For women looking for long-term birth control, IUDs can be a great option. The thing about IUD is that it is long-lasting reversible contraception. This means if you later want to try for a baby, you can easily get it removed without impacting your fertility in any way. There are two categories of IUDs and these are hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs. The hormonal type works by releasing progestin into the uterus directly to make it difficult for the sperm to get to the egg and fertilize it. The non-hormonal IUD is made of copper and it is designed to act like a spermicidal.
Hormonal IUDs: What to Know
The U.S. FDA approved four types of hormonal intrauterine devices and these are Mirena, Liletta, Kyleena, and Skyla. Skyla is effective for three years while Kyleena can last as long as five years. Liletta and Mirena on the other hand, work for seven years. It’s possible to experience Mirena side effects when you have the procedure done and this is true for other hormonal IUDs. Hormonal IUDs that are progestin-only are an effective and safe option of birth control for nursing moms as there is no risk to the child or decrease in your milk supply.
Non-Hormonal IUD: What to Know
There is only one type of non-hormonal IUD and that is the Paragard. This has an effective lifespan of 10 years and it is also very safe for nursing moms. Since it is non-hormonal, it will not affect your supply of breast milk in any way and your child will also not be in any danger. Paragard is 100% safe and effective for nursing mothers.
What to Expect When Getting an IUD
It’s normal to be anxious if you have never had an IUD insertion. However, there is nothing to worry about. The procedure is quick and lasts about five to ten minutes. Ordinarily, the insertion should not be too painful but it can be a bit uncomfortable. After the insertion, you may likely experience mild cramps or backache but there is nothing an OTC pain-reliever cannot handle. Your healthcare provider may recommend ibuprofen or other pain relief medication before the insertion to reduce the cramps and aches you may feel. After the insertion, you can also use a heating pad on your uterus area to reduce any pain. You should know that there is a possibility of spotting for two to three days. After this, you should feel better and normal.
Rare But Serious Side Effects of IUDs
Some rare but serious side effects are associated with IUDs. If you feel any of them after your IUD insertion, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. They include:
- Chills or fever that is over 100 degrees
- Dizziness or faintness
- Heavy bleeding that soaks through your pads within an hour or two
- Sharp and sudden stomach pain that does not go with time
Other Common Side Effects of IUDs
There are other common side effects that individuals can experience when getting an IUD. They are usually mild and vary from one person to the other and the types of IUD you get. Some of the common side effects of hormonal IUDs are headaches, acne, bloating, hair loss, missed or light periods, and spotting. For non-hormonal IUD, the most common adverse effects are heavier periods, spotting between periods, and cramps.
The side effects of IUDs do not require that you visit the ER or call your doctor, except you are feeling uncomfortable about them. The good news is that with time, the side effects will subside and everything will go back to normal.