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What Is an IUD?

An IUD is a device that is used as a method to prevent pregnancy. IUD stands for intrauterine device, and is an object that is physically inserted into a woman’s uterus as a means of birth control. As long as the IUD is inserted properly, it provides 99% - and higher - effectiveness against pregnancy.

In the United States, the term IUD refers to two things: IUDs made of copper and IUDs that release hormones. In the United Kingdom, IUD only refers to the devices containing copper. In this part of the world, those devices which release hormones are considered to be another kind of birth control.

Copper IUDs often take on the shape of the letter T. Around this frame, pure electrolytic copper wire is wound. There are IUDs, however, that can be U-shaped or frameless (this is simply a string with copper beads).

While the IUD practically guarantees protection against pregnancy, it is important to remember that it does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases. As such, if you are sexually active with multiple partners, you might want to still use condoms to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases.

If you decide to use the IUD as your mode of birth control, you need to go to a medical professional. In fact, the decision of using the IUD also needs to be done during a consultation with your doctor. Together, you can decide if the IUD is the right form of birth control for you. The doctor is also the one who will insert the IUD into your uterus. You will probably be given a local anesthetic so that the cervix can be relaxed during the insertion.

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