Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have had a bad rep thanks to a poorly designed IUD called the Dalkon Shield in the 1970s that caused injury to many women. The Dalkon Shield was quickly pulled from the market, but many women are still skeptical of IUDs decades later.
Rest assured, the IUDs available today are nothing like those of the past. Modern devices are a safe and effective form of modern birth control.
Types of IUDs
Two main types of IUDs are available today:
- Hormonal IUD (Mirena and Skyla): Hormonal IUDs work by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus, making it hard for sperm to reach the egg. Mirena lasts up to 5 years and Skyla lasts up to 3 years. An added benefit to hormonal IUDs is that many women have light periods or no periods at all.
- Copper IUD (Paragard): Copper IUDs trigger the immune system to create fluid that is toxic to sperm, therefore preventing pregnancy. Copper IUDs can last up to 10 years once in place.
IUDs are a great birth control option for many women, but especially for women who find it difficult to keep up with daily birth control pills.
Read this article on IUDs: Learn More about Advanced, Reversible Birth Control for more great information on IUDs.