Although more than 25 percent of women rely on the birth control pill, some women don’t want to take the pill or have difficulty remembering to take it.
For many women, intrauterine devices (IUDs) serve as a welcome alternative to the birth control pill. An IUD is a T-shaped device that your doctor inserts into your uterus.
Depending on the type that you get, the IUD can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. IUDs can cost up to $1,000 up front depending on your insurance, which is more than the cost of birth control pills. However, you won’t have to think about the IUD once it’s in place.
IUDs are either copper or hormonal. ParaGard is an example of a copper IUD. Mirena, Skyla, Liletta are examples of hormonal IUDs. Here’s a look at hormonal and copper IUDs, how they work, and their potential side effects.
Hormonal IUD Basics
The three brands of hormonal IUDs available are Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla.
Once placed in the uterus, this type of IUD slowly releases small amounts of the hormone progestin to stop sperm from reaching the egg. Similar to hormonal birth control pills, hormonal IUDs can also prevent ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovary. The hormones also thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from swimming to the egg and thin the uterine lining to stop a fertilized egg from implanting.
In addition to preventing pregnancies, hormonal IUDs will lighten your periods and reduce cramps. Mirena and Liletta may get rid of your periods entirely. For the first three to six months after the IUD is inserted, your periods will likely be unpredictable.
Skyla and Liletta continue to work for up to three years. Mirena can prevent pregnancy for up to five years.
Hormonal IUDs can cause side effects similar to those of birth control pills, including:
- breast soreness
- breast tenderness
- mood changes
- weight gain
Have questions or concerns? Call Dr. Saska Sookra. Lifestream Family Medicine wants to be your primary care facility. Contact us to schedule an appointment by clicking this link or calling (941) 755-0433