An IUD (intrauterine devices) is a type of birth control that has been around for decades but has been dominating recent convos about contraception. They have actually been around for YEARS (mostly used by older women), but recently, docs have started recommending them more for girls. Here’s what everyone’s talking about:
What is it?: An IUD is a small, T-shaped device made out of copper or plastic that is placed in the uterus.
How does it work?: It prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm from fertilizing eggs.
Where do you get it?: You have to go to a doctor’s office or clinic where a trained healthcare provider inserts the IUD through the vaginal canal and into the uterus. (Yes, the process can cause some discomfort, but your doc will usually have some recommendations to help.)
So, can you use a friend’s IUD?: No. IUDs cannot be shared and must be inserted by a medical professional.
How effective is it?: REALLY effective. Over 99%.
Does it prevent STDs?: No, definitely not.
So, you still have to use another method, like a condom to help prevent STDs?: Yes. And Yes.
Major Drawbacks: Depending on which version you choose and your personal body chemistry, the copper IUD can make your periods heavier, longer, and/or more painful. Once again, the IUD also doesn’t protect against STDs.
Major Plusses: Once inserted, you don’t have to remember to “take it” like the pill, because it stays in for years. You also don’t have to worry about anyone finding your pills. The plastic IUD with hormones can make your periods really light or go away and help out with cramps.
For more IUD info, try to set up a convo with your healthcare provider.
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