Conveniently located in Woburn, MA and Wilmington, MA

How Does an IUD Work?

How Does an IUD Work?

You have any number of contraception options, depending on what fits your lifestyle. Take a pill daily? Wear a patch and change it weekly? Use a male or female condom each time you have intercourse?

When you’re looking for a way to prevent pregnancy that combines 99% effectiveness, lasts for years, and doesn’t require day-to-day attention, an IUD is likely a good choice for you. This is a uterine implant that stays in place from 3-10 years, depending on the specific type.

At New England Women’s Healthcare, with offices in Woburn and Wilmington, Massachusetts, our team gives you many choices when it comes to birth control. Our team of eight OB/GYN specialists is here to provide the option best suited to you.

What is an IUD?

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a tiny implant that’s placed in your uterus for long-term pregnancy prevention. An IUD is often made of a strong plastic material, so it can withstand your uterine environment. It has the shape of a T, which allows it to stay inserted in your uterus.

IUDs are separated into two categories — copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs. The types work differently to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg so you can’t conceive.

How does the IUD work?

Hormonal IUDs release small amounts of progestin, which is a synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone. Each type of IUD has different amounts of this hormone, which affects how long they last.

Progestin works in several ways to prevent pregnancy. First, it thickens your cervical mucus, which makes it difficult for sperm to move. Progestin also thins your uterine lining, making it hard for an egg to implant itself if it did become fertilized.

Some hormonal IUDs also prevent ovulation — the release of an egg from your ovaries. Without an egg for sperm to fertilize, pregnancy can’t happen. 

Since the copper IUD doesn’t contain any hormones, how exactly does it work? Sperm cells actually are repelled by copper. The copper that’s released from the IUD makes your uterus an impossible place for sperm to live, so it can’t reach your egg. The brand name of the copper IUD is Paragard®.

Each type of IUD is effective, so it’s a matter of what fits your health and lifestyle. Our team of specialists helps you decide if the copper IUD or the hormonal IUD is the best choice.

Benefits of an IUD

The IUD has a number of benefits over other forms of birth control. For example, some options require you to remember to take a pill or insert a ring into your vagina. The IUD is inserted in the office, and stays in for years at a time.

Your IUD also lasts a long time compared with other forms of birth control. Paragard prevents pregnancy for up to 10 years, while hormonal IUDs range from three years (Skyla®) to five years (Kyleena®) to seven years (Mirena® and Liletta®).

The IUD is also completely reversible. This makes it a great option when you’re looking to prevent pregnancy for a limited time. When you’re ready to finally have a baby, our team simply takes the IUD out so you can once again conceive a child.

Further, it’s safe to breastfeed while your IUD is in place. This helps you prevent pregnancy after having a baby, without worrying about the health of your little one.

If you’re interested in learning more about an IUD for birth control, call one of our offices in Wilmington or Woburn, Massachusetts, to schedule a consultation. You may also request an appointment on our webpage.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does an Abnormal Pap Smear Mean I Have Cancer?

When your Pap smear comes back abnormal, it’s distressing, and maybe scary, to think you could have cancer. But does an abnormal Pap smear always indicate cervical cancer? Take a moment to learn some other causes of an abnormal Pap test.

Why You Can Gain Weight During PMS

You know the feeling when you’re getting your period — irritability, insatiable cravings, and of course, weight gain. But why do you seem to put on excess pounds before your period? Take a moment to learn why you gain weight during PMS.

Understanding Your Treatment Options For Menopause

When you’re going through the transition to menopause, your life changes significantly. Between the sleepless nights and mood swings, you’re looking for any kind of relief. Take a moment to learn how you can effectively treat your menopause symptoms.

Why Are Pap Smears Important?

A Pap smear is one of the most important tests when it comes to your cervical health. It can help you find signs of cancer early on, so you get the treatment you need. Take a moment to learn more about Pap smears.

Choosing Your Birthing Options

When you’re pregnant, there are many choices to make for your soon-to-be newborn. Before that, however, you have to decide how to bring your baby into the world. Learn more about your birthing options, and which one may be right for you.

Is Oral Contraception Dependable?

If you’re not ready to get pregnant, you have plenty of birth control options. However, if you’ve settled on an oral contraceptive, how can you be sure it’s going to work? Take a moment to learn how effective oral contraceptives can be.