Should I Have an IUD?

There are a number of birth control options available to women who want to prevent a pregnancy. The best birth control option for you will depend on your personal preference, family planning goals, and lifestyle. For some women, the birth control pill suits their needs and they have no issue with the daily responsibility. For other women, they may be looking for an option that provides protection against conception for the next three or more years and that simply requires one doctor’s appointment. In such cases, you may consider using an IUD as your chosen form of birth control.

Please note: Outside of condoms, most birth control methods do not protect against the spread of STDs. You will need to use birth control in combination with condoms in order to prevent pregnancy and protect yourself from STDs. If you have questions about this, please contact your PWOG provider today.

So, what is an IUD?

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a very small, t-shaped device that is placed inside your uterus by a trained medical professional. There may be some cramping/discomfort for about 48 hours after the procedure, but most women find that taking over-the-counter pain relief medication (ibuprofen) and using a heating pad provide relief. Taking a pain relief medication about half an hour prior to the procedure appointment is also advised.

An IUD can prevent pregnancy in a few different ways. This is because there are different kinds of IUDs available, such as hormonal or chopper. Talk to your provider about which form of IUD is offered at their facility.

How long does an IUD last?

IUDs are not a permanent form of birth control, but they can last for three to five years, depending on the type of IUD that was implanted. Your doctor will be able to provide information as to the duration of your IUD as well as when an appointment will need to be scheduled in the future for removal/replacement, pending your family planning goals.

What are the pros/cons of using an IUD?


  • Safe, effective pregnancy prevention
  • You do not need to take a daily pill
  • IUDs can alleviate painful period symptoms
  • IUDs last for years


  • You will need to attend an in-office appointment for insertion, and again for removal
  • Like most birth control, there are possible symptoms such as irregular periods and spotting

If you are interested in learning more about using an IUD as a form of birth control, please talk to your PWOG provider.

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