Don't Make These Mistakes With An IUD

Many of the older birth control methods have a failure rate that can be as high as 5%. If you are looking for a birth control method that as a 99% success rate, one of your best options is an IUD. But even though an IUD has a very high success rate, there are some mistakes you can make while using this method.

Not Replacing the IUD

IUDs can last for a very long time, with some lasting as long as 12 years. Others will only last for 3 years. Make sure you know how long this form of birth control lasts so you can have it replaced when it is about to expire. 

Not Bringing up Concerns with Your Doctor

Don't forget to pay attention to how your body reacts to the IUD. With copper IUDs, some women will experience more cramping and heavier and longer periods. Other women do not experience these results. By knowing how your body is reacting to the IUD, your doctor can help you decide which birth control method is right for you. There are some IUDs that do not contain copper and won't cause menstrual bleeding. 

Not Protecting Yourself Against STDs

The primary purpose of an IUD is to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. While an effective birth control method, it is not designed to prevent STDs. Therefore, make sure that your partner is not carrying an STD. You may need another method to prevent an STD to be safe. Two birth control methods, such as using a condom in addition to an IUD, can both lower your risk of pregnancy and protect against STDs.

Using Only One Birth Control Method

You may be concerned about an IUD having a 1% chance of failing. However, there are no birth control methods that are 100% effective except for abstinence. Using more than one birth control method is the best way to reduce this risk. For example, if you use both an IUD and a condom, you'll not only make it harder for an egg to become fertilized but if an egg does become fertilized, it will have a 1% chance of implanting. The IUD has the additional effect of producing chemicals that are toxic to sperm. 

Having Intercourse Too Soon

It takes 24 hours for the IUD to take effect, so do not have sexual intercourse without a condom until this period has passed. It may also cause discomfort, but this is temporary.