Prescription onlyMultiple hormones

IUD

No
Yes
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Prescription onlyMultiple hormones

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

The "intrauterine device" is one of the most hassle-free and effective methods of birth control. It's a small plastic or copper device inserted inside your uterus, and lasts between 3-12 years, depending on type.

0.8%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
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  • Once you get it, you don't have to worry about your birth control for up to 12 years – no need to remember to take it everyday.
  • Undetectable and won't get in the way of spontaneity.
  • The plastic IUD is progesterone-only and the copper IUD contains no hormones, which some women prefer.
  • Decreases flow and frequency of periods for most women, and can stop periods altogether.
  • Side effects are less serious and usually go away within 3-6 months once your body gets used to the device.
  • Helps with heavy periods, severe cramps and anemia.
  • One of the most effective methods for preventing pregnancy.
  • Safe to use while breastfeeding.
  • Fertility typically returns 4-6 months after removal of the plastic IUD and right away after removal of the copper IUD.
  • Since you don't have to do anything with it once it's inserted, every use is perfect use with an effective rate of over 99%.
  • The copper IUD can be used as emergency contraceptive if inserted within 120 hours or 5 days of sexual intercourse.
  • Requires an appointment to have it inserted and taken out, and the procedures can be uncomfortable.
  • Not advised for women who get pelvic infections or other infections easily.
  • Increased irregular bleeding in the first 3-6 months.
  • Partner might feel the strings of the device, but they usually soften over time or can be trimmed.
  • Possibility of the device attaching or going through the uterus wall.
  • Expensive for people who don't have insurance or Medicaid.
  • Does not protect against STDs.

These are side effects of IUD (All) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

0 reports

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Sex
  • You might miss your periods for awhile, like emotionally. I wouldn't trade it for the world though. It gives me the confidence to have condomless sex with my partner.
    Age: 19
    Gender: Woman
    Brand taken: Mirena
    Taken for: Pregnancy prevention
  • Very uncomfortable insertion. Removing it soon, after 2 years. Cramping happens frequently. Cramping is severe when on period. Pain in my back and pelvis. 15 lbs of weight gain despite my best efforts. Pain during sex, and sometimes when doing strenuous activities like lift weights, or even coughing
    Age: 29
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Pregnancy prevention
Sleep
  • Post insertion cramping was incredibly intense-far stronger than your normal menstrual cramping. There was also pretty significant dizziness and nausea. Highly suggest having a friend or family member available to drive you home. This all passes within 30-45 minutes. Periods have completely gone away and hormonal mood swings are greatly improved. Sleep through the night now and hot flashes are reduced as well.
    Age: 43
    Gender: Woman
    Brand taken: Mirena
    Taken for: Pregnancy prevention
Weight gain or loss
  • Very uncomfortable insertion. Removing it soon, after 2 years. Cramping happens frequently. Cramping is severe when on period. Pain in my back and pelvis. 15 lbs of weight gain despite my best efforts. Pain during sex, and sometimes when doing strenuous activities like lift weights, or even coughing
    Age: 29
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Pregnancy prevention