Intrauterine Device (IUD)

What is it?

A small plastic and copper device which is put into the uterus. It does not contain any hormones. Intrauterine Device

How does the Intrauterine Device (IUD) work?

The presence of the device stops sperm reaching an egg and helps prevent implantation of a fertilised egg in the uterus. An IUD does not cause an abortion.

How to use the Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The device is put into the uterus by a doctor or nurse, once it is in place you do not need to do anything, it can last from 5 – 10years before it needs replaced.

How effective is the Intrauterine Device (IUD)?

It is over 99% effective.

What are the advantages of the Intrauterine Device (IUD)?

It works as soon as it is put in. It can be used as an effective method of emergency contraception. No hormonal side effects. It can stay in place for 5-10 years depending on type used. You don’t have to think about contraception for as long as it remains in place and fertility returns to normal on removal. If fitted after 40yrs of age it can stay in place until after the menopause. It is not affected by other medications. It can be used if you are breastfeeding.

What are the disadvantages of the Intrauterine Device (IUD)?

Insertion can be uncomfortable; you will need an internal examination to have an IUD fitted. There is a small risk of uterine perforation, pelvic infection, expulsion of the IUD but these risks will be fully explained by the health professional. Periods may be a bit heavier or longer. You require another small procedure to have the IUD removed.

Does the Intrauterine Device (IUD) protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections?

No, condoms are the only form of contraception which gives protection against some infections.