few months. Because of this, she says a copper IUD isnt a great method for people with heavy and or painful periods to start with. However, if you decide to try the Paragard copper IUD, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says this issue typically goes away, or at least decreases after having the IUD for a year.
Hormonal IUD side effects are the opposite and often lead to less bleeding or potentially no period at all in some cases, but you may experience things like cramping and pelvic pain, breast tenderness, and/or headache. Why the difference in bleeding? Hormonal IUDs have a low dose of progestin, which Dr. Culwell says can make periods lighter, irregular, or totally absent. The copper IUD generally doesn’t change the frequency of your period, so you have your period on your natural schedule, however, the periods can be heavier and more painful with the copper IUD in place, she says.
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How Does An Iud Work
The first step in preventing pregnancy with an IUD is to consult your healthcare provider about how these devices work. The copper or hormonal type of IUD works by preventing sperm from reaching the egg. It works by thinning the cervical mucus and thickening it, preventing the sperm from attaching to the egg. Once in the uterus, the device will remain in place for several years.
IUDs are placed in the uterus by inserting a thin plastic device. They prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg. A few low-probability events may disrupt the fertilization of the egg, but these are extremely unlikely. Most women can use either type of IUD safely. The treatment usually lasts for five to seven years, and there is no risk of reversal.
What Are The Kinds Of Non
Theres only one brand of copper IUD in the U.S. Its called the Paragard IUD. It lasts for up to 12 years.
You dont have to keep your IUD for 12 years though you can get your IUD taken out whenever you want. If your IUD is going to expire but you want to keep using an IUD, your nurse or doctor can replace it.
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Can It Cause Heavier Periods
Copper IUDs are associated with heavy bleeding, particularly in the first 3 to 6 months after insertion. After 6 months, many people find that their periods return to their pre-IUD state.
If your bleeding is heavy or happening at other times in your cycle, talk to your healthcare professional. Your doctor may need to evaluate if theres another underlying cause that needs to be addressed.
IUD removal is quick and easy. Your doctor will grasp the IUDs string with a medical instrument to pull it down. As they pull, the arms of the device will be drawn upward, making exertion smooth.
It literally takes just a few seconds, says Gersh.
Occasionally, the string will be too short to grab, or it will be up in the uterus. In that case, your doctor will use a smaller medical tool to reach it.
If the patient cant tolerate the discomfort of getting the string with a hook, then you would have to do a hysteroscopy, which is an invasive procedure that involves anesthetics but this is very, very rare, says Gersh.
What Are The Different Types Of Iuds
- Hormonal IUDs release a daily amount of progestin into your uterus. The probability of getting pregnant using this method ranges between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.
- A non-hormonal/copper IUD prevents pregnancy by creating an inflammatory response in the uterus making it impossible for sperm or ova to survive. The probability of pregnancy using this method ranges between 0.5 and 0.8 percent.
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The Pros Of Getting An Iud
They last a long time
Theyre long-acting. Depending on the type, IUDs are U.S. Food and Drug Administration -approved to last anywhere from three to 10 years.
Proven to be effective
Theyre more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, a figure similar to permanent sterilization.
Just based on effectiveness alone, IUDs are one of the most effective and most recommended of the long-acting reversible methods of birth control, says Dr. Brant.
Change your mind? No problem
You can have an IUD taken out any time and your fertility returns immediately.
There are options if you have heavy periods
Hormonal IUD use often leads to lighter, shorter, less painful periods, which is why theyre prescribed for people who have heavy, painful periods.
Up to half even stop having their periods altogether after three years on Mirena, though this percentage is lower with other hormonal IUDs, notes Dr. Brant.
After its inserted, its good to go
Theres minimal effort required, an added bonus if youre forgetful about birth control. You just have to make that initial appointment to get it inserted.
Generally, people just make a regular office appointment for an IUD insertion, says Dr. Brant. It usually involves a speculum exam and then inserting the IUD through the cervix.
An IUD can even be inserted right after you give birth, though this does increase the risk of expulsion.
Available for multiple age groups
May help prevent certain cancers
Can be used as emergency contraception
If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will not tell your parents or carer as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given and the decisions you’re making.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse.
In these circumstances, the risk would need to be serious, and they’d usually discuss it with you first.
Page last reviewed: 30 March 2021 Next review due: 30 March 2024
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How Long Can I Leave My Iud In
An IUD can stay in place for three, five or 10 years, depending on the type of IUD. When you have it put in, the nurse or doctor will tell you when it will need to be replaced.
You may be able to keep the IUD longer if you’re in your 40s. If you get a copper IUD put in after you turn 40 or a hormonal IUD put in after you turn 45, your IUD may be able to stay in place until menopause. Ask the nurse or doctor if this is an option for you.
If you want your IUD removed, read our ‘Getting your IUD removed’ page.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using An Iud
Some women report that their periods become more frequent or heavier, longer, or more painful due to the IUD. However, after a few months, this may change. It does not protect you against STIs thus, you’ll need to use condoms as well. If an infection develops while your IUD is in place, it might spread to your pelvic region and cause Pelvic Inflammation if left unchecked.
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How Long Does It Take Your Body To Adjust
Many people experience cramping for a few hours to a few days after insertion. Inserting an IUD requires opening the cervix and some cramping is a common reaction to that, says Gersh.
This cramping is more common in folks who experience cramping leading up to or during their menstrual cycle.
The most common side effect of the copper IUD is heavier and longer periods especially the first 3 to 6 months after insertion, says Dr. Gaither.
Other side effects include:
- irregular bleeding
- increased or worsened cramping
Because copper causes an inflammatory response in the body, and period cramps are a symptom of inflammation, the copper IUD can also worsen cramps, says Gersh.
Using An Iud After Giving Birth
An IUD can usually be fitted 4 weeks after giving birth . You’ll need to use alternative contraception from 3 weeks after the birth until the IUD is put in.
In some cases, an IUD can be fitted within 48 hours of giving birth. It’s safe to use an IUD when you’re breastfeeding, and it will not affect your milk supply.
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Mirena Iud Pros And Cons
The Mirena IUD is a device which releases hormones during its placement that makes it 99% effective at preventing a pregnancy. Once it is correctly placed by your doctor, it can continue to work for up to five years. It is an option for women who may want to have children in the future or for those who have already had kids. It is also an option for treating heavy periods when choosing intrauterine contraception as an option.
Mirena is a small, T-shaped device that gets placed into the uterus by a trained healthcare provider. Most women can have it placed with a regular office visit. It is a non-surgical option that is removable at any time so that you can decide to become pregnant right away if that is your wish. Most placement procedures only take a few minutes to complete, and then all you need to do is perform a monthly thread check to ensure it is in the correct position.
If you are interested in a long-term birth control option for yourself or your family, these are the Mirena IUD pros and cons you will want to review.
How Do I Use The Iud
The IUD is inserted inside the uterus by a trained doctor or nurse. You can choose to have a local anaesthetic or sedation while it is inserted. The IUD insertion takes around 15 minutes but you will be in the clinic for an hour or more. See below for a video about IUDs and how to help prepare for and manage pain from an IUD insertion.
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Common Side Effects With Non
The non-hormonal birth control methods also come with some side effects that you need to be aware of:
- Commonly reported side effects include irritation, allergies, or rashes. These are more common in the barrier method because of the material these barriers are made out of.
- Copper IUDs can have serious side effects, including uterine perforation, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and the expulsion of the IUD.
How To Tell If It’s Still In Place
The GP or nurse that fits your IUD will teach you how to feel for these threads and check that it’s still in place.
Check your IUD is in place a few times in the first month and then after each period, or at regular intervals.
It’s very unlikely that your IUD will come out, but if you cannot feel the threads or think it’s moved, you may not be protected against pregnancy.
See a GP or nurse straight away and use additional contraception, such as condoms, until your IUD has been checked.
If you have had sex recently, you may need to use emergency contraception.
Your partner should not be able to feel your IUD during sex. If they can, see a GP or nurse for a check-up.
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Key Pros And Cons Of Iud
IUDs have many pros and cons, and its essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks before you get one. While it is an effective method of birth control, there are also several disadvantages to it. For example, women may experience more heavy periods or painful insertions. Fortunately, an IUD is easy to remove and is not associated with any side effects.
A few of the cons are:
First, its not permanent. Although its a personal decision, avoiding pregnancy is rarely a choice. Most women need an effective, non-permanent method of birth control. An IUD may be the right solution for you.
Second, consider its cost. The Health Care Card does not cover the copper IUD. It can cost between sixty and one hundred euros. On the other hand, the hormonal device requires a medical prescription the copper device costs around sixty to one hundred and fifty euros. Regardless of type, the cost will depend on whether you have your IUD implanted at home or have it installed by a health care professional.
Third, an IUD should exclusively be used by women who can use contraception pills. It is not recommended for women who have multiple sexual partners or certain medical conditions. For example, a woman with pelvic inflammatory disease, a recurrent pregnancy, or a chromosomal disorder should not undergo IUD surgery. In addition, a woman with a history of breast cancer or infection should avoid getting an IUD.
Cons Of A Copper Iud Include:
- No protection against STDs. You still need to use a condom and practice safe sex in order to prevent contracting a venereal disease while using an IUD.
- Women who use copper IUDs are at higher risk for experiencing heavier periods, stronger cramps and/or more spotting in between periods than women with a hormonal-based IUD.
- While the risk of getting pregnant with an IUD is less than 1%, women who do get pregnant while using an IUD are at higher risk for experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.
- You are dependent on a healthcare provider to insert or remove the IUD. When youre ready to get pregnant, youll have to schedule an appointment. Similarly, when it needs to be replaced, its your ultimate responsibility to schedule the appointment, especially if youve moved or changed healthcare providers and/or your former provider cant reach you to remind you.
- In rare cases, it might slip out of place and need to be removed.
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What To Expect When Getting An Iud
An IUD, also known as an intrauterine device, is a small generally T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus.
Skyla IUD is flexible and made of plastic. It contains levonorgestrel, a female hormone that can cause changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
IUD placement and timing of insertion is important. The device is usually inserted within a week of the start of a menstrual period.
In many cases, women feel pain or dizziness during IUD placement and experience minor bleeding after insertion.
If bleeding lasts longer than about 30 minutes after the insertion of a Skyla IUD, its best to see a doctor, as this is not normal.
Some women experience irregular periods in the first three to six months after insertion.
Hormonal Birth Control Options
The first st of birth control options work by releasing small amounts of estrogen and progesterone into your bloodstream. This mimics the hormones that tell your body youre already pregnant and stops the release of an egg. With no egg to fertilize, you cannot become pregnant. Hormonal birth control options, when used correctly, have a very high rate of success. However, they cannot protect you from sexually transmitted infections . These are usually the best options for women who are in long-term committed relationships or women who are treating hormonal symptoms like acne and irregular periods. If you are concerned about STIs, you can use non-hormonal methods of birth control in conjunction with hormonal methods.
The pill is perhaps the most well-known form of hormonal birth control. When used correctly, it has a 99% effectiveness rate of preventing pregnancy. However, studies on typical usage find it to be 91% effective.
Pros of the pill:
- Doesnt have to be inserted or implanted
- You can stop taking it anytime you like
- Reduces the severity of PMS symptoms
- Can help treat hormonal acne
- Can regulate your irregular periods
- You can choose whether or not to skip your period each month
Cons of the pill:
- For full effectiveness, you must take it at the same time every day
- It may increase your risk of blood clots or stroke depending on your health and age
- May cause mood swings or increase symptoms of depression
Pros of the shot:
Cons of the shot:
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