Learn more about the Benefits and Risks of the IUD so you can make an informed decision about birth control
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists call long-lasting reversible contraceptives (the IUD and implantable rods) “…the most effective form of reversible birth control available.”* Fewer than 1 women in 100 will get pregnant each year when using an IUD. Our Austin ob/gyns want our patients to know more about this form of birth control.
Aside from the fact that it is highly effective, the biggest benefit of an IUD is that it is a “set it and forget it” form of birth control. Once our Austin ob/gyns insert the IUD, you just relax and let it do its job for the next several years. There are other benefits as well.
- It doesn’t interfere with spontaneous sex or daily activities.
- It’s suitable for most women, including those who are breastfeeding.
- It can be inserted right after giving birth, having a miscarriage or abortion.
- You can become pregnant immediately after you have an IUD removed.
- A hormonal IUD can help women who have heavy periods and menstrual pain because they may have lighter periods or even no periods at all after a few months of use.
- A copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception if it’s placed five days or fewer after unprotected sexual activity.
Like any form of birth control, there are some risks associated with the IUD, including:
- Mild to moderate cramping, back pain or irregular bleeding that can last a few days after the IUD is inserted.
- For the first three to six months, you may experience spotting that occurs between your periods; with hormonal IUDs, you may have irregular periods; and with the copper IUD, you may experience a heavier flow or more cramping.
Serious problems after the insertion of an IUD are rare, but may include:
- IUD slippage or coming out of the vagina.
- Rarely, an infection may occur or the uterine wall may be perforated during insertion.
If you are pregnant, have uterine or cervical cancer or unexplained vaginal bleeding, you should not use an IUD.