Debunking myths about IUDs
Intrauterine devices, also knows as IUDs, are the most effective option for reversible birth control available. An IUD is a small, plastic T-shaped device that is placed into the uterus to stop sperm from reaching and fertilizing eggs as a means of contraception. Currently, there are five IUDs available for women in the U.S.: Liletta, Kyleena, Mirena, Skyla and ParaGard, according to WebMD. All options besides ParaGard release small amounts of progestin, the same hormone used in birth control pills, into the body. A hormone-free option, ParaGard uses copper to influence the immune system to prevent pregnancy.
While one's risk for becoming pregnant with an IUD is substantially low – it's less than 1 percent – some women are still unsure about this form of contraception, most likely due to assumptions or altered thoughts brought on by false rumors. To ensure your judgment isn't clouded by the wrong information, we've debunked the most common myths surrounding IUDs:
1. Myth: IUDs are painful
As with any medical procedure, pain tolerance varies from patient to patient. The insertion of the IUD is noted as unpleasant, but the pain is often mild and short lived, according to Amy Bryant, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina.
"It feels like a couple of really big menstrual cramps," she told The Huffington Post. "For some women, they experience those really, really severely, and for other women it's really pretty mild. The vast majority of women get them placed without any problem at all. "I like to say it's five minutes of discomfort for five years of excellent birth control."
2. Myth: IUDs can cause infertility
According to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, consumers believe that the early development of IUDs increased one's risk of developing a sexually transmitted infection. Because STIs can scar the fallopian tubes, they can ultimately prevent women from becoming pregnant. However, research shows that current IUDs do not cause STIs, and therefore do not lead to infertility.
3. Myth: IUDs can fall out
While one's body may not agree with the IUD, it's extremely unlikely that your uterus will expose the device, according to Bryant, who told The Huffington Post that this only happens in 3 to 5 percent of all instances. Just in case the device does fall out, however, most doctors recommend using a backup method for birth control during the weeks following the insertion of the IUD. If the device does fall out, Bryant said you'll know, because a large cramp or blood clot will occur before the device drops.
4. Myth: You shouldn't consider an IUD if you haven't had kids yet
Most people believe that an IUD should only be considered by women who have had children and don't plan to have any more in the future. According to WebMD, IUD is often considered the first option for contraception in young females, most who haven't had children yet. Studies show that this form of birth control has reduced unplanned pregnancies in young females in comparison to those who used birth control pills instead.
5. Myth: IUD increases one's risk of having an ectopic pregnancy
When an ectopic pregnancy occurs, the fertilized egg stops traveling through the fallopian tubes on its route to the uterus. The egg continues to grow here, which can be very dangerous for both the mother and the child. Some believe that an IUD can increase one's risk of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, but that's simply not the case. Smoking, pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis are common causes of an ectopic pregnancy, but not an IUD.
Doctors should consider OBP Medical's IUD Insertion Kit
Reusable vaginal specula and light sources are most commonly used to insert an IUD, but these tools can be costly, require maintenance and may even increase risk of cross-contamination when improperly sanitized. Doctors can eliminate such risks, increase efficiency and reduce costs by using OBP Medical's IUD Insertion Kit. It contains a single-use disposable vaginal speculum with an integrated LED light source. This kit enables doctors to eliminate the need to use, replace, charge or clean a reusable light sources in devices ever again.
For more information, request a sample today.