Long-acting, immediately reversible and highly effective (99.2-99.8%), the IUD is recommended as the first-line method of contraception. Hormonal IUDs are the most effective with two in 1000 pregnancies and Copper IUDs with eight in 1000 pregnancies in the first year of use. They are great for adolescents, adults, immediate postpartum women and for later reproductive years. One of the greatest benefits is that its success does not depend on the user. Also, it is discrete and cost-effective. Copper IUDs are also effective as emergency contraception if placed within seven days of unprotected intercourse. Many GPs do not offer insertions or placements, so we’re here for you.
The IUD is a small, soft T-shaped device that is inserted into your uterus, also known as your womb, to prevent pregnancy. Some IUDs contain a hormone called progesterone which can reduce menstrual bleeding or stop menstruation altogether. Another type contains copper, the top choice for women who want to avoid hormones. Let’s sit down and see what best suits your lifestyle.
We time your appointment during or just after your period but they can be inserted anytime as long as we can confirm you are not pregnant. Dr Gerber teaches her patients breathing techniques from her yoga teacher training that support comfortable insertion. The IUD is placed into your womb with sterile instruments. Depending on the individual, there may be a small pinch and minimal cramping. The procedure takes less than five minutes. Most return to work immediately and resume other activities after 24 hours. If you are sensitive to procedures, we recommend arranging a ride home.
For the first 24 hours, you must abstain from vaginal intercourse, hot tubs, menstrual cup or tampon use. We recommend showers and menstrual pads during this time. You must also employ an additional method of birth control for seven days following insertion. Spotting and light bleeding with the hormonal IUD can be expected during the first three to six months. You can take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for mild cramping. Check the IUD thread/string weekly for the first four weeks, then once a month. Please note that many women struggle to find the strings at first. Checking for the strings on a regular basis is a good idea to ensure your IUD is in place and is working.
When you choose to change contraception methods, plan a pregnancy, replace your expiring IUD or simply discontinue use, the IUD can be easily removed at our clinic. It is a brief and straightforward procedure. We use sterile instruments to grasp the threads to remove the IUD. Dr Gerber guides women with breathing techniques to ease discomfort. Some experience brief cramping during removal. We ask all women to abstain from vaginal intercourse for seven days before removal or to have another birth control method in place.