An intrauterine device, commonly referred to as an IUD, is a birth control option that offers 99% and greater rates of effectiveness. IUDs are implanted within the uterus in a simple and quick office procedure. The IUD will block sperm from fertilizing eggs, and thus prevents pregnancy.
There are two categories of IUDs available today, hormone based and copper.
The copper IUD is the first type of IUD that was ever introduced. It kills sperm by causing an inflammatory toxic reaction in the uterus.
Hormonal IUDs use progestin to stop the release of eggs and block the sperm through a thickened mucus in the cervix.
Hormonal IUDs last for 3-5 years, while copper IUDs can be active for 10 years or longer. IUDs are a very effective and worry-free way to prevent pregnancy today.
Birth control implants are small rods about the size of a match that are implanted under the skin of your upper arm. Implants contain hormones that are slowly released into the body. The birth control implant uses a progestin hormone, etonogestrel, to thicken the cervical mucus, which prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. This hormone can also prevent ovulation. Birth control implants can be placed during an office visit, and they offer up to three years of continuous pregnancy prevention.
Oral contraceptives, commonly referred to as birth control pills, are typically taken on a daily basis to prevent pregnancy. They have an effectiveness rate of more than 99%. However, this effectiveness rate is based upon ideal usage, something that few women are actually able to achieve. With average usage, which means missing doses occasionally, the effectiveness rate of the birth control pill can drop down to the 90% range. Because of this, it's critical that patients take their birth control pills every day on time.
This is different for every person. In addition to the IUD, the implant, and oral contraceptives, there are also other effective options. Patients can discuss their family planning needs with the Bronx Park Urgent Medical Care team to get the help they need.
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