An IUD is a small, flexible device, shaped like the letter T, that is inserted into the uterus. IUD stands for intrauterine device.
IUDs - Mirena & ParaGard
Photo © 2009 Dawn Stacey
The IUD is a totally discreet contraceptive method and is the most popular form of reversible birth control in the world. There are two IUD brands available in the United States:
- Mirena IUD: which continuously releases a small amount of the progestin levonorgestrel and is effective for 5 years
- ParaGard IUD (also known as Copper T 380A): which releases a tiny amount of copper (which acts as a spermicide) over a 10-year period as a way to prevent pregnancy. This IUD is the only non-medicated IUD available in the US and is hormone-free (so it does not alter a woman’s natural menstrual cycle). It can also be used as emergency contraception
IUDs are long lasting, safe, virtually maintenance-free and one of the most effective birth control types available.