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Intrauterine Devices
 

An intrauterine device (IUD) usually is a small, flexible plastic frame. It often has copper wire or copper sleeves on it. It is inserted into a woman’s vagina through her uterus. Almost all brands of IUDs have two strings, or threads, tied to them. The strings hang through the opening of the cervix into the vagina. A provider can remove the IUD by pulling gently on the strings with forceps.

 

The type now most widely used is:
Copper bearing IUDs (made of plastic wit copper sleeves and/or copper wire on the plastic). Tcu380A and MLCu-375 are this type.

Hormone-releasing IUDs (made of plastic; steadily release small amounts of hormone progesterone or another progestin such as levenorgesterel). LNG-20 and Progestasert are this type.

IUDs work chiefly by preventing sperm and egg from meeting. Perhaps the IUD makes it hard for sperm to move through the woman’s reproductive tract, and it reduces the ability of sperm to fertilize the egg. It could also prevent the egg from implanting itself in the wall of the uterus.

It is very effective and commonly used. And shows a rate of only 3 pregnancies per 100 women.

Advantages: 

1.A single decision leads to effective long-term prevention of pregnancy. 
2.Long lasting. The most widely used IUD (outside China), the Tcu-380A, lasts at least 10 years. Inert IUDs need never be replaced. 
3.They are very effective and very little need be remembered. 
4.No interference with sex. 
5.Increased sexual enjoyment because there is no need to worry about pregnancy. 

6. It can be inserted be inserted immediately after childbirth (except hormone releasing IUDs) or after induced abortion (if there is no evidence of infection).

Disadvantages: 

1.Common side effects: Menstrual changes (common in the first 3 months but likely to lessen after three months:
---Longer and heavier menstrual periods
---Bleeding or spotting between periods
---More cramps or pain during periods 
2.Other uncommon side effects and complications:
--- Severe cramps and pains beyond the first 3 to 5 years after insertion
--- Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods, possibly contributing to anemia.
----- More likely with inert IUDs than with copper or hormone releasing IUDs. 
3.
Other uncommon side effects and complications:
--- Severe cramps and pain beyond the first 3 to 5 days after insertion
--- Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods, possibly contributing to anemia. More like with inert IUDs than with copper or hormone-releasing IUDs 
--- Perforation (piercing) of the wall of the uterus (very rare if the IUD is properly inserted). 
4.
Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS. Not a good method for women with recent STDs or with multiple sex partners (or partners with multiple sex partners). 
5.Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is more likely to follow STD infection if a woman uses an IUD. PID can lead to infertility. 

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