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The intrauterine device (IUD) is a method of birth control that is placed in your uterus. It is a small, plastic, T-shaped device that contains copper or hormones. You can depend on an IUD to prevent pregnancy for 3 to 10 years, depending on the type.
Your doctor will remove your IUD when it has reached its expiration date or if you have a medical problem. It's always your choice to have it removed sooner if you want to change birth control methods or plan to become pregnant.
An IUD removal normally takes just a few minutes. Most women find it is less painful or uncomfortable than having an IUD inserted. But ask your doctor if it's a good idea to take ibuprofen ahead of time in case of cramping.
Don't go without birth control unless you plan to become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about other forms of birth control. Make sure to start your new method right away.
If you plan to get another IUD, your doctor can insert it during the same appointment.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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