IUD As A Birth Control Method – How Effective Is It?
Intra uterine devices (IUDs) are one of the most effective and efficient methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies. It is noteworthy that at one time, IUDs were the most popular birth control method; however, according to the latest data, the use of IUD is decreasing over time.
Why Is IUD Use Becoming Less Popular In Reproductive Aged Women?
Based on the latest survey, the decreasing IUD use is primarily attributed to the misconceptions associated with the complications of intrauterine devices. For example, in the past few decades, certain investigators proposed that IUD use is associated with an increased risk of developing “pelvic inflammatory disease”. It is no secret that for most women the main reason for keeping IUDs off as a birth control option as their first choice is high risk of PID. But is it really true?
A lot of research has been conducted since the first few reports were released and after calculating the risk-benefit ratios; experts now believe that the potential benefits of IUDs are much greater than the suggested risks. In fact, many health agencies are now supporting and recommending the use of IUDs in both adult and young women.
Historic Journey Of IUDs
In the very beginning, IUDs were recommended only for mothers who have already completed their family, are no longer interested in getting pregnant and those who are at lower risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases. It was believed that only women who don’t wish to have children in future should use it. But, after thorough research studies, many reproductive healthcare experts have concluded that these T shaped devices are the most beneficial contraceptives which are not only safe to use but economical as well.
What Should You Know About IUDs?
Intra uterine devices are available in two primary forms. One contains hormone while other type is smaller, threaded with a wire made up of copper. IUDs are long term methods, and can be effective for a period of up to 10 years to prevent an unwanted pregnancy! The long term efficacy makes it more reliable and efficient method as compared to the other short term methods such as birth control pills. Like other methods, these devices also have some side effects but in most cases, these adverse effects are temporary and less severe in nature. However, following side effects are fairly frequently reported in women with IUDs:
- Mood swings
- Unexplained weight gain without any changes in the appetite or workout regimen
- Heavy bleeding
- Painful intercourse
- Cyst in the ovaries
Irregular bleeding is more common with hormonal type of IUD while use of copper IUDs is more frequently associated with vaginal rash and inflammation.
What Other Reliable Contraceptive Options Are Available?
Hormonal implants are another form of reversible birth control method which are not linked with pelvic inflammatory disease. They are as small as matchsticks and are placed beneath the skin surface. It contains progestin hormone which is released in consistent doses, and is effective for a period of 3 years.
Both intra uterine devices and hormonal implants cost around $400 to $750, without doctor’s fee. These two methods are the most trustworthy contraceptive methods.
In comparison to IUDs, hormonal implants are more common, being used for years. Though, intra uterine devices are now capturing lot of people’s attention and slowly regaining their lost status of being the most popular and efficient method of birth control.
- Russo, J. A., Miller, E., & Gold, M. A. (2013). Myths and misconceptions about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(4), S14-S21.
- Jatlaoui, T. C., Simmons, K. B., & Curtis, K. M. (2016). The Safety of Intrauterine Contraception Initiation among Women with Current Asymptomatic Cervical Infections or at Increased Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections. Contraception.