IUD: What are they and how do they work?

What are the benefits of an IUD?

An IUD is a flexible, T-shaped device that fits inside your uterus. These are the top benefits of IUDs:

Highly effective

IUDs are nearly 100% effective, making them just as effective as a tubal ligation and more effective than most other birth control methods.

Long-lasting and convenient

Your Bella Women's Care provider inserts the IUD once, where it can stay in place for 3-10 years, depending on the type of IUD you receive. You won’t need to worry about taking pills, replacing patches, or using a condom every time you have intercourse.


Even though your IUD can stay in place for years, you also have the option to take it out at any time. As soon as your IUD is removed, it’s possible to become pregnant right away.

How do IUDs prevent pregnancy?

IUDs may physically block sperm, stopping them from getting into the fallopian tubes where eggs are fertilized. But that’s not the primary way they prevent pregnancy. IUDs are highly effective because they contain hormones or copper:

Hormone-containing IUDs

Several brands of IUDs, such as Mirena® and Skyla®, continuously release a small amount of hormones. The hormones prevent pregnancy by changing the lining of your uterus and by thickening cervical mucus. Hormone-containing IUDs last 3-5 years before they run out of hormones and must be replaced.

Copper-containing IUD

One brand of IUD, Paragard®, contains copper, which prevents pregnancy because it’s an effective spermicide and it inhibits sperm movement. Paragard is effective for 10 years.

How is an IUD inserted?

Your Bella Women's Care provider inserts the IUD using a specialized tube that fits through your cervix and into your uterus. When the insertion tube is positioned at the top of your uterus, the tube is removed and the IUD that was inside the tube stays in place.

A string that’s attached to your IUD comes out through the cervix. Your provider trims the string so it’s long enough to be felt with your finger, but it’s not noticeable to your partner during intercourse.

It takes about five minutes to insert an IUD. After the procedure, some women feel cramping and want to relax the rest of the day, while others feel fine and get back to their normal activities.

If you’re interested in getting an IUD or learning about your birth control options, schedule an appointment by calling Bella Women’s Care or using the online booking feature.

Bella Women's Care Blogger

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