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 with the pill, please keep in mind that there are non-hormonal IUDs that cause 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 is inserted into your uterus, an intrauterine device or IUD prevents pregnancy. IUDs offer many benefits, such as:
- IUDs are considered one of the most effective modes of birth control
- IUDs are safe to use; IUD side effects are minimal
- IUD insertion is done in your gynecologist’s office
- The device can be removed easily
- It does not impact your long-term fertility
- You may have an IUD inserted at any time during your menstrual cycle.
There are two basic types of IUDs to choose from:
- A copper or non-hormonal IUD that 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
Top gynecologists in Queens, NYC that are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team 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. When you decide between a copper IUD vs. Mirena, the important thing to consider 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 lower price tag. It is 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 have 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, an IUD is not recommended.
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 do not take it at the same time every day, you can still get pregnant. IUD failure rates are minimal
- The pill has a 99 percent effectiveness 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 is definitely an extreme measure 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 over-the-counter pain reliever before you arrive. If you have never had children, you may be given a numbing agent so you are more comfortable.
Once you are 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 will not feel it.
Recovering from an IUD Insertion
You may experience a little pain or discomfort during the procedure, but it goes away quickly. Every woman describes the process differently. Fainting and dizziness are not 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 need 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. The risks are of course minimal when the IUD insertion is done by expert gynecologists who work for Forest Hills Medical Services.
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, when a fertilized egg gets embedded 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.
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. In our office we believe that how you are treated is just as important as the medical care we provide. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in IUD insertion and removal and they will recommend the right IUD that will work best for you and your unique circumstances
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and have every concern you have addressed and every question answered.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Gynecologist Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor)
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331