What is an IUD?
IUD stands for Intrauterine Device, also referred to as a “coil” or an “intrauterine contraceptive device”. There are different types of IUD. Copper coils do not contain any hormones, and can stay in place in the uterus for up to 10 years. Copper is toxic to sperm, and thus pregnancy is prevented. Some women may experience increased period cramps and heavier periods as a side effect. Copper coils are also used as emergency contraception, and are effective up to 7 days after unprotected sex.
The Mirena Coil or Mirena “Intrauterine system” is generally inserted and left in position for 5 years before removal or replacement is required. It releases a small amount of Levonorgestrel (a form of progesterone) into the uterus, and causes thickening of the mucus in the cervix preventing sperm from entering. It usually makes periods lighter or cease altogether.