The IUD or intrauterine device is one of the most effective contraception methods. The device has a T shape and is usually wrapped in a progesterone wrapping or coated with copper. It is inserted into the uterine for it to be effective and removal when fertility is desired again. For this reason it is described as being a reversible method of contraception. There are a number of important facts on the IUD Canada women should know if they have plans of using this method for contraception.

There are various types of the device being used currently. The main types are either gold or copper coated. IUDs work by interfering with the union between the egg and the sperm. The metallic elements form ions that dissolve in cervical mucus making the environment unfavourable to sperms. The ions also cause the uterus to produce a number of substances that include white blood cells, prostaglandins and enzymes all of which kill sperms. The failure rate of this method is estimated to be between 1 and 2.2%.

Copper IUDs can be used as emergency contraceptives for someone who has had unprotected sex in the past few days. This is used on condition that she plans to continue using it in future as a form of birth control. This method of emergency contraception is however more expensive than the use of hormonal pills for the same purpose.

One enjoys the advantage of using a copper IUD while breastfeeding since it contains no hormones that may interfere with milk production. These devices come in different sizes and shapes to suit the needs of individual subjects. Copper intrauterine devices last as long as 10 years within the uterus. After removal of the IUD, fertility can be regained promptly. However, these devices are linked to heavier flow of menstrual blood accompanied by painful cramps. Newer IUDs contain indomethacin to alleviate the pain.

Hormonal devices also exist. These have an advantage over the ones made of copper in the sense that they reduce heavy menstrual bleeding associated with copper gadgets. In some women, the periods eventually stop after using the device for some period of time. These kinds of gadgets are believed to reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy and cancer of the endometrium. Hormonal devices are approved for use or a maximum period of five years.

The device is placed on request at any time so long as one is not pregnant. Pain may be minimised by use of local anaesthetics if need be. One of the ends has a string tied to it. This string hangs freely in the vagina as a confirmation that the device is in place. It is also the guide that is used during removal. Antibiotics are important during placement to minimize infection risks.

If one has a pelvic infection, the device should not be inserted. Due to the invasive nature of this procedure, there is a high chance that the infection may spread to involve other organs. If this is the case, there is need to treat the infection first and to use other alternatives for contraception as a temporary measure.

IUDs suffer the risk of perforating or getting stuck inside the uterus. Perforation is most likely to occur during insertion. There are high chances of the device being expelled in women who have recently delivered or women who have never been pregnant. One is advised to have the IUD removed in case she gets pregnant with IUD in place. This is because a miscarriage can be precipitated. With knowledge of IUD Canada residents will be in a position to make informed decisions concerning such contraception.

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