• 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.