June 8, 2017


An IUD is a little T-shaped piece of plastic inserted into the uterus to prevent fertilization. They can be either hormonal or non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs release a small amount of the hormone progestin to thicken cervical mucus, keeping sperm from reaching the egg, and can last 3-6 years. Non-hormonal IUDs contain a small amount of natural, safe copper that messes with the way sperm moves and can work up to 12 years. There are five types of IUDs: Mirena, Skyla, Liletta, Kyleena, and Paragard (the only non-hormonal IUD)


  • 99% effective!
  • Get it & Forget it. Once the implant is inserted, you don’t have to worry about remembering to take your birth control. There are no packages or prescriptions that can be lost or forgotten.
  • Offers total privacy. Most people can’t see the implant once it’s inserted, which means it can be your little secret.
  • Doesn’t affect your ability to get pregnant after removal. So, if it’s removed, but you’re still not ready for a baby, you might want to consider an alternative method of birth control.

How to Use It

An IUD is super easy to use– all it requires you to do is make an appointment with a health care provider. After giving you a health exam and taking your medical info, your provider will insert a speculum in your vagina (just like when getting a pap smear) and use a special inserter to place the IUD through your cervix opening into your uterus. It typically takes less than 5 minutes. IUDs can be inserted at any time of the month, but some providers prefer to insert it during your period– which is also when it is most comfortable for you since your cervix is open the most. After insertion, there’ll be a little string hanging down into your vagina (not outside your vagina like with a tampon) so that the IUD can be removed later. These strings help to check your IUD’s placement from time to time.

Side Effects

Pros Cons
  • Doesn’t interrupt the heat of the moment
  • Super long-lasting protection without much effort
  • Safe for smokers and those with hypertension and diabetes
  • The ParaGard brand of IUD doesn’t change your hormone levels
  • The progestin IUDs may reduce cramps and make your period lighter (Some women’s periods stop completely)
  • You can use it while you’re breastfeeding


Most Common:

  • Spotting between periods (especially during the first few months after you get an IUD)
  • Increased period flow (for users of the ParaGard brand)
  • Cramps and backaches

Less Common:

  • IUD slipping out
  • Infection
  • IUD pushing through the wall of the uterus