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.


Intrauterine devices or IUDs are devices that are used to prevent a woman from getting pregnant. IUDs are basically used as a measure for birth control. Unlike short-term options for birth control, an intrauterine device can prove to be effective for a long period of time. An IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device that either contains hormones or is wrapped in copper. The IUD is inserted into the uterus of a woman and a plastic string from the end of the IUD hangs down from the cervix and into the vagina. It is this plastic string that helps a woman determine if the IUD is in place. The string is also used by the doctor to remove the IUD from the uterus. IUDs first began to gather popularity in the 1970s, but the IUDs back then were not too effective and even caused a lot of pain and inconvenience. With the years of innovation and research that followed the first few IUDs, present day IUDs have managed to graduate into safe, small, convenient, reliable, and effective devices of birth control. Stop living in a plateau of ignorance, the time for you to move on to the peaks of awareness has arrived. Read on to know more on intrauterine devices and the types of the same.
Intrauterine Devices 
There are basically two types of intrauterine contraceptive devices. They are, namely, copper based devices and hormonal devices. 

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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