Getting An Intrauterine Device: 7 Things To Consider

Birth control pills can disrupt your hormonal cycle and you might not always have a condom on you. A much more convenient form of birth control is getting an intrauterine device or a T-coil. T-coils require a one-time procedure, after which you can forget about it for up to 12 years. IUDs come in two forms, both with their own drawbacks and benefits. A hormonal IUD prevents conception by releasing a stream of progestin. A copper-T on the other hand kills sperm before it can fertilize an egg, since copper is toxic to sperm. But like other forms of birth control there are a few things you need to remember before getting a coil inserted. If you’re on the fence about getting an IUD, these seven points could help you decide.

1. IUDs Last Anywhere Between 3-12 Years


An IUD is a great option if you’re looking for long term birth control. Depending on whether it is a hormonal or a non-hormonal IUD,

you’re looking at being protected for 3-12 years. It can be removed at any time though if you decide you don’t require it anymore. If you need birth control for a shorter period of time, your doctor might suggest alternative methods like a hormonal patch or a ring.

2. They Will Affect Your Period


Hormonal IUDs can inhibit the growth of your uterine wall, which will make your periods shorter and not as heavy. If you’re prone to heavy, painful periods, then you could consider getting a hormonal IUD inserted. A copper-T on the other hand can make your periods heavier, longer and more painful for the first three months. After the initial phase, things should settle down and your periods will go back to normal.

3. They Aren’t Recommended If You’ve Had Breast Cancer


For women who have had breast cancer in the

past, doctors usually suggest staying away from hormone-altering methods of birth control. A hormonal IUD can trigger the growth of cancer since it leads to a change in your hormonal cycle. If you’ve had breast cancer, you can still get a non-hormonal IUD which is a physical form of birth control and won’t change your hormonal cycle.

4. Your Bleeding Patterns Will Be Unpredictable


Hormonal UTIs can have different effects on different women and there’s no way to predict how your period cycle will be affected by them. The first six months are usually the most volatile since your body is getting used to the sudden flood of progesterone. After six months though, the level of progesterone being released drops down to much lower levels and any side-effects usually wear off by now. However, some women continue to experience light spotting for months, while some never get their period at all and others don’t see any difference in their period. If after

the first six months you still find that your period isn’t coming back to normal, you can get the device removed if it bothers you.

5. Hormonal Side-Effects Are Quite Rare


An IUD does release progesterone, but after the first six months, the levels are so low, your body probably won’t even notice it. Some women might experience side-effects like tender breasts initially, but wait for six months before you decide if the side-effects are too much for you to handle. The hormones released by the IUD circulate mostly in your uterus, so they usually don’t travel through your bloodstream and give you more serious side-effects.

6. You Will Experience Minimal Pain


The procedure for getting an IUD might scare some, but in reality it doesn’t hurt all that much. You will experience some cramping and a little bleeding after it’s inserted, but nothing

more. If you’ve given birth vaginally in the past, you probably won’t feel a thing. If you are nervous however, your doctor can give you some numbing medicine to ease the process. Popping an ibuprofen before your appointment can also help you feel less pain.

7. It Won’t Clear Up Your Acne


If you’ve been taking birth control pills to clear up your acne, an IUD won’t help you with this at all. Pills are able to clear acne because they have a combination of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. IUDs on the other hand only contain estrogen, so they won’t have any effect on your acne. Strangely, a few women have even reported experiencing more acne breakouts after getting an IUD. This doesn’t happen to everyone though, so you might not be affected by it.