An intrauterine device or IUD is a birth control method. IUD pros and cons include pregnancy-proof sex after IUD insertion due to IUD effectiveness, but there’s also the risk of IUD bleeding or IUD weight gain. When comparing IUD vs. the pill, consider that there are non-hormonal IUDs and minimal IUD side effects. Your Forest Hills, New York gynecologist can perform an IUD insertion or IUD removal right in his office.
IUD Insertion & Removal
A flexible, plastic device that’s inserted into your uterus, an intrauterine device or IUD prevents pregnancy. IUDs offer many benefits, such as:
- It is a long-term solution to pregnancy prevention.
- It’s safe to use; IUD side effects are minimal.
- Your IUD insertion is done in your gynecologist’s office.
- The device easily can be removed.
- It does not impact your long-term fertility.
- You may have one inserted at any time during your menstrual cycle.
- IUDs are considered one of the most effective modes of birth control.
There are two basic types of IUDs to choose from:
- A copper or non-hormonal IUD physically prevents sperm from reaching an egg. The copper in these devices is a natural preventative that deters sperm. ParaGard makes these IUDs.
- A hormonal IUD releases a hormone that makes pregnancy impossible. The FDA has approved four brands: Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta and Skyla.
Comparing Your Options
A top gynecologist in Queens, NYC can help you decide between ParaGard vs. Mirena or any other hormonal IUD. ParaGard was designed to be used for 10 years, while Mirena, the most established hormonal IUD, has been approved for up to five years. Mirena releases the hormone levonorgestrel on a daily basis. The biggest decision between a copper IUD vs. Mirena is whether you want to maintain your menstrual cycle or whether you feel comfortable with a reduced or nonexistent period.
The difference between the hormonal IUDs include:
- Mirena releases the highest levels of hormones. When using this IUD, you may find that your periods stop altogether.
- Kyleena uses slightly less hormones than Mirena, but you can leave it in just as long. Because of the lower hormone levels, you tend to maintain your menstrual cycle.
- Liletta delivers nearly the same amount of hormones as Mirena, but with a cheaper price tag. The reason is that it’s intended to be used for only three years.
- Skyla releases the least amount of daily hormones and is slightly smaller in size. Your menstrual cycle is more likely to be maintained. Like Liletta, Skyla IUDs need to be replaced in three years.
If you’ve been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal IUD may ease your symptoms. If, however, you have a sexually transmitted disease, may be pregnant already or have an infection or cancer in any of your reproductive organs, you can’t get an IUD.
Why You May Choose to Get an IUD
When you’re considering an IUD vs. the pill, there are IUD pros and cons, such as:
- The effectiveness of the pill is often hampered by human error. If you forget to take it or don’t take it at the same time every day, you can still get pregnant. IUD failure rates are minimal.
- The pill has a 99 percent effective rate only when used correctly. Otherwise, you have a two-to-eight percent chance of getting pregnant. IUD effectiveness is 99% at all times.
- You can use an IUD longer than the pill with fewer side effects.
- Besides preventing pregnancy, the pill can diminish severe periods, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding and strong cramps.
- You can choose an IUD that is hormone-free.
The IUD vs. hysterectomy debate allows for easier decisions. In a hysterectomy, your gynecologist in Queens, NYC removes your uterus. You may need this procedure for a variety of reasons, but it’s extreme if all you want is not to get pregnant — a hysterectomy is permanent. A hysterectomy changes your hormone levels, which may cause your body to react as if you are menopausal, no matter your age.
The IUD Insertion Procedure
An IUD insertion should be performed by your Forest Hills, New York gynecologist. Since some women feel slight cramping after the procedure, your doctor may recommend that you take a pain reliever before you arrive. If you’ve never had children, you may be given a numbing agent so you’re more comfortable.
Once you’re settled on the exam table, your OB/GYN uses a speculum to open your vagina, providing a clear line of sight to your cervix. A special device places the IUD into your uterus. The procedure typically takes less than five minutes. A small string hangs from the IUD into the top of your vagina, but you and your sexual partners won’t feel.
Recovering from an IUD Insertion
You may experience a little pain or discomfort during the procedure, but it doesn’t last. Every woman describes the process differently. Fainting and dizziness aren’t uncommon. Bring someone with you, as you may need to rest afterward.
You may see some light IUD bleeding or feel some cramping for several days. You have no restrictions on sex after IUD insertion, although depending on what type of IUD you have, your doctor may recommend using a birth control back-up method for a few days. Whenever you want an IUD removal, call your doctor’s office. Never attempt to remove it yourself.
Risks from the IUD Insertion
The biggest potential risk occurs when the IUD is put in place. It could cause a perforation of your vagina or uterus wall. Infection is another risk during the insertion procedure. An untreated IUD infection can impact your fertility, so get any infections treated immediately. To minimize risks, visit a top gynecologist in Queens for expert care.
Since IUD effectiveness is nearly 100 percent, getting pregnant while using one is rare. If it happens, it’s likely to be an ectopic pregnancy, which is a fertilized egg outside your uterus. If you think you may be pregnant, feel heavier cramping, see heavier bleeding or notice changes in your vaginal discharge, contact your doctor for a checkup.
IUD Side Effects
IUD side effects vary. A copper, non-hormonal IUD may cause heavier bleeding and worse cramps for the first three to six months. A hormonal IUD may cause slight cramping and spotting for the first few months. With hormonal devices, there is also a risk of IUD weight gain.
There is a danger of your IUD shifting or falling out, which is highest the first three months after your IUD insertion. During your first few menstrual cycles, always check to see if the device has come out. It most likely would happen during your period.
As a best in class gynecologist in Queens, Dr. James Gohar provides highly personalized and comprehensive care. His philosophy regarding the doctor/patient relationship is based on trust and has earned him one of the most respected reputations in Queens NY.
For more information about the IUD insertion & removal procedure, treatment options or to schedule a consultation with the (gynecologist) OBGYN doctor, the best rated IUD specialist, Dr. James Gohar, please contact our Queens office.
Gynecologist Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor)
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331