There are various contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy, but the most effective and safe is the intrauterine device or IUD. This is a small plastic device in the shape of a T with two nylon threads on the bottom and is inserted through the vagina to place in the uterus. Only trained medical personnel can perform this procedure, so it is unnecessary to keep an eye on it when having sex once it is in place.
Although in the first months or sometimes even in the first year, it can cause bothersome symptoms, afterward, the side effects are low, and the benefits remain high. Despite this, being a foreign object inside the body, it is customary to worry about the possible alterations that are suffered. Women have a persistent question about how long the period lasts with the IUD. To get a more detailed answer, we invite you to read the following FastlyHealarticle.
Types of IUDs and How They Work
The intrauterine device is classified into two types, and the use of one or the other will depend on the needs and health of each woman since sometimes one of them may be contraindicated to her condition. Therefore, although both fulfill the same function, a specialist must indicate the best type of IUD for you. Although there are several brands, IUDs are divided by their operation into:
- Copper IUD: It is a flexible plastic in the shape of a T covered with a copper wire and has a useful life of up to 12 years after it is inserted. Its contraceptive action is that copper alters the mobility and energy of sperm, also stimulates a slight inflammation in the endometrium to trap these sex cells. Because copper does not affect ovulation, it thus prevents sperm from reaching the fallopian tube for fertilization.
- Hormone-releasing IUD: This plastic device, also known as the Mirena IUD by its trade name, has a deposit of a hormone similar to progesterone and is released in small amounts constantly. Its effectiveness time will depend on the brand of IUD used, some can last for a maximum of 3 years, and others be effective for up to 6 years. The released hormone acts in several ways. One of them is by altering the mucus in the canal that communicates to the uterus, making it impossible for the sperm to move and pass, or limiting the growth of the endometrium if an egg is unable to implant. It can also prevent ovulation from taking place.
The IUD affects the menstrual cycle.
Many women perceive that after the intrauterine device is placed, their period changes, either in intensity, duration or that it does not appear every month. This is a very average effect in the first few months, considering that it is a foreign object in the uterus and that the body needs to get used to it. These alterations in menstruation are also related to the type of IUD used, so it is essential to see your doctor if you have any questions.
How long does your period last with the copper IUD?
If a copper IUD was implanted, it is common for the woman to have heavy menstrual bleeding in the first 3 or 4 months, but this should gradually decrease and be less excessive in subsequent cycles. Likewise, there is an effect of this IUD on the duration of the rule, causing it to last for more days than it did previously, which can worry women since there are cases in which it extends to 6 or 10 days and, although it is possible, it is not very common for there to be a delay in menstruation.
First period after Mirena IUD
On the other hand, if a hormonal-releasing IUD is being used, the alterations in the menstrual cycle may be more significant due to the action of these substances. For this reason, it is not uncommon for women to wonder how long the period lasts with the hormonal IUD, generally, in the first months after the placement of the IUD, the period is abundant, and it can last more days than average, but as time passes the rule decreases its intensity considerably, so much so that in many cases menstrual bleeding is scarce, the days of menstruation are reduced or even does not appear for months.
This alteration in menstruation due to the hormonal-release IUD is basically because it inhibits the growth of the endometrium, and therefore the amount of bleeding is more minor. On the other hand, the rule’s delay is temporary since it does not affect the ovarian functions and these, like the menstrual cycle, return to their previous state when the device is removed.
Advantages and disadvantages of using the IUD
Depending on the type of IUD used, there may be some benefits and disadvantages, which the doctor must inform before inserting it. Among the most common are:
- Its effectiveness is very high, approximately 99%. Its protection against pregnancy is continuous as long as it is not withdrawn, so you do not have to be pending to maintain relationships, as with other methods.
- It is durable, and it protects you from pregnancies from 3 to 12 years, depending on the brand of the device.
- It does not alter the reproductive capacity, so the IUD can be removed if the pregnancy is sought immediately.
- Women who are breastfeeding can safely use it.
- The hormonal release of IUDs favors the relief of menstruation pain, especially if you previously suffered from dysmenorrhea. It also benefits cases of anemia, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, among others.
- The copper intrauterine device can be used by women who are unwilling or unable to use hormonal methods due to health problems.
- You can have sexual intercourse without problems since it does not cause discomfort in intercourse.
- It is an excellent alternative for women who have contraindicated the intake of contraceptive pills.
- This method should only be inserted and removed by a trained physician, as there is a risk of acquiring an infection if done incorrectly.
- When inserting the IUD, you may have mild or moderate pain and bleeding for a couple of days.
- Although it is sporadic, there is the possibility that the IUD will be expelled without the woman realizing it, and the risk is more significant in the first months.
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so using a condom is the most recommended to avoid contagion.
- The copper IUD can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and intensify premenstrual symptoms, so it is contraindicated in women with dysmenorrhea, anemia, hypermenorrhea, or under treatment with anticoagulants.
- The intrauterine hormonal device can be accompanied by hormonal side effects, although these are minimal, including mood swings.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.