Intrauterine Devices are T-shaped plastic or copper devices that are placed inside a female’s womb as a form of contraceptive. This type of birth control method does not regulate hormones like the oral contraceptive pills to prevent the occurrence of pregnancy. It is the second commonly used family planning method. Its effectiveness may last for several years but the condition is totally reversible. There are two kinds of IUDs: the one that is made up of plastic or copper and the other that gradually secretes a synthetic hormone into the uterus.
• Copper and plastic IUDs
Copper IUDs have been approved to be utilized for a decade inside the body. Its efficiency will last for up to 12 years. As long as pregnancy has been ruled out, the intrauterine device can be inserted anytime during the woman’s menstrual cycle. Those mothers who had given birth in the past 48 hours may also be implanted with IUDs. This type has its advantage especially for those women who have hormonal disturbances.
• Hormone releasing IUDs
These are the more contemporary versions of IUDs commonly found among western and European countries. The main structure of this is still plastic; the only difference is that it can actually secrete a hormone. Other than its birth control function, there are several medical conditions that can be relieved through this device. It can be made use of as an alternative for the removal of the uterus when there are bleeding problems experienced. On the contrary, this type of intrauterine device is not suitable to be used in emergency contraception cases.
Both types of IUDs work to prevent fertilization of egg to happen thus avoiding pregnancy. They are highly effective – with at least 99% rate of success. It is important to ask the opinion of your physician prior to using this type of contraceptive method to know which is more suitable to your needs. There are several contraindications when using this family planning method:
• Females who are at risk for developing sexually transmitted diseases;
• Those who have histories of heavy menstrual bleeding and dysmenorrhea;
• Women who have an allergy to copper – they are not allowed to use copper IUDs
• With an existing vaginal bleeding problem with an unidentified cause
• Females who have cancers of the reproductive system
It is also not recommended for those who have not had any children yet, women with multiple sexual partners, those who are suffering from heavy and painful periods, anemia and many other conditions.
The use of IUDs as a method of family planning has its own pros and cons. It is therefore important that the couple will seek medical advice from their physician. The IUDs can provide long lasting effect that can easily reversible after its removal. It is also convenient to use since it has already been implanted inside the womb. No interference is caused during sexual intercourse. Drug interactions are also unlikely to occur. On the contrary, there are still a number of side effects to be aware of in using this kind of contraceptive. First, it may cause menstrual cycle changes such as irregular bleeding, pain and even cramps. Another would be an increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. Perforation of the uterus may also happen especially if it was not properly implanted. Possible serious complications during pregnancy may occur if the contraceptive fails. Essentially, the user of the intrauterine device must bear in mind that only a physician will facilitate the implantation and removal the device. Failing to do so may result in serious complications such as bleeding and perforation of the uterus. Furthermore, consistent health evaluation may be incorporated in the family planning scheme to ensure safety.