There are many birth control (contraception) options available, including birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, condoms, and more. For some people, an intrauterine device (IUD) is the best option when it comes to birth control. IUDs are considered some of the safest, most effective forms of birth control available, and the doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants at One Medical can help you find the right IUD for you, insert it, and remove it when the time is right. Contraceptive implants are another popular option for long-term, effective birth control — and we can help you determine if an IUD or implant is best for you.
In general, an IUD is a small device that’s inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are considered very effective long-term and reversible forms of birth control. IUDs are made of a small T-shaped piece of flexible plastic and are sometimes called an intrauterine contraception or IUC. IUDs can also sometimes be used for other purposes besides birth control, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and PMS. If you do decide to get an IUD for birth control, it’s important to know that once it’s removed, it’s possible to get pregnant right away.
There are two major categories of IUDs: hormonal and nonhormonal. Within those two categories, there are five different brands of IUDs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States: Paragard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla. While Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla are hormonal IUDs, Paragard is a copper IUD. Hormonal IUDs use the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy and can last between 3 to 7 years depending on the brand. Paragard doesn’t have hormones — it’s wrapped in copper and can help prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years. Paragard can also be used as a form of emergency contraception.
The doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants at One Medical can help you choose the right IUD for you, taking into account your personal health history, lifestyle choices, fertility plans, and more. The primary care providers (PCP) at One Medical are skilled in handling a variety of women’s health issues like birth control and can provide many of the services offered by a gynecologist or OB/GYN, so there’s often no need to book an appointment with a separate women’s health doctor. Many One Medical PCPs can take care of IUD insertions and removals.