Contraception is a key component of family planning services. There are several birth control options available, one being the intrauterine device (IUD). An IUD is T-shaped device that is placed inside your uterus, preventing pregnancy.
There are both hormonal and copper IUDs, and both affect sperm mobility, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Sperm does not like copper, so a copper IUD prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg. Hormonal IUDs can prevent pregnancy by thickening cervix mucus and stopping ovulation.
IUDs are different from other contraceptive options because a healthcare provider must place it. This involves a roughly five-minute procedure at the doctor’s office. At your visit for insertion, your provider will assess your uterus, vagina, and cervix. Additionally, they may give you medication to minimize pain from the procedure. When administering the IUD, your provider uses a speculum and a tool to place the IUD into the opening of the cervix and into the uterus.