What Every Woman Should Know About IUDs
Prevention & Treatment With a lot of growing uncertainty about health care, especially around birth control, many women are turning to the long-term assurance of intrauterine devices.
Since November, Planned Parenthood health centers have seen an abundance of patients making appointments for birth control. In the first week after the election, online appointments for intrauterine devices (IUDs) at Planned Parenthood health centers increased nearly ten-fold.
An IUD is a small, “t”-shaped device that's inserted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are a great birth control option for a number of reasons: They’re one of the most effective methods available, with failure rates of less than one percent; they’re reversible, so your ability to get pregnant returns quickly once the IUD is removed; they’re long-lasting, preventing pregnancy for up to 12 years; IUDS are safe for women of all ages, so even if you haven’t given birth, the IUD can still be right for you; once an IUD is inserted, you can pretty much just forget about it. A lot of women like not having to remember to take a pill every day or switch out a ring every month.
"While IUDs are a great option for many women, birth control methods are not one-size-fits-all."
There are both hormonal and nonhormonal IUDs available. Since they can last for years, require very little effort and are extremely effective, they’re recommended for almost anyone. IUDs are the most cost-effective method of reversible birth control since they can provide pregnancy protection for so long.
Find the perfect fit
While IUDs are a great option for many women, birth control methods are not one-size-fits-all. A method that’s perfect for one woman may not be right for another, so talk to your provider about the benefits and risks of each method to find out what’s best for your life and body. Remember that with all birth control methods it’s important to use condoms to protect against STIs, including HIV.
The best birth control method is one that fits your needs, and those needs can change throughout your life. In fact, women should expect to try different methods at different times. Picking a birth control method that fits your life now is the key. Only you can decide what’s best for your life.