IUDs are devices that are mainly used to prevent pregnancy in a woman. Browse through this article to learn more on Intrauterine devices and the types of the same.
Copper Based Devices
Copper based devices are the most preferred intrauterine devices. The device comprises a copper wire that is wound around the stem of the T-shaped IUD. Once placed in the uterus of a woman, a copper-based device can perform its basic function for a period of at least ten years. Copper based intrauterine devices are toxic to sperms and are also known as non-hormonal intrauterine devices. Copper makes the fallopian tubes and the uterus produce a fluid that’s capable of killing sperms. The fluid contains enzymes, copperions, prostaglandins and white blood cells. The ‘Paragard T 380’ is an example of a reliable and widely used copper-based device. This explains why copper devices are so effective and popular. The T-shaped device measures 1.42 inches in the vertical direction and 1.26 inches in the horizontal direction. Sometimes, copper based devices can also come with a silver core. A silver core around a pure copper wire helps prevent the breaking of the pure copper wire, which is one of the risks associated with copper base devices. ‘Nova T 380’ is an example of a copper-based device with a silver core. If you are wondering why the names of all the devices comprise a number too, that’s only because the number signifies the surface area of the copper in square millimeters. An insight into copper-based devices cannot be made whole without mentioning GyneFix. GyneFix, unlike other copper based IUDs is not T-shaped, but is a string with a numerous copper beads. The device is held in place by a knot that is tied to the fundus of the uterus.
Hormonal Intrauterine Devices
Hormonal intrauterine devices, also known as ‘IntraUterine Systems’, are IUDs that have an edge over copper based IUDs. These devices, unlike copper based and inert IUDs do not increase bleeding. Instead, they are effective in reducing menstrual bleeding and can sometimes even prevent the occurrence of the menstrual cycle. Hormonal devices function by releasing levonorgestrel, a progestin that helps in contraception. Hormonal IUDs are believed to be more effective than their ‘copper counterparts’. The IUDs prevent the fertilization of the egg by rendering sperms ineffective and also make the mucus in the cervix sticky and almost impermeable. This makes it extremely difficult, impossible in fact, for sperms to get through to the uterus. Hormonal IUDs also prevent the lining of the uterus from thickening which makes it an inhospitable environment for a fertilized egg. ‘Mirena’ by Bayer is an example of a widely used hormonal IUD. A hormonal IUD can prove to be effective for a period of around five years.
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