Debunking myths about IUD

Debunking myths about IUD

IUD is suggested if the partner plans to prevent pregnancy for a long time, writes Dr Sowmya Sangamesh

IUD

IUD also known as Intrauterine device is a T-shaped contraceptive device, inserted high in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It releases copper ions which get into your uterus and change the chemical structure inside the uterus making it impossible for sperms to move or thrive. This option is suggested if the partner plans to prevent pregnancy for a long time.

Is it safe to use it?

It is believed to be the most effective and long-term reversible contraceptive for birth control. It is available in three to 10 years contraceptive effects. The failure rate of the contraceptive is fairly low as it constantly releases copper ions which prevent fertilisation of eggs. It is considered inexpensive compared to other reversible contraceptive methods.

It is easier to maintain in comparison to hormonal contraceptive in which one has to remember to pop pills every day. There are no hormonal changes in your body due to the insertion of IUD. There is no hassle of putting on a condom or interfering with sex for contraception once it is inserted. Copper T (a popular name given to IUD) is suitable for mothers who are breastfeeding and also for those who have irregular periods. It takes less than 15 minutes for the procedure of insertion.

The action of the copper ions stops immediately once the Copper T is removed restoring your uterus back to normal. So, it won’t affect your fertility or interfere with your plans of getting pregnant again once it is removed.

When is the right time to get it inserted?

It is advisable to wait at least for six weeks, before you get Copper T inserted, after delivery, before resuming sexual activity. Otherwise, the best period to get the copper IUD inserted is immediately after the menstrual period i.e. sixth to tenth day of your period as you are less likely to get pregnant and your cervix is softer.

Copper T contraceptive once inserted doesn’t require much after-care. A follow-up visit after your first period is advised.

Busting Myths

Myth #1: Copper T is not advisable for women who had a C-section. 

Be it a normal delivery or a C-section, Copper-T is effective for almost all women who have delivered a baby before.

Myth #2: Copper T guarantees protection against unwanted pregnancy for up to five years.

Yes, it does. As a precaution, a yearly check is mandatory.

Myth #3: The thread attached to the device makes it uncomfortable down there. 

Not really, unless you try to be too experimental and pull the thread while cleaning the vagina.

Myth #4: You can get pregnant even with Copper T.

It’s possible only if the position of the device shifts inside the uterus. There are chances that you can get pregnant.

Myth #5: Copper T makes you fat. 

Copper-T has no connection in adding more fat cells to your body. Instead, lack of exercise, and by consuming high carbohydrate and fat diet during lactation, post-partum stress could be possible causes for weight gain.

Myth #6: Copper T can be inserted anytime.

Before going for insertion, it’s always better to consult your gynaecologist.

Myth #7: Copper T interferes with your sex life.

No, it does not come in contact with the male organ during intercourse.

Myth #8: Pills are better than Copper T. 

While every contraceptive comes with its pros and cons, at least Copper-T doesn’t interfere with the hormonal cycles directly and is thought to be safe in that regard.

Myth #9: It causes chronic back pain.

Bad posture caused due to a shift of spine after pregnancy can be the possible reason. Also, lack of calcium and Vitamin D could be a probable cause.

(The author is consultant, infertility specialist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bengaluru)

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