Myths of IUD’s – Debunked or Confirmed
Myths of IUD’s – Debunked or Confirmed
Intra-Uterine devices are one of most effective methods of birth control on the market, especially when accounting for human error, such as condoms breaking or occasionally forgetting to take a birth control pill.
Based on typical use, IUDs are 45 times more effective than the pill and 90 times more effective than male condoms, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
The small, T-shaped devices (and most recently, spherical Intra-Uterine Balls re also long-lasting and easily reversible. After a doctor inserts the IUD or IUB into a woman's uterus, the device can prevent pregnancy for between three and 10 years, depending the model she chooses. The CopperPearls IUB device is effective for up to 5 years. Some models on the market release low levels of hormones over time. The hormone-free version either has copper coiled around its frame, or is fitted the copper spheres, and works by creating a reaction in the body that makes the uterus toxic to sperm, thereby preventing fertilization.
Using the IUD can mean a faster return to fertility after it's removed, which is helpful for women who foresee wanting to get pregnant in the near future. "The pill suppresses ovulation more than the IUD," said Amy Bryant, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of North Carolina. "Some women will return immediately to fertility, but others won’t. And with the IUD, it seems that it’s just a little bit quicker."
Intra-uterine devices got a bad reputation mostly due to health problems women experienced using the creepy-looking Dalkon Shield, a poorly designed model of the IUD that’s been off the market for decades. Fortunately, medical providers and researchers, with the help of the media, are making major progress in spreading the word that new models of the IUD are safe, low-maintenance, super-effective, and can be used by most people with a uterus.
Let’s put five of the most common IUD-related myths to bed, shall we?
IUD Myth 1: It's risky to get an IUD before you've had kids.
In fact, it's just opposite. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists both recommend IUDs as the first line of defence for adolescents who are sexually active, primarily because they are safe and incredibly effective.
IUD Myth 2: Having an IUD put in will be the most painful experience of your life.
While getting an IUD put in is certainly unpleasant, for most women the paint is short-lived. "It feels like a couple of really big menstrual cramps," Bryant said. "For some women, they experience those really, really severely, and for other women it’s really pretty mild."
IUD Myth 3: Your IUD could fall out.
Your body could expel the IUD from your uterus, but it's fairly unlikely. (It happens about 3 to 5 percent of the time, according to Bryant, and is most likely to occur within three months of having the device inserted.) If the device is expelled, you're at risk for unintended pregnancy, which is why doctors recommend that women use a backup contraception method for the first few weeks after getting the device.
IUD Myth 4: IUDs cause infection and infertility.
This rumor has some history behind it. "Back in the '70s and the '60s, there was a really bad IUD on the market," Bryant explained. "It caused infertility. It caused women to lose their uteruses and some women lost their lives."
The Dalkon Shield was taken off the market, but its nightmarish legacy continues to haunt modern-day IUDs.
IUD Myth 5: Doctors have to induce a contraction to put the IUD in your uterus.
Although the term "contraction" is associated with labour, a contraction and a cramp are essentially the same thing - a squeezing movement of the uterus and likely a sensation that you've felt before.
When putting in an IUD, a doctor will open up your cervix slightly, first to measure your uterus, and then to insert the device. Both of those motions stretch the cervix. "It can cause a pretty big cramp," Bryant said. "It’s not like giving a medicine or anything to cause a contraction."
h/t to huffingtonpost.co.za for the great article!