Intrauterine Devices (IUD) and The Mirena Coil
Birth control has been an issue for women for centuries. Over the years various methods of contraception have been developed to help women prevent unwanted pregnancies. In the Birth Control section of this site you can read about the various methods developed and used, including the birth control pill, barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, and natural and surgical methods as well.
Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
In this section we will take a look yet another method of contraception. An intrauterine device, known as an IUD, is a "T" shaped plastic device that is inserted into the uterus. The insertion is performed by a physician and is an office procedure. Another name for the IUD is a coil. The first type of IUD developed was the Grafenberg ring, developed in Germany and introduced by gynecologist Ernst Grafenberg in 1929. It disappeared from sight within a decade. In the 1970s, IUDs were introduced again and have been used effectively in many cases since that time.
What Makes Them Effective?
IUDs are believed to be effective because of the reaction between the copper found in an IUD and the uterus itself. The reaction prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg. While the IUD can be effective in preventing pregnancy, it does carry with it a few unpleasant effects and some side effects that can be of concern. Currently there are over ten different kinds of copper IUDs available worldwide. Read about them in this section.
The Mirena IUS
One IUD that has become quite popular is the Mirena IUD. The Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine system that releases a low dose of levonorgestrel, which is a progesterone hormone. This IUS is different from the regular copper IUDs as it not only is a coil, but it also contains a hormone. It functions as a contraceptive device and also is used to address menorrhagia (heavy periods), endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrheal, and anemia.
In this section we will provide information about the Mirena coil, its effects as well as the contraindications of this particular IUD. It has been beneficial in many instances for women who are perimenopausal because of the hormonal release; however, the Mirena IUD also has had some negative effects on women as well.
Will an IUD Work for You?
You will learn about the differences between the copper IUD and the Mirena IUS in this section of our site. Many IUDs have to be replaced every year, while some are good for up to five years. As with other types of contraception, there are some women who are better suited to this type of birth control over other types. Learn more about intrauterine devices and Mirena here.