Intrauterine Device (IUD)

A small t-shaped device that is inserted through the vagina into the uterus by a health care professional.

The UHC Women’s Clinic carries three different types of IUDs:
Skyla, Mirena and ParaGard.

Hand holding three IUDs to illustrate size and appearance

How Does It Work?

  • Blocks sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg
  • Keeps an egg from reaching the sperm
  • Makes the lining of the uterine wall thinner

Effectiveness

  • 99.9% Mirena
  • 99.2% ParaGard
  • 99.1% Skyla

Length of Use

  • Skyla can stay in place for up to 3 years; Mirena up to 5 years; and ParaGard up to 10.
  • Should the woman decide she would like to become pregnant, the IUD can be easily removed by a health care professional during an office visit.
  • Immediately after removal, she is able to become pregnant.

Contraindications

  • IUDs are excellent contraception for all women of childbearing age looking for a highly effective, long term form of birth control.
  • IUDs are not recommended for women who think they may be pregnant, have had PID in the past three months, currently have untreated pelvic infection, have or have ever had breast cancer, or are allergic to levonorgestrel, silicone, or polyethylene (or copper for the ParaGard).

Advantages

  • Cost is now covered 100% through most major health insurance companies!
  • Very high effectiveness rates
  • Skyla and Mirena have lower and steadier hormones than the Pill.
  • Skyla may help shorten and/or lighten periods.
  • Mirena may help shorten, lighten, and/or eventually eliminate periods.
  • ParaGard does not contain hormones.

Disadvantages

  • Does not protect against STIs
  • May alter bleeding patterns
  • ParaGard may increase cramping and/or bleeding

More information about IUDs

Sexual Health Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Contraception