When preventing pregnancy is a top priority, an intrauterine device (IUD) is an effective birth control method that you don’t have to think about every single day. In Santa Monica, California, and surrounding communities, women of all ages turn to Allyson A. Gonzalez, MD. An experienced gynecologist, Dr. Gonzalez provides comprehensive reproductive care and helps you determine which IUD is right for you. Call to schedule an appointment or request the next available time using the online booking tool.
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a tiny medical device that Dr. Gonzalez inserts into your uterus during a simple in-office procedure. The IUD provides reliable birth control until you no longer want to prevent pregnancy — from 3-10 years, depending on the type of IUD. IUDs are one of the most reliable forms of birth control and are more than 99% effective.
An IUD is convenient because you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day. Since it’s reversible, when you no longer want to prevent pregnancy, Dr. Gonzalez removes the IUD and you may conceive.
IUDs prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from fertilizing an egg. Some IUDs release the hormone progestin which prevents your ovaries from releasing an egg. Additionally, a T-shaped IUD blocks sperm so they are unable to reach the egg. Progestin-releasing IUDs can stay in your uterus for up to five years.
Another type of IUD releases copper ions that are toxic to sperm. A copper IUD can stay in your uterus for up to 10 years. This type of IUD can also be used as a form of emergency contraception. Copper IUDs don’t have hormonal side effects and may also help reduce your risk of developing certain uterine or cervical cancers.
An IUD may be right for you if you don’t want to have a baby in the near future, if you’re at low risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and if you want to avoid the risks and side effects that come with some oral contraceptives. While an IUD comes with many benefits, it doesn’t protect against STDs, so you still need to use a condom during sex if you’re not in a monogamous intimate relationship.
If you’re considering an IUD, Dr. Gonzalez performs a pelvic exam and discusses your health and medical history with you to determine if you’re a good candidate. If an IUD is right for you, Dr. Gonzalez uses a special tool to place the IUD into your uterus. You may experience mild discomfort, but the whole process lasts just a few minutes.
Learn more about IUDs and pregnancy prevention by calling the office to schedule an exam or book an appointment online.