How Is Your Health?

The Benefits Of Choosing An IUD For Birth Control

by Camila Davidson

These days, you have more birth control options than ever before. Some women prefer to take a pill every day because it helps them feel in control of their own fertility. Others prefer using the birth control patch or getting a periodic shot. However, one birth control option that does not always get the attention it deserves is the IUD or intrauterine device. This is a device inserted into your uterus, which works to prevent pregnancy for several years. Here's a look at the benefits of choosing an IUD.

1. You don't have to remember to do anything.

Once the IUD is inserted, it remains active for several years. (The exact timeline depends on which type of IUD you choose.) There's nothing to remember to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis as there is with other forms of birth control, like the ring or the pill. For most women, this means the IUD is more effective, simply because there's no user error involved. You don't have to worry about forgetting to pack something when you go on vacation, or about forgetting to take a pill because your alarm doesn't ring.

2. There are hormone-based and non-hormone-based options.

Some women do really well on hormonal birth control. It helps regulate their periods and other hormone-related problems, such as migraines. Other women don't tolerate hormonal birth control well and get a lot of side effects from it. With the IUD, you can choose either option. Copper IUDs are completely hormone-free. There are also hormonal IUDs that work well for women with cramps and heavy periods; they secrete a combination of estrogen and progesterone.

3. You can have the IUD removed at any time.

If you decide you want to become pregnant, all you need to do is visit your doctor and have the IUD removed. It's a simple process and will take only a few minutes. Then, you will be able to immediately start trying to conceive. This is simpler than the shot, which you have to let wear off before you're able to conceive (and that can take a few months.) It's also less permanent than having your tubes tied. 

The IUD has changed the birth control world for the better. If you think this might be a good birth control option for you, talk to your doctor. They can help you decide whether a hormone-based or copper IUD would be the better choice. Contact Western Branch Center for Women to learn more.