If you’ve had a pregnancy scare after forgetting to take the pill one day, you may be ready to look at other forms of birth control that are lower maintenance. Javier E. Fajardo MD, FACOG with For Women, Ltd. in Chicago can help you decide if an IUD, or intrauterine device, is right for you.
An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a birth control method that’s a small piece of flexible plastic, or a combination of plastic and copper, shaped like a T that fits in your uterus.
IUDs are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. And as the ad goes, "fix it and forget it:" You don’t have to remember to take a daily pill to avoid pregnancy.
Dr. Fajardo can insert the IUD into your uterus during a regular office visit.
There are two types of IUDs:
If the idea of taking hormones doesn’t appeal to you, Paragard® might be a good birth control choice. It’s the only IUD without hormones.
Paragard is made of plastic and copper wire, in which the copper acts as a spermicide. If you’ve decided that your family is complete, Paragard may be a good option for you; it prevents pregnancy for over 10 years.
Have you ever experienced the embarrassment of soaking through your clothes during a period? If you find yourself requiring both a tampon and a pad at the same time, there is help for this condition known as heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB). The FDA has approved the Mirena IUD to treat HMB.
Mirena works by releasing a small amount of the hormone progestin into your uterus, preventing pregnancy for up to five years. Dr. Fajardo can remove it whenever you decide you're ready for a family.
Instead of having to remember a pill every day, you do a monthly thread check to make sure the IUD is in its proper place. Dr. Fajardo shows you how to do this during your initial appointment.
The Skyla IUD is similar to Mirena; both are made of flexible plastic. Skyla contains a female hormone called levonorgestrel which makes it difficult for sperm to get to the uterus. At 1.18 inches long, it’s the smallest of the IUDs containing hormones. As with Mirena, you do a monthly thread check to make sure the IUD is in place.
Skyla prevents pregnancy for up to three years. It’s a great option if you’re in a relationship and want worry-free birth control, but you think that children could be a possibility in the next few years.
Kyleena releases the same hormone present in Skyla. The major difference is that Kyleena protects for up to five years.
Call or book an appointment online with Dr. Fajardo to discuss whether an IUD is the right birth control method for you.