Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, can be an effective birth control option, but many women choose others because they have reservations about IUDs.
A Houston Methodist physician answered common questions patients ask her about IUDs.
“The biggest advantage of IUDs is there is zero chance of user error,” said Dr. Rosalyn Miller, a board-certified OB-GYN with Houston Methodist Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sugar Land.
Below are five tips Miller gave to dispel what she called myths around IUDs.
– Placement of the IUD may be uncomfortable, but most agree it is tolerable.
– There are two main types of IUDs, hormonal and a non-hormonal copper form. With the non-hormonal copper IUD, women might experience heavier, longer periods and spotting for two to three months. If you experience side effects that continue or become severe, ask your doctor how to best address these concerns.
– While some women fear that IUDs are dangerous, complications are rare, according to Miller. She said expulsions, or the IUD falling out of place, occur in less than 1 percent of women who have an IUD.
– Having an IUD will not affect fertility later on. In a study comparing pregnancy rates between former IUD users and former users of other contraceptive methods, there was no difference between the two groups in the time it took to become pregnant, according to Miller.
– IUDs can also help with heavy periods.
“Every woman should pick the birth control option that is right for her, but I don’t want women to be afraid of IUDs,” Miller said.
To schedule an appointment with Miller, visit houstonmethodist.org/obgyn or call 346-874-2060.