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IUDs' Comparison and Side Effects

While choosing the contraception methods you probably follow your instincts which can define which one is the most convenient for you. A modern woman is really lucky – she gets quite an amount of options. You can entrust your protection to the hormones that can be taken orally in pills and be produced my implants, to the trivial condoms or to the intrauterine devices that are example of barrier method.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) were first introduced in 1909 in Germany and were nothing but rings from silkworm gut. But women accepted and appreciated the UIDs only in 60s when they appeared at the market.

Inserted through vagina to the uterus intrauterine devices serve as a barrier protection when pregnancy is not in your closest plans for the future. It is a good way to forget about any contraceptive measures before the intercourse (no need now to fumble in the darkness and hot breath for a saving thingy). Approximately 160 millions women using IUDs omit that item in their “pleasure plan”.

The advantages of the method (count on your fingers) are immediate action, long-lasting effect (up to 3-10 years), the possibility of use for lactating women, absence of an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, or of subsequent infertility.

So from all the options available – IUDs are quite in the advantage among others. But don’t hurry to make a final decision. Some disadvantages and side effects are also there. Of course, it would be perfect to have an ideal birth-control device, but it is yet to be invented (no, condom doesn’t count; keep in mind the smell of the rubber or the sensations you are missing).

Some of the IUDs are designed so that they release some portion of a synthetic progesterone hormone, which can increase the risk of a breast cancer and provoke hormone-related symptoms: weight gain, headaches, increased blood pressure, acne, depression, and decrease in sex drive. In addition, the risk of ovarian cyst increases because of hormonal impact of some of the IUDs. Though the presence of the hormone enhances less painful cramps during the periods and decreases the menstrual bleeding).

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The intrauterine devices that contain no hormones may cause a heavy bleeding during the menstrual period and heavy menstrual flow may cause anemia in some women. Other common IUDs’ side effects are menstrual irregularities and spotting. Some woman may also find the insertion of intrauterine devices painful (the option in this case – to use a painkiller or a local anaesthetic).

And finally, some copper IUDs will cause allergic reactions in a woman who is allergic to copper.

Anyway, whatever you choose - to use IUDs or not – let you be the lucky one to forget that you are using any contraception and enjoy safe sex with someone you really trust. Remember, that barrier contraception won’t protect you from the HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Smells like a rubber…

Diana L.

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