Intrauterine Device


What is an intrauterine device? An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of birth control that is inserted into your uterus. It is a small, flexible piece of plastic with a string on the end. It is inserted and removed by your caregiver. IUDs prevent sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg. IUDs also prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus and developing into a fetus.

What are the most common types of IUDs?

What are the advantages of an IUD?

What are the risks of an IUD?

How is the IUD inserted?

How can I make sure my IUD is still in place? An IUD has a string made of plastic thread. One to 2 inches of this string hangs into your vagina. You cannot see this string, and it will not cause problems when you have sex. Check your IUD string every 3 days for the first 3 months after it is inserted. After that, check the string after each monthly period. Do the following to check the placement of your IUD:

Where can I find more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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