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Is the IUD the right method for me?

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Is the IUD the right method for me?

There are a number of factors you should consider to determine whether the IUD is the right contraceptive method for you. As with any contraception, you should first talk to your doctor or a counselor at your local clinic or hospital before deciding to use an IUD as a contraceptive method.


The IUD may be an appropriate method for you

If any of the following is true:

  • You prefer a very effective method of contraception and want a long-acting method.
  • You prefer a method that is not linked to sexual intercourse or that does not require doing something every day.
  • You can tolerate menstrual changes such as spotting between periods, increased cramping with periods, or longer or heavier periods.
  • You have a condition considered to be a precaution for hormonal methods of contraception.
  • You have successfully used an IUD in the past.
  • You have just delivered a baby. The IUD may be inserted immediately following delivery, six weeks after delivery, or at any time you and your health care provider believe you are not pregnant (whether or not you are breastfeeding).
  • You have just had an uncomplicated abortion and your uterus is not infected. The IUD may be inserted on the same day as the abortion, or at any time you and your health care provider believe you are not pregnant.

The IUD may not be an appropriate method for you

If any of the following is true:

  • You are at risk of exposure to, or transmission of, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection. The IUD does not provide protection against these infections. Aside from abstinence, latex condoms offer the best protection against these infections.
  • You have any conditions that increase the risk of infection, such as AIDS, poorly controlled diabetes, or immunosuppressive therapy.
  • You have no children or desire more children.
  • You have severe anemia (hemoglobin under 9 grams).
  • You have heavy menstrual periods.
  • You have severe menstrual cramps that require medication or that markedly restrict your activity.
  • You have a history of ectopic pregnancy.
  • You dislike touching your genitals to feel for the IUD strings.

The IUD is not an appropriate method for you

If any of the following is true:

  • You are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
  • You have abnormal vaginal discharge or lower abdominal pain.
  • You have had gonorrhea or chlamydia.
  • You have current, recent, or recurrent pelvic infection.
  • You are at risk for exposure to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection. A woman who has more than one partner, or whose partner has more than one partner, is considered to be at risk for STIs.
  • You have unexplained abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • You have had or are strongly suspected of having cancer of the uterus.
  • You have had postpartum or postabortal uterine infection (endometritis) within the last three months.
  • You have just delivered a baby and have any of the following conditions:
    • Prolonged rupture of membranes (greater than 24 hours).
    • Fever or any other signs of infection.
    • Bleeding problems following delivery.

For more information about this method, see The IUD: Answers to Your Questions.


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[ Home | About AVSC | Site index | Publications ] [ Version Française | Versión Español ]
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