IUD - INTRAUTERINE DEVICES
IUDs or coils have been used for contraception since the ancient Egyptian era. They have the advantage of providing long term, effective and reversible contraception which does not rely on taking a pill daily or using condoms on every encounter.
Hormonal IUDs have the benefit of not only providing excellent contraception but also significantly reducing menstrual blood loss. Many women enjoy having no bleeding while the hormonal IUS is in place and others experience very short, light periods. These hormonal IUDs are also licensed to control heavy menstrual bleeding and have made a huge impact on the lives of women who experience heavy periods.
Non hormonal IUDs are also a great contraceptive choice, freeing women from hormonal additions to their normal hormonal cycle and providing stress free contraception. They come in various shapes and sizes with a small amount of copper integrated in the device. The IUD affects the lining of the uterus so that implantation is unlikely and sperm are discouraged in their journey to find an egg. The down side of the non hormonal IUDs is an increase in vaginal blood loss with each period. This pattern varies from woman to woman, with some experiencing heavier bleeding with more pronounced cramping, and others experiencing longer periods.
Insertion should be done during or just after a period. This reassures us that pregnancy is unlikely and also makes insertion easier for the woman and for the inserter. IUDs are suitable for most women, regardless of if they have had any pregnancies or not. Occasionally some insertions may be a little more difficult and may be referred on for insertion under sedation. For the most part insertion is well tolerated and safer when done awake.
Cramping and spotting is very common in the first week after insertion for all IUDs. Longer erratic spotting with the hormonal IUS is normal as the lining of the uterus acclimatises to the hormone. By 4 months the majority of women are very happy with the hormonal IUD.
If you can remember to take some analgesia before your appointment for an IUD insertion, that is great. Ibuprofen, naprogesic and naproxen are most appropriate for the type of discomfort experienced during and after an insertion.
We have hormonal and non hormonal IUDs in stock at East Sydney Doctors, so if you have not had a previous consultation then this is fine. Insertion can usually be done without a prior appointment as long you are in the right time of your cycle.