IUD vs IUS – Which Is Better For You?

IUD vs IUS – Which Is Better For You?

IUD vs IUS – Which Is Better For You?

The similarities with both these forms of contraception is the size and shape; the IUD and the IUS are T-shaped devices that are measured and inserted into the vagina by a medical professional to stop unwanted pregnancy. The key difference is HOW they prevent pregnancy:

·         IUS releases the hormone progestogen to prevent pregnancy.

 

·         IUD is made of copper, which is released to prevent pregnancy.

 

What is an intrauterine device (IUD)?

The IUD may also be referred to as 'the coil' and tends to be the more popular out of the two devices. It is classed as a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) that is inserted into your vagina where it stays until it needs to be replaced, you wish to fall pregnant or you would like to change contraceptive method.

 

·         Some IUDs contain copper whilst others are made from plastic.

·         It is a T-shaped device that fits into the palm of your hand.

·         It lasts for 5-10 years, but can be taken out sooner if you wish.

·         It works immediately and can be inserted at any point in the month.

·         It doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

 

What is an intrauterine system (IUS)?

The IUS is occasionally referred to as 'the coil' but this is generally reserved for the IUD. It is classed as a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) that is inserted into your vagina where it stays until it needs to be replaced, you wish to fall pregnant or you would like to change contraceptive method.

 

·         IUS is a T-shaped device that fits into the palm of your hand.

·         It is made from plastic and releases progestogen.

·         It lasts for 3-5 years, but can be taken out sooner if you wish.

·         It works immediately and can be inserted at any point in the month.

·         There are 2 brands in the UK; Mirena and Jaydess.

·         It doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

·         How the IUD/IUS prevents pregnancy

·         The IUD and IUS are similar devices but they do work in slightly different ways.

The IUD is made of copper that works as a spermicide. This metal is released and prevents sperm from surviving in the womb. It often stops fertilised eggs from implanting in the womb as well.

The IUS releases the hormone progestogen, which thickens the cervix mucus and womb fluid, similar to the mini pill.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of the IUD/IUS

The main advantages of the IUD and IUS are the effectiveness rate for preventing pregnancy. However, like other forms of contraception, there are additional benefits as well.

 

Advantages

·         The longevity of the devices makes this contraception very low maintenance. Instead of remembering to take a pill every day, the IUD can last up to 10 years and the IUS up to 5 years.

·         They can be used when breastfeeding without influencing the mother's milk.

·         They can be removed any time you wish and your fertility returns back to normal.

·         If you fall ill and have diarrhoea or vomit, the effectiveness of the IUD/IUS is not compromised. This is the same for taking medications.

·         They are good options if you're sensitive to oestrogen.

·         They can reduce pain and discomfort associated with your period. This includes cramps, length of your period and heavy flow. For some women, the IUS stops periods entirely.

 

Disadvantages

·         Both devices do not offer protection for sexually transmitted infections. The only contraceptive that significantly reduces your chances are barrier methods such as condoms.

·         Some women experience spotting and bleeding. This often stops after a few months but if it doesn't, you can get the device removed.

·         The devices can make periods heavier, painful and longer. Again, this may improve after a few months and may not be the case for every woman.

·         Some women don't want to stop their periods as it's a good indication the contraceptive has worked, and maybe they aren't so troublesome in the first place.

·         Side effects can include headaches, acne and breast tenderness. Again, this should reduce over time.

·         Whilst uncommon, one disadvantage of the IUS is cysts on the ovaries. These are usually small and can disappear without treatment.

 

Need some advice on the innovative IUD system - the IUB? Click here to get in touch today!

 

 

h/t to healthexpress.co.uk for this article!

Cover Image Credit: Practo