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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.

ProsCons
  • 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.
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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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