- The IUD is a plastic, t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. It prevents fertilization of the egg. There are two types used in the US currently, ParaGard IUD (nonhormonal) and Mirena IUD (hormonal--contains progestin). The ParaGard will be effective for 12 years, while the Mirena will be effective for about 5 years.
- Both are effective and safe (usually recommended for women who have already had a child).
- Both are long lasting, neither contain estrogen.
- Not prohibitively expensive.
- Does not affect sex.
- Mirena brand has been known to decrease menstrual bleeding.
- ParaGard may cause heavier and longer bleeding, may lead to more cramps.
- Insertion can be painful, may cause early bleeding.
- Does not protect against STIs.
- Some women expel their IUD.
- The chances of conception for both types of IUDs are less that 1%.
- An IUD costs anywhere from $200-400 and must be inserted and removed by a doctor for an additional fee. Contact the Student Health Center for more information.