What is an IUD?
An IUD (intrauterine device) is a small plastic device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus by a clinician. It provides highly effective and convenient birth control for the appropriate woman. The two brands of IUDs available in the United States are the ParaGard, which uses a copper wire wrapped around the plastic device, and Mirena, which contains the hormone progesterone.
The ParaGard can remain in place up to 10 years with an annual pregnancy rate of less than 1 out of 100 users, making it one of the most effective reversible birth control methods available today.
Mirena must be replaced every 5 years. It is also a highly effective contraceptive (less than 1 out of 100 women become pregnant during five years of Mirena use). The progesterone in the Mirena decreases the bleeding and cramping sometimes associated with IUD use.