An IUD refers to an intra-uterine device. This is a special contraceptive device that is inserted into the uterus by your health care provider. There are two specific types of IUDs. One IUD continually releases the hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus to contradict pregnancy. The other sort is called a “copper IUD”, and has wire made from copper that is coiled around the arms and the stems of the device. The IUD does not protect against any forms of sexually transmitted diseases. An IUD will typically cost around one to three hundred dollars, plus the cost of exams, tests, and the actual insertion of the IUD.

An IUD keeps you from getting pregnant by keeping the sperm from getting to the egg that your ovaries release during ovulation. An IUD also will change the uterine lining to keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the wall of the uterus. IUDs begin working immediately after they have been inserted into the uterus. Depending on the type, an IUD can remain in your uterus and be effective for between five and ten years.

IUDs are among the most effective forms of birth control. While there is a small chance that you can get pregnant with an IUD, they are typically more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. In contrast, condoms are around 97% effective, and other methods, such as rhythm can be as little as 86% effective. The birth control pill, when used properly and regularly, is around 99% effective as well. However, there is no chance for a usage error with an IUD, unlike the pill, or condoms or other contraceptive devices. Again, an IUD does not protect against STDs, and is recommended only for women who are in long-term relationships with only one sexual partner and are, therefore, at a very low risk of contracting an STD.

If you do get pregnant with an IUD, you should contact your health care provider immediately. Your health care provider will likely remove the IUD, and also check to make sure that you do not have an ectopic pregnancy.