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Intrauterine contraception (IUC)

May 6, 2017

Are you interested in intrauterine contraception? There are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

Are you currently sexually active and do you need birth control? Do you have any plans to get pregnant and, if yes, how soon? How important is it for you not to be pregnant right now? How would your relationship/job/education be affected by becoming pregnant? What do you want to achieve before you fall pregnant?What contraception have you used in the past and what are you using now? What is the most important factor in your choice of birth control?

IUC is highly effective.

No contraception method is foolproof, but for women who are serious about not falling pregnant anytime soon, IUC is their best bet. Contraceptive failure rates (i.e. pregnancy rates per 1000 women during the first year of use) are as follows:

1) Condoms: 180/1000 women
2) Pill/patch/ring: 90/1000 women
3) Injection: 60/1000 women
4) Copper IUD: 8/1000 women
5) Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (e.g. Mirena, Jaydess, Kyleena): 2/1000 women

IUC can be left in place for 3, 5, or 10 years depending on the device. When removed, fertility rapidly returns to normal.

To view an excellent resource for patients, go to

Dispelling a few intrauterine contraception myths …

Women and adolescents can use IUC whether they have given birth in the past or not. When discontinuing IUC use, women can rapidly conceive and fertility rates are the same as those of women who have never used an IUC. Women using IUC have less than half the risk of ectopic pregnancy compared to women who are not using contraception (remember IUC is highly effective in preventing pregnancy). IUC can be placed at any time during the menstrual cycle provided there is certainty that the woman is not pregnant. IUC does not cause infections (e.g. pelvic inflammatory disease or PID). PID is caused by sexually transmitted infections. However, there is a small risk of PID related to the insertion procedure in the first 20 days after IUC placement. Some women may stop menstruating while the IUC is in place. This is not unhealthy. Placement may cause a little pain in some women but every woman experiences pain differently.

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