Getting pregnant can be scary, especially when you don’t plan for it. I’m sure many women are trying to find the right protective measure. One measure to take to avoid an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy is the use of an IUD.
IUD is one contraceptive that can be used to prevent pregnancy, and there are essential factors to note before getting one.
IUDs or intrauterine devices are one of the most popular methods of contraceptives among women, many women like that it offers many benefits that other types of contraceptives cannot. If you are considering getting an IUD, you should know a few things before having it inserted.
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device implanted in the uterus and left there for about three to twelve years, depending on the type. I.U.D. insertion is a quick procedure done in your doctor’s office or clinic. Knowing what to expect can help you get ready and ease any worries you might have.
IUDs are of two types, namely;
- Copper I.U.D.s- Copper I.U.D.s have little copper wrapped around them, are nonhormonal, and work as spermicides, reducing sperm mobility and viability.
- Hormonal I.U.D.s- Hormonal I.U.D.s thicken cervical mucus, preventing sperm from using the hormone progestin.
The major difference between these two types of I.U.D.s is that one can be kept for an extended period without being replaced, while the other can’t. Women respond differently to I.U.D.s because no two people have the same body type.
Asides from it being able to protect you from getting pregnant, it also protects you from;
- Cancer of the uterus
- Fewer menstrual cramps
- Lighter periods
- Less anaemia
Another benefit of IUDs is that you don’t have to take pills every day; once inserted, it stays in for as long as it is meant to.
Just as there are benefits, there are also risks associated with using IUDs. One major disadvantage of using I.U.D.s is the discomfort that comes with it, while other risk factors are;
- Injury to the uterus – The IUD or the devices used to insert the IUD may puncture the uterine wall causing an injury.
- Expulsion – The IUD can sometimes fall out of the uterus. If this happens, you may become pregnant. The IUD must be removed if it comes out part-way.
- Infection of the uterus – IUDs can cause infection of the uterus, although this infection can be treated with medicines.
Certain side effects are associated with IUDs, and these side effects vary with the types of IUDs you get. Here are a few side effects that may occur;
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Spotting or irregular bleeding
- Breast tenderness
After successfully inserting your IUD, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before having sex. It is not advisable to insert anything, including a tampon, into your vagina during that time. After a full day has passed, then you can go about whatever you want to do.
Some doctors might recommend differently, so seek your doctor’s advice.