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What is an IUD?

An intrauterine device, more commonly known as an IUD, is a small apparatus placed inside your uterus to prevent pregnancy. Currently, there are five brands of IUDs available to women in the United States:

  • Mirena.
  • Kyleena.
  • Skyla.
  • Liletta.
  • Paragard.

Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, and Liletta work through the use of hormones. They gradually secrete progestin to thicken the mucus in your cervix and stop your body from releasing an egg. The thick mucus prevents sperm from making it into the uterus. If they do somehow make it through, the lack of an egg means there is nothing for them to fertilize.

Paragard uses copper instead of hormones to keep you from getting pregnant. Copper triggers an immune response in your body, which thickens the cervical mucus so sperm can’t make it into the uterus. This is an excellent option for women who are sensitive to hormonal birth control variants.

Long-Term Protection

IUDs are great choices for many women because of their long-term pregnancy protection. After a medical professional inserts the IUD into your uterus, you’ll be safe from getting pregnant for up to 12 years, depending on the brand of IUD you choose. If you happen to change your mind during that time about getting pregnant, you can easily have your IUD removed and be fertile right away.

Insertion and Removal

Having an IUD inserted and removed is easy and relatively painless. You’ll just schedule a quick appointment with your OB-GYN to have the IUD placed inside you. Once the IUD is in place, you won’t know it’s there. You and your partner shouldn’t feel anything during sex. When it’s time for the IUD to come out, your OB-GYN will pull the IUD string to carefully remove it.

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