An intrauterine device (IUD) is a copper device used for birth control that prevents sperm from fertilizing the eggs. The device is inserted through the vagina, past the cervix, and into the uterus and stays in place to provide continual protection from pregnancy. Insertion of an IUD is a simple in-office and minimally invasive procedure that only takes a few minutes.
An IUD is statistically one of the most effective forms of birth control. Fewer than 1 out of 100 women becoming pregnant each year while the IUD is in place.
The length of use varies with the type of device chosen, but it can stay in place between three and 10 years.
Some situations may prevent an IUD from safely being inserted:
- Certain STDs
- Pelvic infection (especially after childbirth or abortion in the previous three months)
- Currently pregnant
- Cervical cancer
- Cancer of the uterus
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Removal of an IUD is an in-office procedure.