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The Pros and Cons of an IUD

Amanda Turner
March 29, 2021

If you’re considering an intrauterine device as a form of birth control, you’ve likely heard the good (super reliable), the bad (insertion can hurt), and the terrible (the ParaGard IUD lawsuit). 

Here, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know when deciding whether an IUD is the right fit birth control option for you.

Pro: There are both hormonal and non-hormonal IUD options.

With the pill, you only have the choice of a hormonal option. Some women find that birth control hormones increase skin problems, weight gain, and create other health issues. When you choose an IUD for birth control, you get to decide whether you want a hormonal or non-hormonal copper IUD option.

Con: Both hormonal and non-hormonal IUD options may cause unpleasant side effects

iud side effects

Some women with copper IUDs notice longer and heavier periods, cramping, and spotting between periods. Some women who chose hormonal IUDs experience irregular bleeding and spotting, especially over the first few months of use.

Pro: After an IUD is inserted, it’s good for up to three to twelve years.

Some IUD options can stay in the body for more than a decade, making this type of birth control a good choice for women who have trouble remembering to take a pill every day.

Con: Health problems can occur with certain IUDs, specifically, ParaGard.

While IUDs are meant to stay intact and in place, some brands of IUD have caused health problems by moving in the vagina, breaking, perforating the uterus, and more. Many women have filed lawsuits against ParaGard for injuries caused by the ParaGard copper IUD. Immediate side effects reported with ParaGard include back pain, pelvic pain, inflammation, and severely painful menstrual periods. 

When the ParaGard IUD breaks, moves, or becomes embedded in reproductive tissue, users may experience infertility, uterine damage or organ damage, or may need a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) to mitigate damage caused by the IUD. Unfortunately, many women who currently use a ParaGard IUD were uninformed of the potential for long-term negative effects.

Pro: IUDs are reversible.

If you decide that you’d like to start a family, or that you’d like to switch to another method of birth control, your IUD can be removed by your OB/GYN in a quick office visit. 

For most women, fertility returns shortly after IUD removal, and most women who want to become pregnant do so within six months after IUD removal.

Con: Your OB-GYN has to insert and remove your IUD — and it can be unpleasant, to say the least.

IUD pros and cons

The start of getting an IUD is similar to a pap smear, however, the IUD sits in the uterus — meaning it needs to pass through the small opening of the cervix. The dilation of the cervix can be painful. Some doctors use numbing medicine to make the process more comfortable, while others do not. Your doctor may ask you to take pain medication before the insertion process. 

While getting an IUD only takes a few minutes, some women report that severe cramping during the process. Cramping, spotting, and backaches are all common in the days after IUD insertion.

Pro: IUDs are tiny — once it’s in, you won’t be able to feel it.

While insertion can be painful, you won’t be able to feel the IUD once it’s in. Your healthcare provider may ask that you manually check for your IUD strings a few times a week during the first few months to ensure that it’s staying in place. If you can’t find your IUD strings, it’s important that you reach out to your healthcare provider immediately, as the IUD may have moved, requiring immediate medical attention.

Con: Your partner may be able to feel the IUD during sexual activity.

A male sex partner may be able to feel your IUD during sex. While it’s normal for the soft strings of the IUD to be felt by your partner, neither you nor your partner should be able to feel the hard part of the IUD. If you or your partner can feel this part of your IUD, you need to reach out to your OB/GYN immediately, as your IUD may have moved or may need to be re-placed.

If you have or have had a ParaGard IUD in the past, you should make a point to stay on top of the latest developments in the lawsuit against the company. Whether you suffered injuries or simply were not made aware of the risks associated with a ParaGard IUD, you’re not alone. You deserve to make informed reproductive healthcare decisions, and ParaGard’s negligence may have made that impossible for you and others.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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