An intrauterine device is a method of contraception in which a T-shaped device is inserted inside the uterus. Two types of intrauterine devices are the hormonal IUDs and copper IUDs. These intrauterine devices use different mechanisms to stop pregnancy. Hormonal intrauterine devices work by inhibiting ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus to block the sperm penetration, and thinning the endometrial layer of the uterus so that it is unable to support implantation.
The copper IUDs work by causing inflammation of the uterus, a reaction that is toxic to the sperms. Consulting a San Antonio women’s health nurse practitioner will help you to know whether you qualify to get an intrauterine device. The healthcare provider will also explain the advantages and disadvantages of intrauterine devices so that you make an informed decision when selecting a contraception method.
Who Qualifies to Get an IUD?
The hormonal IUDs can have many adverse effects in the body than the copper IUDs, and therefore a careful selection of the candidates is essential to avoid these side effects. The first mandatory qualification for any IUD is that you should not be pregnant at the time of insertion. This is because an IUD can cause a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy if inserted in women who are currently pregnant.
IUDs are also suitable for healthy women without underlying chronic diseases. This means that you should not have abnormal vaginal bleeding at the time of insertion or even cancers of the cervix or endometrium. When getting a copper IUD, you should not be allergic to copper or have Wilson’s disease, a condition characterized by abnormal accumulation of copper in vital organs like the liver.
Hormonal IUDs are not suitable for women with heart disease, breast cancer, clotting abnormalities, uncontrolled hypertension, stroke, or a history of migraines. An intrauterine device is unsuitable for women who have uterine abnormalities or infections because these can make them provide insufficient contraception, increasing your risk of becoming pregnant.
What Circumstances Should an IUD Be Removed?
IUDs should be removed once they have reached the expiry dates. The hormonal IUDs can be used for five years while the copper IUDs expire after ten years. There are circumstances where the IUDs can be removed before reaching their expiry dates, like in a situation where the woman becomes pregnant when having an IUD.
An intrauterine device can also be removed before term if you get a pelvic infection like a pelvic inflammatory disease. An intrauterine device can be removed before expiry if you get cancer in the pelvis like endometrial or cervical cancer, if you develop severe migraines or hypertension or if you get unbearable side effects like excessive vaginal bleeding.
What Are the Advantages of IUDs?
Apart from providing contraception, hormonal contraception has other uses like treatment of endometriosis, shrinking of uterine fibroids before their removal, and treatment of endometrial hyperplasia adenomyosis.
Another advantage of intrauterine devices is that they provide long-lasting contraception. IUDs also avoid interruption during sex, and they do not require partner involvement. Intrauterine devices are, therefore, a convenient method of contraception.
Intrauterine devices are inserted inside the uterus to provide contraception, but they can have other benefits like treating endometrial hyperplasia and endometriosis. There are two types of IUDs, hormonal and copper IUDs, and a healthcare provider can determine which type is best for you.