Fast Facts

  • IUDs have over a 99% success rate at preventing unwanted pregnancy
  • IUDs are low-maintenance and long-term. No pills to take or shots to remember. Depending on the type of IUD you choose, an IUD can be effective for 3-10 years.
  • They are reversible, after removal you should return to your normal cycle within a short amount of time.
  • When placed properly, IUDs can not be felt by you or your sexual partner.
  • They are safe to use while breastfeeding and can be placed immediately after delivery.

The Basics

An IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a small T-shaped device that takes about five minutes to place inside your uterus. There are two types of IUDs: hormonal and copper (non-hormonal).

➤ Hormonal IUDs release the progestin levonorgestrel (LNG) and prevent pregnancy by:

  • Thickening your cervical mucus so the sperm can’t reach the egg.
  • Making your uterus a hostile environment for sperm and eggs, impairing any chance of implantation by inhibiting the sperm’s ability to swim toward the egg.
  • Thinning out the inner lining of the uterus, impairing implantation, and also giving you lighter periods (or sometimes no period at all).

➤ Copper IUDs are a hormone-free option that work by releasing copper ions into your uterus. This makes your uterus a hostile environment for sperm and eggs, impairing any chance of implantation by inhibiting the sperm’s ability to swim toward the egg.

Patients should speak with their provider about which type may work best for them. IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections or HIV/AIDS.