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Birth Control and Intrauterine Devices

            The IUD is a small, plastic T-shaped device. This device is either wrapped in copper or contains progestin. It can be effective from 5-12 years, and is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. This method of birth control is considered a barrier and hormonal method because it blocks the fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus, and the progestin coating it contains may damage or kill sperm.
             Due to past problems with one type of IUD, it was withdrawn from the market in 1975. However there are two types that are still commonly used and shown to be safe and effective, within the U.S., Mirena and ParaGard. After insertion of the IUD, women can check to see if it is properly installed by feeling for the small plastic string that is tied to the end of it that is suspended through the cervix. This string is also used in the removal process. One commonly used IUD device is the Mirena. "As soon as Mirena is placed in your uterus by your healthcare provider, it starts releasing small amounts of the hormone levonorgestrel into your uterus to provide continuous birth control for as long as you want, for up to 5 years." Mirena-us.com. This device doesn't contain estrogen and may help women with heavy menstrual cycles. It is suggested that after insertion of this IUD device that someone drive you home, due to mild cramping. Some women may also experience light bleeding 1 to 2 days after the procedure. .
             After insertion of this device, pregnancy prevention could be considered a thought of the past. 4-6 weeks after insertion, the doctor might want a follow up visit to ensure the IUD device is still in place. This IUD device is very cost effective since it lasts up to 5 years. This IUD can also be used by women who are breastfeeding. Mirena may also prevent endometrial cancer, reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. This device also does not contribute to weight gain.

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