The Most Effective and Long Lasting Birth Control Method

                                                      Image Credit - reproductive health supply coalition

Why do we need to Control Birth Rates?

All over the world different countries have an unequal number of people living there; some countries like India, China and other developing nations have such a high number of population that they need to adopt many birth control methods and spread awareness about contraception devices.

Whereas some countries like Canada, Monaco , Vatican city have a very low population and these countries are looking forward to increasing their population in order to maintain their HDIs.

So, controlling birth rates and to prevent unwanted pregnancies, awareness is being spread all over the world ( universally) about the use of contraceptives and many national policies like in India National Family Planning Program were introduced.

How Can We Avoid Unwanted pregnancies and control birth rates?

There are many ways or methods in which birth rates or pregnancies can be controlled like the use of condoms, contraceptive pills, Diaphragm , IUD.
IUD or intrauterine Device is one of the most effective and long lasting and reversible methods of contraception.

In India, the awareness about the use of contraceptives methods are universal, in a survey conducted in 2009 shows that 76% of married Indian women are aware of these contraceptive methods . Among the other women, the level of literacy rate is correlated with declining fertility.

The female literacy rate can be seen as a primary factor that can be stabilising the population.

What is IUD?

Out of many contraceptives, IUD ( Intrauterine Device) known as the coil is a popular form of long- acting reversible contraception. It’s chosen more and more by women of any age, whether they have been pregnant before or not.

Also, this method is 99% more effective in comparison to condoms or pills. IUD does not get in the way of sex unlike condoms. One IUD is fitted into the uterus you can forget about the contraception for at least 3 - 10 years and once it is removed fertility will return to normal.

But IUD or any other device cannot protect you against sexually transmitted infections.

Types of IUD

The Intrauterine system or IUS and the copper inside it or the IUD both are small and flexible with two threads at one end. The hormonal IUS works by releasing a tiny amount of a hormone called progesterone much less than the pill releases.

The progesterone thins the lining of the womb which prevents a pregnancy from settling. It also thickens the mucus in the cervix stopping the sperm getting in the womb. The hormonal IUS takes seven days to be effective and lasts upto 5 years or longer, if a woman is above 45.

The copper IUD contains no hormones, the copper kills sperm and eggs which prevents fertilization and it stops the pregnancy implantation. If fertilization has already happened it’s effective as soon as it’s been fitted in the uterus and it lasts for 5 to 10 years.

IUD can also be used for emergency contraceptives before the procedure. Both types can be fitted at any point in your cycle provided that there is no chance you could be pregnant, women with irregular bleeding may require extra time.

What is the procedure for fitting the IUD?

The appointment lasts for about 30 minutes with the device fitting usually only takes 5 to 10 minutes. Before fitting the device the clinician will do a pregnancy test and STI test if required. After these tests an internal vaginal examination will also be conducted, to check the entrance to the womb or cervix before fitting your chosen device.

The procedure can be uncomfortable but half of the women experience no or little pain. After the procedure most women feel well enough to leave the clinic straight away. The device can be removed at any time, this process is much easier than having it fitted in the uterus.

Most women have some period like discomfort afterwards but this usually settles after a few hours, some women notice hormonal side effects in the first few months such as, headaches, spottier skin, breast tenderness or weight gain but as the womb lining thins less hormone is absorbed, so these symptoms often settles.

Conversely the copper IUD can cause heavier periods but this may improve with time, less commonly there can be painless ovarian cysts which may often disappear within months.

Possible Risks with IUD

Most women have no problem occasionally, the device can be pushed out of the womb, this is most common in the first year of having the device . There is a small risk of infection this is most common in the first three weeks after which the risk becomes much lower.

Very rarely the device can go through the wall of the womb during insertion, and if this will be recognized at the time the device will be removed otherwise, it will have to be removed later within keyhole surgery. In the extremely unlikely event, someone may fall pregnant with the device in place, there is a slightly high risk of a pregnancy outside the womb( an ectopic pregnancy).

Written By - Vanshu Verma

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