Birth Control Options

IUD

Intrauterine Devices (IUD Birth Control) are considered one of the most effective forms of birth control by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The Center for Menstrual Disorders offers IUD insertion with IV conscious sedation in a safe and compassionate office-setting providing a pain-free experience.

You do not need a referral & you don’t have to change your gynecologist! E-mail or call us to setup an appointment today: (585) 473-8770.

The “modern” IUD has been around since the early 1960s when the first plastic devices became available for the sterile insertion of a plastic or combination plastic and metal device into the uterus. These IUDs were in widespread use for about 15 years.

All of that changed with the 1970 introduction of the Dalkon Shield—an IUD introduced with the purpose of lowering the spontaneous expulsion rate associated with some of the earlier models. In 1973 the first reports began appearing associating the Dalkon Shield with an increased rate of pelvic infection. Despite the fact that the IUD was removed from the market in 1975 many that had already been placed were not removed until years late.

Many lawsuits followed and A.H. Robbins, the company that marketed the Dalkon Shield, was bankrupted. The unfortunately effect of all the publicity, however, was that a very good method of contraception was blamed for many problems—many of them undeserved.

How do IUDs work?

How IUDs function is not perfectly understood. The majority of researchers however believe that IUDs work by inhibiting sperm transport rather than acting to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine cavity. The best available scientific information dispels the myth that the IUD is an abortifacient.

Mirena IUD - Rochester NY Birth ControlAre all IUDs the same?

The first, the Mirena IUD (Berlex Pharmaceuticals, Inc), is a plastic device embedded with the hormone, levonorgestrel. This particular IUD is designed to last 5 years (although it contains 7 years of hormone) but can be easily removed any time prior to that should a woman wish to conceive. The advantage of the Mirena IUD is that after 2 or 3 cycles women experience lighterand lighter periods—many women stop having periods altogether. The Mirena IUD is ideal for a woman who would like a spontaneous and safe method of contraception that is also seeking relief from otherwise heavy or painful menses and who wishes to avoid the inconvenience of a daily pill, a weekly patch or a monthly ring. Importantly, the Mirena contains no estrogen whatsoever! What little progesterone is in the IUD (about 20 micrograms per day) is largely confined to the uterus and causes only minimal levels of the progestin, levonorgestrel, in the blood stream. www.mirena.com

The second IUD available today–ParaGard (Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc)—which is a device made of plastic and copper. This is a non-hormone containing IUD that can be left in place for 10 years. www.paragard.com

IUD Intrauterine DevicesBoth IUDs are highly effective though the ParaGard does tend to cause an increase in menstrual blood flow.

Are there women who should not use the IUD?

There are very few women who cannot use the IUD. However, since the IUD can aggravate or incite pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) it should be avoided in women who have had a history of chronic pelvic inflammatory disease or a recent history of multiple sexual partners. A history of bacterial vaginosis is not a contraindication to its placement. There are very few absolute contraindications to the use of an IUD.

Is it painful to insert?

Many women have the IUD inserted without anything more than a small amount of local anesthesia. Many of our patients, however, elect to have some conscious sedation making this a completely painless procedure. You can discuss this choice with your health care provider.

Are there risks associated with the IUD insertion?

There a few risks associated with IUD insertion in experienced hands. All IUD insertions performed at our office are done under ultrasound guidance making uterine perforation a very rare occurrence. Infections can rarely occur after IUD insertion—particularly if a woman has an undiagnosed Chlamydia or gonorrhea infection. These risks are minimized by taking prophylactic antibiotics immediately after its insertion.

Can the IUD perforate the uterus once it’s inserted?

There are many urban legends in medicine—one of them is that IUDs can move and perforate the uterus. Once an IUD in inserted it will not move through the uterine wall. A small percentage will be expelled through the cervix without causing harm.

How effective is the IUD?

IUDs are extremely effective. About 1 woman out of 100 using an IUD will become pregnant after the first year. The likelihood of pregnancy is somewhat lower in Mirena users than ParaGard users. The IUD is somewhat protective against an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

How soon after its removal can I get pregnant?

After removal of either the ParaGard or Mirena IUD return of normal fertility occurs within a cycle.

Summary

Intrauterine devices are among the safest methods of spontaneous contraception available to a woman who is in a mutually monogamous sexual relationship. The Mirena IUD has an added advantage inasmuch as it can be used to assist women who suffer heavy and painful periods. Both IUDs are very cost-effective. Presently the most expensive IUD averages out to 5 – 7 dollars a month–compare that to birth control pills that can cost between 20 and 45 dollars a month!

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