IUD- Mechanism, Types, Benefits and Risks


If you are the one who is looking for a birth control option then IUD is the best option for you because it is effective and safe for most women. They are also long-lasting with minimal risks.

What is an IUD?

IUD is also known as Intrauterine Device which is a T shaped and size is more than a quarter which fits inside your uterus.

What is an IUD

What is an IUD

How Does an IUD work?

This tiny device prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from reaching the uterus which prevents the fertilization of eggs.

Types Of IUD:-

There are five different brands of IUDs available in the market which are divided into two types.

Hormonal IUDs

  • Hormonal IUDs release synthetic versions of progesterone which is known as progestin. Progestin also is known as levonorgestrel is the same hormone which is used in many birth control pills. Progestin helps to thicken the mucus in the cervix which makes it impossible for the sperm to reach the egg.
  • Another mechanism of progestin is that it thins the lining of the uterus makes it difficult for the egg to implant in the uterus because it doesn’t allow the sperm to reach the uterus and fertilize the egg.

Four different brands of hormonal IUDs as follows:-

  • Mirena:- It can help to prevent pregnancy for up to 6 years.
  • Kyleena:- It can help to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years
  • Liletta:- It can work as long as 4 years.
  • Skyla:- It can work up to 3 years.

Copper IUDs or Non-Hormonal IUDs

  • In the case of copper IUDs, hormones are not used. Instead of hormones copper is used which damages sperm and prevents it from getting to the egg. It also creates an immune response in the body which stops developing healthy eggs. If an egg was produced it destroys it completely.
  • The only brand of copper IUDs is ParaGard. Many doctors use this method of contraception if there is a need for emergency contraception. The copper IUDs usually last for about 10 years and its effects can last longer than this period of time.

Benefits and Risks of Hormonal and Copper IUDs:-

Let’s have a look at benefits of Hormonal IUDs

  • Method to Rely upon:- Both types of IUD are more than 99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy. In 2015 study found that hormonal IUDs are an effective method to Rely upon when compared to copper IUDs.
  • Regular periods:- These hormonal IUDs help to regulate normal menstrual cycles and do not interfere with the periods.
  • Lowers the Risk of Cancer:- It reduces the risk of cancer of the endometrium.

Hormonal IUDs may not be safe for people with pelvic infections, cervical cancer, unexplained vaginal bleeding or uterine disorders.

The benefits of copper IUDs include

  • Emergency contraception:- This type of IUDs begins to work immediately, so it works as emergency contraception.
  • No Hormones Required:- Copper IUDs do not need any hormones to function and a safer option for people who can not use hormonal birth control option.
  • Lasts Longer:- It prevents pregnancy for at least 10 years.

Drawbacks of copper IUDs

  • Heavy periods:- Copper IUDs can cause heavier periods and not a good choice for people who have painful periods or endometriosis.
  • Copper Allergy:- If you suffer from Wilson’s disease or are allergic to copper, then this type of IUDs is not a safer option.

Take a note:-

IUDs offer great benefits over risks with the right combination of effectiveness, safety and fewer side effects. If you are considering using an IUD then discuss your options with your healthcare provider to select the best type of IUD based on your requirement.


  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323230
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control-iud
  3. https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/iud-intrauterine-device