IUDs are known to be extremely effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies. An IUD is a small "T"-shaped device that is implanted into the uterus. Several of them work by releasing small amounts of hormones into the area that prevent that an embryo from attaching to the walls. Other IUDs emit a small amount of copper which also acts to protect against pregnancy. An IUD can remain in place for several years as long as it does not shift become dislodged and travel outside of the uterus. One of the main reasons that the IUD has such an effective prevention rate is that it does not require any maintenance. It can't be forgotten like the pill and it does not have to be put in place like a diaphragm.
Although birth control pills are extremely effective when taken according to the directions, they do have side effects. The longer a woman takes them, the more severe the side effects can become. Prolonged use of the pill can also increase a woman's risk of breast or uterine cancer. The side effects that are most commonly associated with the use of the birth control pills include acne outbreaks, weight gain, blurred vision, headaches, and missing or abnormal periods. Other than being extremely effective at preventing pregnancy, doctors also recommend the use of oral birth control pills to help regulate and manage menstrual periods.
Depending on the brand and type of IUD that is put in place, the device can remain effective for anywhere from 10 to 12 years. Plastic IUDs that release small amounts of hormones are estimated to be effective for at least seven years. Doctors recommend replacing an IUD one to two years prior to losing effectiveness. This minimizes the risk of an accidental pregnancy and also protects the woman from the IUD becoming dislodged or moving unexpectedly. While there are few reported risks from having an IUD in place, doctors recommend having them removed as soon as they expire and are no longer effective.
*Individual results may vary
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