A small T-shaped device that's inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy.
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.
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
Worth it?Is it worth it?
Works well?Does it work?
Hassle?Is it a hassle?
- 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.