What is it?

The IUD, or intrauterine device, is a small, flexible T-shaped device to prevent pregnancy that is inserted into the uterus by a medical provider. It is a long-lasting and reversible type of birth control, and one of the most effective ones.

Does it prevent STIs?

No. While the IUD is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, it doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms or internal condoms and combining these with the IUD is a great way to prevent diseases and pregnancy at the same time.

Types of IUDs

There are 2 main groups of IUDs: the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD. The ParaGuard IUD is wrapped in copper and can work for as long as 12 years. The copper makes it very hard for sperm to move, which prevents a pregnancy from happening. A person will be protected from pregnancy immediately after getting this type of IUD inserted.

Hormonal IUDs have hormones in them that make it hard for sperm to get through the cervix and thin the lining of a uterus. It may also prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. There are many types of hormonal IUDs, which can work as long as 3 to 7 years. It takes several days for it to protect from pregnancy, so a backup method is needed during the first weeks.

How do you use it?

An IUD has to be inserted and removed by a medical provider. It is common to have one follow-up visit after the first month to check if it is in the correct position. Once it is in the uterus it works without the person having to do anything.

Is it right for you?

Many people find it to be a great method! They like that they don’t have to keep track of it and lasts for years. Rarely, an IUD can move out of place. That’s why is important to have a follow-up visit after the first month.

Some people like the hormonal IUD because it can avoid painful or heavy periods. Others like the copper IUD because it lasts longer and doesn’t have hormones in it.

If someone wants to stop using the IUD but still wants to prevent pregnancy, they should talk with their medical provider about having it removed and how to continue to prevent pregnancy.

Talking with a health provider is a great place to start. It can also be helpful to talk with friends or trusted adults in your life. Everyone is different, what works best for one person might not be what works best for you.

Where do you get it?

If you are in Pueblo, Colorado, contact the Family Planning Clinic from Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

English: Call (719) 583-4380. Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Español: Llama (719) 583-4376. Lunes a viernes 8:00 AM a 4:30 PM. 

If you are somewhere else in the United States you can find other resources here.

Go Ask Tara

Go Ask Tara is on a mission to provide sex education and help the youth of Colorado prevent pregnancy and STIs.