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What should I know about intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants as birth control?

ANSWER

  • An IUD is a small, T-shaped device placed into the womb. It can stay there for 3-10 years, depending on the type. Some IUDs release hormones to provide more protection against pregnancy and to ease menstrual cramps.
  • The implant is a plastic rod about the size of a match. It goes under the skin on your upper arm. It prevents pregnancies for up to 3 years.
  • Each must be inserted by a health care provider.
  • Neither will protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Male condoms are best for that.

SOURCES:

News release, CDC.

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Birth Control for Sexually Active Teens."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "FAQ112 Especially for Teens: Birth Control."

Pediatrics , September 2014.

Guttmacher Institute State Policies in Brief: "Minors' Access to Contraceptive Services."  

TeensHealth: “What Kinds of Birth Control Work Best Against Pregnancy and STDs?”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on May 04, 2018

SOURCES:

News release, CDC.

CDC: "Genital HPV Infection -- Fact Sheet."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Birth Control for Sexually Active Teens."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "FAQ112 Especially for Teens: Birth Control."

Pediatrics , September 2014.

Guttmacher Institute State Policies in Brief: "Minors' Access to Contraceptive Services."  

TeensHealth: “What Kinds of Birth Control Work Best Against Pregnancy and STDs?”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on May 04, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How well do shots work as birth control for teens?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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