Hormonal vs Non-Hormonal IUD’s
Hormonal vs Non-Hormonal IUD’s
Choosing a method of contraception is a very individualized and personal decision for women—the best pill, best patch, or best IUD for you might not be the right choice for your best friend, and vice versa.
When it comes to the most effective methods, experts strongly urge the use of LARCs, or long-acting reversible contraceptives. These set-it-and-forget-it methods include the implant and a handful of different IUDs, which collectively boast the lowest failure rates of all forms of contraception.
But, should you choose a hormone-releasing IUD or a non-hormonal option such as the CopperPearls IUB?
Hormonal IUD – Pros and Cons
Unlike all other types of hormonal birth control, hormonal IUD’s do not completely shut down ovulation and hormone production. Remember that ovulation is beneficial because it’s the only way to make estradiol and progesterone.
Compared to Pills and implants, it delivers a lower dose of progestin. The blood level of levonorgestrel in Mirena users is about one-tenth that of Pill-users. But even that low dose can cause side effects.
It’s more effective than almost any other method, with a failure rate of just 0.7 percent.
After insertion, you don’t need to do anything or take anything, and it lasts up to five years.
Officially, fertility returns to normal almost as soon as you remove it.
It reduces menstrual flow which is a huge Pro for very heavy menstrual bleeding. There are also natural treatments for heavy periods, which work well in younger women, but not so well for the flooding periods of perimenopause.
It releases the synthetic steroid levonorgestrel, which is the same progestin used in many Pills and can cause acne, hair loss, hirsutism, depression, anxiety, headaches, breast pain, yeast infections, and weight gain. Obviously, this Con is a pretty big deal, and possibly a deal-breaker. But it’s still better than the full dose progestins found in all Pills, implants, injection, and Nuvaring.
It causes ovarian cysts in 5 percent of users.
It suppresses ovulation some of the time.
It can cause irregular bleeding and spotting during first three to six months of use. After that, you may get no bleed (although you still cycle), or you may get a light period. (And in case you’re wondering—yes, that light period is a real period because it follows ovulation and the making of progesterone.
Your doctor has to insert it, and that will probably be somewhat painful. But just to clarify: It’s an in-office procedure that takes a few minutes—it’s not surgery. You’ll probably be instructed to take a painkiller like ibuprofen to ease the cramping, or your doctor may decide to use a local anaesthetic (or more rarely, a general anaesthetic). One woman described IUD-insertion this way:
h/t to larabriden for the great info!
Non-Hormonal IUD – Pros and Cons
It permits normal, healthy ovulation, and that is its biggest advantage over hormonal methods. The pseudo-hormone steroids of hormonal birth control are not real hormones.
It’s more effective than almost any other method, with a failure rate of just 0.6 percent.
After insertion, you don’t need to do anything or take anything, and it lasts up to 5 years.
Fertility returns to normal as soon as you remove it.
It’s the most popular method of birth control in the world.
It has the highest rate of user satisfaction of any method.
It is now officially deemed suitable for women of any age, including women who have not yet had children, and teenagers.
It’s effective as emergency contraception.
Your doctor has to insert it, and that will probably be somewhat painful. But just to clarify: It’s an in-office procedure that takes a few minutes—it’s not surgery. You’ll probably be instructed to take a painkiller like ibuprofen to ease the cramping, or your doctor may decide to use a local anaesthetic (or more rarely, a general anaesthetic).
The cramping may continue for a couple of weeks after insertion, and then you may experience more pain with your periods. One study found that 38 percent of IUD-users reported more period pain at first, but then it reduced over 12 months.
Your periods may be heavier, and you might experience spotting between periods. Periods then return to normal in some women, but not all. Heavier blood loss can be managed with ibuprofen or herbal medicine.
It might come out. Risk of expulsion is highest in the first month after insertion (5.7 percent), and then decreases to 2 percent per year. If it comes out, and you don’t realize, then you could become pregnant. Signs of expulsion include pain, spotting, and the absence or lengthening of the string.
There’s a risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) during the first three weeks after insertion, but only if you have a pre-existing infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia. That’s why your doctor should screen for those common conditions before inserting an IUD.
h/t to larabriden for the info!
While there’s no definite winner – because all of us have different bodies, the right contraceptive for you IS out there!