The hormonal IUD: A safe and effective option for birth control

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

The IUD is the best method of birth control among other methods such as birth control pills and condoms. The IUD, a small T-shaped device, is inserted into the uterus by a medical professional. There are two types of IUD: copper and hormonal. Read on to learn about the hormonal IUD and how effective it is:

hormonal IUD

hormonal IUD

What is the hormonal IUD?

The IUD is a T-shaped plastic device that is placed inside the uterus. The hormonal IUD releases progesterone in small amounts into the body over several years.

Women who use a hormonal IUD have lighter and less painful menstrual cycles than they had before.

The menstrual cycle may stop in some women, which is not harmful and does not require any treatment. After removing the IUD, the menstrual cycle returns to normal, as well as fertility.

form of hormonal IUD

This device is in the shape of the letter T, and it is placed in the uterus by passing through the vagina and cervix.

IUDs are made of flexible plastic with thin plastic threads that hang from the cervix.

How does the hormonal IUD work?

The hormonal form of the IUD contains the progestin hormone levonorgestrel, which takes up to a week after the IUD is fitted before it works to prevent pregnancy.

The progestin hormone levonorgestrel in the IUD prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm cells away from the eggs, in two ways:

  • First: making the mucus in the cervix thicker, in order to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
  • Second: The hormones present in the IUD prevent the egg from leaving the ovaries, i.e. preventing ovulation, which leads to the absence of an egg for fertilization, and the non-occurrence of pregnancy.

Among the advantages of the IUD is that its effect lasts for years, but if you want to get pregnant, you can go to the doctor to remove it, and then your fertility will return to normal.

The hormonal IUD is 99% effective and lasts 3 to 5 years, but it offers no protection against STIs.

Benefits of the hormonal IUD

Like all birth control methods, the hormonal IUD comes with a host of benefits, get to know them:

1. High efficacy and long-term protection

The IUD provides high efficacy and long-term protection against pregnancy. whereas:

  • The hormonal IUD is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  • Only 0.1% to 0.8% of women become pregnant while using it.
  • A woman returns to fertility once the IUD is removed, no matter how long it has been in the uterus.

2. Reducing menstrual bleeding and cramping

There is a group of women who suffer from heavy periods, cramps and severe pain during menstruation. After placing the IUD, your problem will be solved!

The IUD thins the uterus, causing less bleeding and fewer cramping and cramping in most women.

3. Reducing the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease

According to a group of sources, this type does not reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. On the contrary, the IUD increases the risk of pelvic infection. How is that?

  • When the IUD is placed, some women get a hole, or the IUD may become embedded in the uterus, which leads to infection that requires surgery to remove it.
  • Since the IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, if a woman becomes infected with an IUD, pelvic infection may result.

4. Possibly lowering some types of cancer

Results shown study About (intrauterine devices and the risk of endometrial cancer), that the use of hormonal IUDs may reduce the risk of endometrial cancer!

By inducing a number of immunological and biochemical changes in the uterine environment, these changes are responsible for influencing the risk of endometrial cancer (EC).

Hormonal IUD and weight gain

There is no research confirming the effect of the IUD on weight, but it is unlikely that hormonal contraceptives will lead to significant weight gain.

People often gain weight gradually with age, which makes it incorrect to associate weight gain with the use of contraceptives, while this may be due to an increase in body fat or muscle.

Weight gain is also linked in one way or another with hormones. Marriage or moving in with a partner may contribute to weight gain. These events can coincide with the initiation of the IUD!

Harmful effects of the hormonal IUD

Women who get a hormonal IUD experience side effects, such as frequent menstrual spotting, bleeding for several days after their period, and heavy periods during the first month. And that according to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

It may also include harm to the hormonal form of Other IUDs include:

  • Nausea.
  • Headache.
  • young love.
  • Moist and warm feel to the breasts.
  • Altered mood.
  • Not being protected from sexually transmitted diseases.

The IUD can cause additional problems and damage in some women, depending on the case:

  • In a small percentage of women, the doctor makes a hole in the wall of the uterus during the insertion of the IUD. In this case, the IUD may move through the hole and settle in the wrong place, which will make the woman need surgery to remove it.
  • Some women develop an infection when the IUD is first inserted, which may require antibiotic treatment.
  • The very few percentage that are likely to get pregnant with the IUD, if this happens, it is likely to be an ectopic pregnancy, meaning that the pregnancy will settle in the fallopian tube.

How to choose a hormonal IUD

The IUD is generally a very effective method of contraception, but choosing the levonorgestrel-based type is the best and most effective option.

There are a range of brands that fit in the IUD, all of which work the same way and have the same type of hormone.

The difference between a hormonal and a copper IUD

Like most long-acting methods of contraception, the IUD is incredibly effective. However, it is good to differentiate between both types of IUDs:

  • Duration of effectiveness: The copper IUD protects 99.2%, which means that out of every 1,000 women, 8 will become pregnant unintentionally. While hormonal protection is 99.8%, which means that only two women out of every 1,000 will fail to prevent pregnancy.
  • Hormones: Before choosing which type of IUD to use, it’s a good idea to consider how your hormones affect you. The copper IUD is hormone-free and works thanks to the properties of copper to affect sperm. While the hormonal type contains progesterone which is released in the reproductive tract.
  • Risks: Unlike the hormonal type, the copper IUD does not contain hormones, and therefore does not expose women to: acne, and other hormonal side effects.
  • Duration: The hormonal type lasts for up to 5 years, while the copper type lasts for 10 years.

Frequently asked questions that may interest you

1. Does the hormonal IUD cause infertility?

No, this type does not cause infertility. Like other hormonal methods, the IUD does not affect fertility in the future, as most women return to pregnancy and childbearing after its removal.

2. What happens after the hormonal IUD is installed?

The whole process takes only a few minutes, and many women suffer from:

  • Cramps that are similar to or more severe than menstrual cramps.
  • Dizziness and fainting after insertion of the IUD.
  • Spotting (menstrual spotting) for 3 to 6 months.

After fitting, it is important to inquire about how long you should wait before having sex.

3. Does the hormonal IUD affect the psychological state?

Yes, this type affects the psychological state. According to Harvard Medical School There is a risk of depression when using hormonal contraceptives, although it is a small possibility but it is real, and the reason for this is progesterone.

Finally, do not use a hormonal IUD if:

  • if you are pregnant
  • You have a pelvic infection.
  • You get infected easily.
  • You suffer from cancer (such as breast cancer).

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