Long-acting, immediately reversible and highly effective (99.2-99.8%), the IUD is recommended as the first-line method of contraception. They are great for adolescents, adults, immediate postpartum women and for later reproductive years including peri-menopausal women who may experience abnormal periods.
Hormonal IUDs are also used for cycle control in women who struggle with heavy and/or painful periods. One of the greatest benefits is that its success does not depend on the user, as once it is placed, you can simply forget and not worry. Also, it is discrete and cost-effective. IUDs are also effective as emergency contraception if placed within seven days of unprotected intercourse. Many GPs do not offer IUD insertions or placements, so we’re here for you.
There are two styles of IUDs available in Canada.
1. Hormonal/progesterone-based IUDs (Mirena or Kyleena). Mirena can be used for up to 8 years for contraception in women 25 years or older. For women younger than 25, its lifespan is 5 years. Kyleena IUD is a 5 year device. The IUD can be removed at anytime. Mirena and Kyleena IUD continuously release low levels of levonorgestrel, which is a progestin much like the hormone progesterone produced by the ovaries. Levonorgestrel thickens cervical mucous so sperm and ovum do not meet. It also thins the lining of the uterus, which means your periods will become lighter and might stop altogether, making it an excellent choice for women with heavy periods, or for athlete’s, or any women wanting to avoid menstrual bleeding.
2. A non-hormonal IUD consists of a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T that has copper wrapped around it. That’s why it’s also called the copper IUD. Non-hormonal Copper IUDs release copper into the uterus and prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from fertilizing an egg and reducing sperm movement. It alos causes thickening of the cervical mucosa which acts as a cervical plug preventing sperm from entering the uterus. The coppe released inside the uterus can make the periods last longer, or they might become more painful and/or heavier. Copper IUDs are an excellent choice for women who prefer to avoid hormones for whatever reason including breastfeeding mothers and women with depression who might want to avoid hormones that might alter mood. Copper IUDs have a lifespan of 3, 5 or 10 years depending on the style.
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.
The IUD can be inserted anytime during your cycle as long as we can confirm you are not pregnant. For women who have never been pregnant, it is sometimes best to book your appointment for an IUD insertion during or just after your period.
Most women return to work immediately after an IUD insertion or IUD removal. For the first 24 hours, you must not place anything inside the vagina - this lowers the risk of infection. We recommend showers and use of pads or panty liners during this time. After 24 hours, you can resume all activities including hot tubs, swimming, use of menstrual cups or tampons.
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.
An IUD is one of the most effective contraception methods – it is 99% effective and lasts between 3 to 12 years, depending on the model.