Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the top choices for preventing unwanted pregnancy. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10.4 percent of American women use long-acting reversible forms of contraception such as IUDs and contraceptive implants, making them only slightly less popular than birth control pills at 14 percent.
The popularity of these T-shaped plastic devices can be attributed to several factors. They are considered more than 99 percent effective once they have been inserted properly, and this is largely due to the fact that women do not need to do anything; with the pill, women have to remember to take it at roughly the same time each day for maximum efficacy.
Many women also choose IUDs because it gives them a lot of flexibility in family planning. It is possible to get pregnant right away after having it removed. In addition, some types of IUDs offer immediate protection against unwanted pregnancy, although not all of them do.
When Is An IUD Effective?
The first question many women have when using a new form of birth control is when will it become effective. The answer to this varies depending on the type of IUD that you have chosen.
Hormonal IUDs work by slowly releasing hormones that thicken the mucus in your cervix. This means that instead of helping pass the sperm along, the mucus essentially blocks and traps it. The hormones can also stop ovulation, and some also have the effect of thinning the uterine lining so that if any sperm does manage to fertilize an egg, it will be unable to implant in the uterus.
Some of the popular brand names for hormonal IUDs in the U.S. are Mirena, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena, and most of them last several years.
The time it takes for an IUD to become effective depends on the point during your cycle in which you had it inserted. If it is inserted during the first seven days of the start of your period, you can expect immediate efficacy.
If it is inserted at other points during your cycle, however, it will take a week to become effective, so you will need to abstain from sex or rely on another form of birth control, such as a condom during that time.
A copper IUD is a plastic T-shaped device that has been wrapped in copper wire. The copper causes an inflammatory response within the uterus that is toxic to both sperm and eggs.
These IUDs do not contain any hormones and can be effective for up to ten years. Paragard is the most popular copper IUD brand in the U.S.
With a copper IUD, you can expect immediate protection from an unwanted pregnancy. In addition, it may provide contraception for unprotected sex you might have had up to five days prior to IUD insertion. Therefore, some women first have their copper IUD inserted as an emergency contraception and keep it for long-term protection.
Abstain From Sex During The First 24 Hours Post IUD Insertion
No matter how soon your particular IUD offers protection from unwanted pregnancy, it is important to note that you should refrain from sexual intercourse in the first week after your IUD insertion, in addition to avoiding placing other objects in your vagina, like tampons, during that time. This is because there is a small risk of infection after the doctor has disturbed the protective mucus lining of your vagina, cervix, and uterus with the IUD insertion tools.
However, you can have sex after the initial one week period has passed. Again, the efficacy of the device depends on which one you have chosen; your doctor will advise you on when you can safely give up other birth control methods.
Protect Yourself Against STDs
Although IUDs offer a remarkable 99 percent efficacy rate against unwanted pregnancy, it is important to keep in mind that they do not actually stop semen from passing into the vagina and uterus during ejaculation. Therefore, it is possible for you to become infected with a sexually transmitted disease if you have sex with someone who is infected. If you have any doubt about your risk or your partner’s status, be sure to use a condom in addition to your IUD.
Check Your Placement After IUD Insertion
IUDs can sometimes get displaced, making their way further into the uterus or slipping down into the vagina. This is very rare, but you can check your IUD’s placement regularly by feeling around for the short strings hanging from the device at the top of your vagina. If you have concerns that they have moved, start using a backup birth control method and make an appointment with your doctor.
Reach Out To Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness For IUD Insertion
Consult with the experienced professionals at Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness to determine the best type of IUD for you and get all your questions answered about IUDs and other types of contraception.