UT Teen Health Health

IUD (Intrauterine Device)

IUD

effectiveness

typical use

99%

(CDC, 2016)

 

The IUD is a t-shaped piece of plastic that is inserted in the uterus to inhibit the way sperm can move and prevent them from fertilizing an egg. There are two types: hormonal and non-hormonal. The hormonal type contains levonorgestrel which thickens cervical mucous, and thins the uterine lining. The non-hormonal type contains copper which irritates the lining of the uterus and is deadly or toxic to sperm. They offer years of protection—between five and ten, depending on the type. They are reversible, meaning that they can be removed at any time, allowing a woman the opportunity to get pregnant. The copper IUD is also an effective method of emergency contraception if placed up to 5 days after intercourse.

Quick Facts!

Effective, long-lasting, reversible

Effectiveness

It's one of the most effective methods.

Side effects

Possible cramping, irregular bleeding , or very rarely infection or perforation on insertion, and pregnancy complications.

Effort

It's inserted once and lasts for 5-10 years depending on the type.

How do I get it?

It needs to be inserted in a doctor’s office.

Cost

From $0-$550 + cost of insertion and removal.

STI reduction

None.

More about the IUD

STI reduction

None.

Get it and forget it

Once inserted, it is effective for 5-10 years, depending on the type.

Safe

This method is safe for healthy women, even if you’re young, haven't ever been pregnant, or haven’t had kids yet.

 

The Mirena® IUD can stay in the body for up to five years, costing the equivalent of just $9 a month. The ParaGard® IUD can stay in the body for up to 10 years costing the equivalent of $4 a month. For both IUDs, there may be an additional cost to insert and or remove them.

Prices for a Mirena®*

  • With Medicaid: Free or a small co-pay
  • With insurance: Usually the cost of the co-pay
  • Without insurance: About $550 + cost to insert/remove

Prices for a ParaGard®*

  • With Medicaid: Free or a small co-pay
  • With insurance: Usually the cost of the co-pay

Without insurance: About $450 + cost to insert/remove

Talk with your doctor to make sure the IUD is right for you.

The IUD can be inserted any time of the month, when pregnancy is ruled out. It's inserted at the doctor’s office or clinic.  It is common to feel some cramps after insertion; which subside with rest or pain medication. Some women might feel dizzy immediately after it is placed. Once the IUD is in, there is a little string that hangs down into the vagina. No strings can be seen outside the vagina. It's there so that the IUD can be removed later. After it's in, check the string ends from time to time to make sure it's in place.

Spotting between periods (especially during the first few months), increased period flow (for users of the ParaGard® brand), cramps, backaches, possible infections, and in rare cases uterine perforation or pregnancy complications.