What are the Side Effects of Intrauterine Devices?

What are the Side Effects of Intrauterine Devices?

IUDs are one of several birth control options that a woman may consider. Birth control pills are probably the most commonly used method. Both methods can prevent an unwanted pregnancy effectively. But the advantage of intrauterine devices (IUDs) is that they do not require as much planning and vigilance as birth control pills. The simple “insert the IUD and forget it about” nature of this method appeals to active women who may forget to take birth control pills on a regular basis. No form of birth control is without risk. However, a woman considering an IUD should know about possible IUD side effects and risks of the devices.

Most Common IUD Side Effects

The most common side effect a woman may experience from using this method of birth control are IUD pain, mood changes and acne. IUDs, unlike oral birth control methods, increase the risk of developing pimples. A woman with an intrauterine device may also experience nausea, pelvic pain, and tenderness in the breast area. The side effects listed above apply to all types of IUDs. Two additional side effects occur in the internal birth control devices that contain copper: cramping and increased bleeding during the menstrual cycle can occur with the latter type.

How an IUD Works

All of the devices work the same way. These devices release a small amount of a hormone called progesterone on a regular basis. The hormone causes changes to the mucus that lines the uterus. These mucus changes either immobilize the sperm or end up killing it.

You Decide

Before deciding on any method of birth control, you should talk to a doctor. If you decide to use an IUD, the doctor will schedule a pelvic exam and place the IUD for you. If you decide you want to become pregnant, the device can later be removed. But beware: intrauterine devices, like birth control pills, will not prevent a person from contracting a sexually transmitted disease!

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