When we talk about “long-acting” IUDs (which last between 3 to 12 years, depending on the type) we get A LOT of responses. They typically range from, “It’d only be better if it lasted forever! 😍” to “That’s gonna be a hard pass from me. I might want kids in the next couple of years!??🙅”
We’re here with good news for everybody! You have more control with a lot more flexible options with IUDs and IUCs than you may think!
Here are five flexible facts about one of our favorite forms of birth control:
1. IUDs and IUCs are completely reversible, and you can decide if you’d like it removed at any time.
IUDs only affect your ability to become pregnant when they’re sitting in your uterus. And here’s some more amazing news: removal is even quicker and easier than insertion! Taking out an IUD is often no more than a quick pull by a medical professional, and you may be able to get pregnant right away, which leads us to our next fact…
2. You may get pregnant as little as a month after removing an IUD/IUC.
After removal, there is no need to wait a long time to try to get pregnant. You can try to get pregnant in the next day/month/year! Totally up to you. An IUD does not affect your ability to conceive in the future. This also means if you are changing methods and don’t want to be pregnant, don’t assume you are “safe” having sex without a method of birth control after taking out your IUD, no matter how long it was in place.
3. You can choose an IUD with hormones or without hormones.
Hormonal IUDs work by releasing a small amount of hormone that thickens the cervical mucus so sperm can’t get in. It can also prevent you from ovulating, which means there’s nothing for the sperm to fertilize if it does get in. Non-hormonal IUDs (also called copper IUDs) work a little differently. The copper is safe for your uterus but toxic to sperm; so if the swimmers get inside your uterus, they don’t get far enough to fertilize an egg. No fertilized egg, no pregnancy!
4. You can choose an IUD that gives you a lighter period (or no period at all!).
Around 90% of people using hormonal IUDs experience lighter, less frequent periods after a few months. Some people’s periods disappear altogether due to the constant hormones being released in your uterus — and in this case, not getting a period is okay. BTW if having a regular period is important to you so you know your IUD is working, a copper IUD may be a better choice than a hormonal option.
5. You do not need to have had kids or be on your period to get an IUD.
Some providers have excluded teens and younger people who have not had children from getting an IUD. This is outdated medical practice and we now know IUDs are fine for people who have never given birth. It is also fine to have an IUD put in while you are taking the birth control pill or when you are on or off of your period. Talk about flexible!
And here’s one bonus flexible fact:
You can use a copper IUD as a form of emergency contraception, too! Read more about emergency contraception options and using a copper IUD as EC here.
Ready to get an IUD? Or just want to talk through all your birth control options? Give us a call anytime at 1-855-SAY-CARA to schedule an appointment or find your nearest location online to schedule now.