Compare IUD vs. Implant

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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There are many birth control methods out there, find the best one that works for youCheck out other birth control methods

IUD

Prescription only

Implant

Prescription only
A small T-shaped device that's inserted into your uterus to prevent pregnancy.

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.

4.3/ 5 average rating with 1010 reviewsforIUD
A small plastic implant that prevents pregnancy.

The implant is one of the most hassle-free and effective long-term methods of birth control. The procedure can be intimidating for some people as a small hormone-releasing rod is inserted under the skin of your upper arm.

4.1/ 5 average rating with 78 reviewsforImplant
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Once inserted, you don't have to worry about your birth control for up to 3 years.
  • Progestin-only, so good for women who can't use estrogen.
  • Undetectable and won't get in the way of spontaneity.
  • Decreases flow and frequency of periods for most women.
  • One of the most effective methods for preventing pregnancy.
  • Safe to use while breastfeeding.
  • Only takes a few weeks for fertility to return once removed.
  • Once it's implanted, every use is perfect use with a failure rate of only 0.05%.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Requires an appointment to have it inserted and taken out.
  • The idea of having something implanted inside your body can be daunting.
  • Most women experience irregular bleeding but periods will usually become lighter and less frequent.
  • Expensive for people who don't have insurance or Medicaid.
  • Does not protect against STDs.
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Failure rate
0.8%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
0.05%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
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Reviews
1010 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
73%
saiditworked well
12%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used IUD?

Leave a review
78 reviews so far
64%
saidit'sworth it
69%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Implant?

Leave a review
Side effects
7possible side effects
  • Irregular bleeding and spotting, especially in first 3-6 months
  • Possible long-term irregular bleeding
  • Cramps
  • Backaches
  • Pelvic infection
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Possibility of the device attaching or going through the uterus wall
7possible side effects
  • Soreness and bruising around insertion site at first
  • Irregular bleeding, especially in first 6-12 months
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Headache