How Does an Intrauterine Device (IUD) Affect Your Period?
The Copper IUD Is Not Effective For You If:
You are not fertile or have irregular cycles.
Your body temperature is too high during your cycle.
You are pregnant at the time of insertion.
You are taking birth control pills.
If you have any of these conditions, then the copper IUD will not work for you. However, if none of them apply to you, then the copper IUD may be right for you!
What Are The Benefits Of An IUD?
Benefits of using an intrauterine device (IUD):
1. Contraception – Contraceptives prevent pregnancy when inserted into the uterus.
2. Preventing Ovulation – When used correctly, the copper IUD prevents ovulation, which means it stops eggs from being released during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
This helps prevent fertilization of an egg by a man’s cells.
3. Protecting Against Cancer – The copper IUD is effective against ovarian cancer because it kills the lining of the womb (endometrium).
This protects women from developing endometrial cancer later in life.
4. Regulates Periods – The copper IUD causes periods to become longer, heavier, and more painful for 3-9 months after insertion.
However, most women experience return to normal menstrual cycles within a year.
5. No Surgery Required – A simple procedure is all that is needed to insert or remove an IUD.
No incisions (cuts) need to be made into the body.
6. Long-Lasting – IUDs are long-term contraceptives that women can use for up to 12 years.
After this time period the IUD should be removed by a health care provider.
7. Discreet – IUDs do not contain hormones and do not interfere with natural sexual activity, as such the IUD is completely discreet.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Using An IUD?
1. Painful Periods – Some women report experiencing heavier and longer menstrual bleeding.
These longer and heavier periods can sometimes be very painful for women who already have problematic periods.
2. Expensive IUD – The initial cost of the copper IUD is expensive.
Not everyone has health insurance that covers the cost of an IUD, so this initial cost can be a big problem for some women.
3. Uncomfortable IUD – The IUD has sharp sides that pierce the uterine wall when it is inserted, some women experience pain during and after the procedure.
Others feel discomfort inside their uterus as the IUD inserts.
4. Possible Side Effects – Some women experience nausea, headaches, and vaginal bleeding after insertion of an IUD.
A small number of women can even experience very serious complications, such as infections and uterine scars.
5. PID Risk – Some studies have found that women with IUDs are at greater risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
PID is an infection of a woman’s reproductive system and can cause permanent damage to a woman’s fertility.
6. Embarrassment – For women who experience heavier periods, bleeding, and pain during their period, this can lead to feelings of embarrassment and social isolation.
This is particularly common in teenage girls who may feel embarrassed about their IUDs when they are going through puberty and beginning their menstrual cycle.
7. Unsafe For Some Women – Not all women can use an IUD.
You should not use a copper IUD if you have an infection in your uterus. You should also not use a copper IUD if you have cancer in your uterus or have unexplained bleeding from your uterus.
Do IUDs Have Any Benefits?
1. No Hormones – IUDs do not include any hormones, which means they do not cause any side effects.
2. Effective – IUDs are very effective at preventing against unwanted pregnancies.
They are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancies when used correctly.
3. No Male Involvement – IUDs are women-controlled forms of contraception, which means that they do not require any involvement from a male partner.
4. Reversible – Unlike female sterilization (tubal ligation), and male sterilization (vasectomy), IUDs are completely reversible.
If you decide you want to try for a pregnancy at a later date, your doctor can simply remove the IUD and you can try for a baby.
How Do IUDs Work?
There are two types of IUDs, copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs.
1. How They Prevent Pregnancy – The way that copper IUDs prevents pregnancy is by damaging the surface of the male’s swimmers or the egg cell so that they are unable to successfully fertilize the egg or implant in the uterus.
2. Prevents Reimplantation – The copper IUD also works by creating a hostile environment in the uterus that prevents implantation.
The copper IUD has a negative charge and this creates a negative charge in the uterus, which means the uterine wall would have a difficult time accepting an incoming positive charge from a successfully fertilized egg.
3. Periods – If the copper IUD works, you should notice your periods becoming heavier and lasting longer than usual.
Most women who use copper IUDs experience more painful periods.
1. How They Prevent Pregnancy – Hormonal IUDs thicken the mucus at the opening of the cervix, which makes it difficult for the egg to travel through the uterus and fall down to the opening of the cervix.
They can also prevent the egg from leaving the ovary in the first place. In addition, they thicken the lining of the uterus, which makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant there.
2. Periods – If the hormonal IUD works, you should notice your periods becoming lighter and less painful than usual.
What Are The Different Types Of IUDs?
Sources & references used in this article:
Extended use of the intrauterine device: a literature review and recommendations for clinical practice by JP Wu, S Pickle – Contraception, 2014 – Elsevier
The effects of psychological preparation on pain at intrauterine device insertion by JR Newton, AE Reading – Contraception, 1977 – Elsevier
Complications of the intrauterine device in nulliparous and parous women by HM Veldhuis, AG Vos… – The European journal of …, 2004 – Taylor & Francis
Three years’ experience with levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device and Norplant-2 implants: a randomized comparative study by SL Wang, SC Wu, XM Xin, JH Chen, J Gao – Advances in contraception, 1992 – Springer