The US currently has five different types of intrauterine devices, four hormonal and one non-hormonal. All five are small, T-shaped devices about the size of a quarter that your doctor inserts into the uterus. You'll want to avoid hormonal IUDs if you have or are at risk for breast cancer or liver disease, and you won’t be able to use the non-hormonal IUD if you are allergic to copper.
The hormonal IUDs release small amounts of progestin into your body over time that affects ovulation and prevents pregnancies. They also thicken your cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to pass through your cervix and into your uterus. A non-hormonal IUD is made of copper and triggers your body’s immune response. This causes inflammation in your uterus, resulting in a toxic environment for sperm and preventing any sperm from fertilizing your eggs.
Inserting an IUD is a short procedure that can be uncomfortable for some patients, and can cause immediate bleeding and cramping that may even last for a few days. IUDs usually cause changes in your monthly periods, so you should discuss your monthly flow with Dr. Betre to see how each type of IUD may affect your flow and which would be the most appealing option for you. You don’t want to use an IUD if you have an STD, cervical or uterine cancer, unexplained vaginal bleeding or if you’re pregnant.
IUDs are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancies and last anywhere from three to ten years, depending on which kind you get. They normally don’t require any maintenance after you have the initial procedure, and you and your partner generally won’t even notice that it’s there. IUDs shouldn’t affect whether or not you’ll be able to get pregnant in the future, and they are also safe to use for women who are breastfeeding. Dr. Betre can answer any questions you may have regarding the benefits of an IUD and whether it's right for you.
Dr. Betre accepts most major insurances. This is a list of some of the major insurances we offer. If you do not see your insurance listed here, please feel free to call our office to confirm.