Intrauterine device (IUD)

Pregnancy prevention for up to 10 years, remove at any time

An effective, long-acting and reversible method of contraception

The IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is placed in a woman's womb and provides contraceptive protection for up to ten years.

The IUD is a long-acting, reversible method of contraception (LARC). Long-acting methods of contraception all have the advantage that, once in place, you don’t need to think about them until they need replacing and none of them interrupt sex.

A woman can use an IUD whether or not she's had children. IUDs are also straightforward for a trained provider to insert and remove, which can generally be done at any time.

 

Effectiveness

99% - If one hundred women used the IUD for a year and carried on with their normal sex life then only one of those women would fall pregnant during that period.

Availability

You can get an IUD at all our centres, mobile clinics and AMUA clinics

Pricing

Please contact our team for more information about pricing

If you're starting to use contraception for the first time, or thinking about using a new method, it's a good idea to have a full consultation.

Call us toll-free for a confidential chat

0800 720005

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Advantages of an IUD

The IUD offers advantages as a long-acting, reversible method of family planning:

  • Easily inserted by a trained Marie Stopes provider
  • Effective immediately
  • Easy to use - nothing to remember after insertion
  • Can be easily removed
  • Works as soon as it's put in
  • Fertility returns immediately after it’s removed
  • It does not interrupt sex.

These benefits come from the correct use of the IUD when inserted by a trained provider. If using an IUD you should also make sure to follow any product manufacturer instructions.

The IUD is a great option for women who know they don’t want to be pregnant for a few years. Once in place, they do not need to think about it or do anything until it needs replacing or they want it removed.

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Things to consider

There are a few things to consider when choosing a non-hormonal IUD over other contraception methods:

  • The most common side effect of IUD is heavier, more uncomfortable or prolonged periods
  • The IUD may cause a slight increase in vaginal discharge but it does not cause a rise in infections as long as it is put in properly by a trained person
  • In very rare cases a woman’s body might reject the IUD and push it out
  • Unlike condoms, the IUD does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

Other methods of contraception at a glance

Condoms

Male and females condoms are a barrier contraception method for preventing pregnancy and STIs.

When used correctly, condoms are highly effective. Condoms are also the only contraceptive method that protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and syphilis.

Oral contraceptive pill

The contraceptive pill is a short-acting contraceptive method.

Contraceptive pills contain hormones, similar to those naturally produced by a woman’s body. The pill needs to be taken at the same time every day to effectively prevent pregnancy. It’s ability to prevent pregnancy depends on a person using it correctly.

Contraceptive implant

The implant is a highly effective, long-acting and reversible method of contraception.

It consists of either 1 or 2 small plastic rods that are placed in the upper arm and, depending on the product used, is effective at preventing pregnancy for 3 to 5 years.

Injectable

The injectable or contraceptive injection is an effective, long-acting and reversible method of contraception.

It works by releasing a hormone that stops eggs being released by the body. Injectables are highly effective, lasting 2 to 3 months (depending on the type used), but women must remember to return for another injection around this time or risk not being protected from pregnancy.

Tubal ligation

Tubal ligation is a permanent, irreversible contraceptive solution for women.

It is suitable for women who are sure they don't want anymore children.

The method involves a short surgical procedure, performed by a highly trained doctor that prevents a woman's eggs and the man's sperm meeting, so a pregnancy can't occur.

Vasectomy

A surgical procedure for providing a permanent contraceptive solution for men.

A vasectomy is a contraceptive method suitable for men who are sure they don't want anymore children.

It's a popular method of family planning chosen by millions of men worldwide. It's safe, effective and offers a permanent solution to contraceptive need.

How an IUD works

The IUD works by stopping a man's sperm meeting an egg or it may also stop an egg implanting in the uterus.

Copper changes the make-up of the fluids in the womb and fallopian tubes, stopping sperm surviving there. IUDs may also stop fertilised eggs from implanting in the womb

Fitting an IUD

Inserting an IUD is a simple procedure that takes a few minutes.

A trained person inserts the IUD. The IUD sits in your womb and does not move from there. There are threads attached to the IUD which hang down into the vagina that assist with removal or if you or your provider want to check on the IUD. Do not pull on the threads as this is how the device is removed.

The IUD starts working as soon as it is put in and stops working as soon as it is taken out, at which point your normal fertility returns immediately.

Looking for more information about IUDs?

Try visiting our frequently asked questions where we've provided some brief answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.

IUD aftercare advice

If you have an IUD fitted, it will work straight away. When your IUD is fitted, you should plan a follow-up appointment after 6 weeks to have your IUD checked.

Once a month, after your period, gently insert a finger into your vagina during a bath or shower. The neck of your womb (cervix) feels a bit like the end of your nose, and you should be able to feel the threads of your IUD. If you can’t, please contact us or your doctor, and use condoms or abstain from sex until the presence of the IUD is confirmed.

Your partner should not be able to feel the threads during sex. If this happens, seek advice as above, as your threads might be too long.

 

Please contact us at any time if you have any aftercare concerns, or find out more if you're looking to learn about removing an IUD.

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