What's Going Around: Intrauterine Devices

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

September 17, 2012

In this week's What's Going Around we're not talking about any illnesses or anything contagious, but rather what you need to know about birth control especially intrauterine devices (IUD’s).

Dr. Andrea Tribastone is providing our information this week.

An IUD is a plastic device containing either copper like Paraguard or progesterone like Mirena. It's placed into a woman's uterus in a doctor's office. Dr. Tribastone says IUD’s are one of the safest, most effective methods of contraception available and the effectiveness is roughly equivalent to surgical sterilization.

IUD’s are designed to be long-term, but are reversible if desired.

Dr. Tribastone tells us IUD’s are safe for most women of reproductive ages and women who have not had children.

The Paraguard IUD is good for 10 years and the Mirena is approved for use up to five years.

In addition to contraception, the Mirena IUD can be used as treatment for painful periods, heavy periods, endometriosis and endometrial hyperplasia and cancer.

Dr. Tribastone says women should not use an IUD if they've had a recent pelvic infection.

She adds that women should remember to stay up to date on pap smears and mammograms.

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