IUDs

One '70s version of the IUD made thousands of woman sick and infertile. Can the technology redeem itself - Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

IUDs

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Why gynecologists think IUDs are the best contraceptive

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are amazingly, fantastically good at preventing pregnancy — better than pretty much any other available contraceptive.

Birth control pills, which have to be taken regularly, are susceptible to human error. The pill has a 6 percent failure rate. So out of 1,000 women taking birth control pills, 60 will become pregnant in a typical year. Among women who use an IUD, that number will be between 2 and 8 (depending on the type of IUD they use).

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends IUDs and the contraceptive implant (the one other long-acting, reversible contraceptive) as a "first-line" contraceptive that should be "encouraged…

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Resources

 Why gynecologists think IUDs are the best contraceptive

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are amazingly, fantastically good at preventing pregnancy — better than pretty much any other available contraceptive.

Upstream USA

Upstream is a nationally-recognized, fast-growing nonprofit working to expand contraceptive access for all.

5 women explain what it's really like to get an IUD

Thinking about getting an IUD soon? Four of our reporters and editors explain what it was like to get one.

Bedsider

The IUD is a little, t-shaped piece of plastic that gets put in your uterus to mess with the way sperm can move and prevent them from fertilizing an egg. Sounds odd, but it works like a charm. IUDs offer years of protection—between three and twelve, depending on the type you get. And if you want to get pregnant, you can have the IUD removed at any time.

IUD Awareness

IUD Awareness is run by people who want to make sure that all beings are empowered to make the personal and medical choices that are right for their bodies. We believe sharing our stories are an important part of that, and we are dedicated to getting those stories to as many people as possible.

Paragard

Best for: Women who want to avoid hormones. Skip if: You have heavy periods. The Old Faithful of IUDs, ParaGard is a non-hormonal option where copper acts as the sperm deterrent. It’s approved for ten years, but studies say it’s actually effective for 12. Some women love the idea of birth control without hormones, but if you have naturally heavy periods or if your doctor says you have endometriosis, getting a copper IUD might make an already bad situation worse.

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