IUD/Birth Control Pills

Prema Kothandaraman, MD -  - OB-GYN

Prema Kothandaraman, MD

OB-GYN located in Arcadia, CA

IUD/Birth Control Pills Specialist
At Hero OB/GYN, Dr. Prema Kothandaraman and her staff specialize in the use of IUDs and birth control pills. Serving the residents of Arcadia, California and many nearby communities, the doctor serves patients of all ages.

IUD/Birth Control Pills Q & A

by Prema Kothandaraman, MD

How Effective are IUDs?

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.

What are the Side Effects Associated with Birth Control Pills?

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.

How Long can an IUD Remain in Place?

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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