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Birth Control: Pros and Cons of Hormonal Methods - Topic Overview

Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

These advantages and disadvantages apply to both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs.

  • Does not require interruption of foreplay or intercourse
  • Does not require cooperation of sex partner
  • More than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy4
  • Easy to use
  • Most cost-effective method of birth control over time
  • Safe to use while breast-feeding
  • Can be removed whenever you have problems or want to stop using it. Fertility returns with the first ovulation cycle following IUD removal.
  • Can be inserted after a normal vaginal delivery, a cesarean section, or a first-trimester abortion
  • Hormonal IUD can relieve heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping in most women.
  • Does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or HIV
  • Costs several hundred dollars for insertion. But this cost is often covered by your health insurance. And when an IUD is used long-term, it costs less than other methods over time.
  • Only a health professional can remove the IUD. Never attempt to remove the IUD yourself or allow a partner to try to remove it.
  • When inserted, an IUD can spread a genital infection into the uterus, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in the first months after insertion. This is why you are screened for STIs before getting an IUD.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 07, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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