What is an IUD?
It’s a small T- shaped plastic device that is put in the uterus and can be lest there for 3-5 to 10 years. The IUD can be of two types: hormonal IUDs (they release progestines in the uterus and are used not only for birth control but also to treat some gynecological conditions) and copper IUDs (release copper).
Before you decide to use an intrauterine device as a postnatal birth control option, there are some things you must ensure you know. Let's move on.
Is the IUD effective as a birth control method?
There are a lot of birth control methods but the intrauterine device method is an outstanding one for postpartum contraception. This is a very effective birth control method after pregnancy. During the first year of use, fewer than 1 in 100 women with an IUD will become pregnant.
This contraceptive device method unlike other forms of contraception is effective because there is no possibility that a mistake might occur and you become pregnant just like in taking pills where you can forget to take your pill and you begin to panic or in the case of condoms where it can be worn incorrectly or bruised there for causing it to tear or burst open during intercourse.
Although in rare cases especially when the procedure is improperly handled by an amateur, it might cause an infection or a tear in the wall of the womb which might cause bleeding. But most of the times the IUD does what it is inserted for - prevent pregnancy.
The IUD gives you protection all day long for as long as 3 to 12 years or more. All you need to do is to have your contraceptive device inserted and take down the insertion and removal dates, the expiry date and you can live your merry postpartum sexual life knowing that you are protected. You can only decide to remove it when you and your partner want to have another baby.
Always have it in mind that your doctor is the only one in the best position to tell you if an IUD is more effective for you as most women who are victims of certain health conditions are advised against using it as their birth control method.
How long should I wait after giving birth to insert it?
Timing is key when considering IUD for postpartum contraception as it affects the probability of its expulsion. Consult your doctor to find out whether your body will cope with an IUD. Most doctors advise an IUD to be placed in the hospital immediately after birth for mothers who have opted for it as ovulation can occur in women as early as three weeks after birth whether you are breast feeding and this may lead to unexpected pregnancy.
Others might advise that you should come back six weeks postpartum when you're back for her routine postnatal care visit for the insertion of the IUD.
Ideally, an IUD should be inserted within 10 minutes of placental delivery immediately after birth, that is 10 minutes after the placenta has been delivered or six weeks postpartum. Nevertheless, doctors do not think it advisable to insert an IUD between the time of delivery and six weeks postpartum in order not to put the woman at risk of perforating her recuperating uterus or to avoid increasing the chances of the IUD’s expulsion.
So your doctor might advise that you skip the hassles of struggling to get an appointment from his or her busy schedule and get it done immediately after birth in the hospital. He might also advise that you come few weeks after to fix it in depending on what he or she thinks is right for you based on getting the optimum protection from the device.
Let your body fully recover after delivery!
Track your cycle precisely and set contraception reminders in Flo.
Won’t the IUD fall out?
The probability of having your IUD expelled when inserted immediately after birth is high. Therefore women are advised by their doctors to wait until their sixth week of postpartum or beyond that time.
If inserted by an experienced doctor or a well-trained one, an IUD would last you as long as you have to have it in you without falling out.
Is it difficult to remove?
Removing an IUD require your doctor’s help. Don’t try to pull it out yourself as you risk damaging your uterus or vagina.
Just like with the insertion, during removal, you may feel slight pain or some cramps.
Your doctor might suggest that you take a pain reliever few hours before you have it removed to reduce the pain. Most times it’s an hour before the IUD is removed.
Removal of IUD equals immediate returning of your fertility. What does that mean? It means that once the IUD leaves your body, you are liable to getting pregnant. So for whatever reason you have for its removal, consider another birth control option to be on safe side.
What if I want to get pregnant again?
Infertility with an IUD is reversible in the sense that it was actually inserted in the first place to help you control pregnancy after delivery as it is discovered that apart from the importance of spacing your children in your family, the female body needs to heal and getting knocked up few weeks after delivery isn’t the best way to help it heal.
So if you want to get pregnant again after having inserted an IUD, you don’t have to panic of not having your fertility restored, all you need do is to visit your doctor to have IUD removed. Once the device has left your body, it won't take too long to start expecting a baby again.
If you find out that getting pregnant has become difficult even though you’ve been off the IUD for a long while, rather than blame the IUD for your problem, let your doctor know about it so that he or she can help you find out why and what is really causing your inability to conceive.