The Intrauterine Device - Birth Control ~ Health Guide

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The Intrauterine Device - Birth Control

Written by Mystic on Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The intrauterine device -
The intrauterine device is a piece of plastic shaped like a7, T or S, that may be covered by a thin coil of copper wire. It is inserted by a doctor through the vagina and cervix to sit inside the uterus (womb). The
intrauterine device acts by irritating the lining of the womb (uterus), and preventing the development of the pregnancy. The insertion of the device is done very simply by your own doctor, and takes only a few minutes. It is usually quite pain free. Through a speculum (a collapsible metal tube) a doctor will examine the entrance to the womb (the cervix) and check the shape and size of the uterus. Then, while holding the cervix carefully with a special pair of forceps, the IUD is slowly pushed through the cervix canal into the uterus. It is only 3mm. in diameter when inserted, but once inside the uterus it springs open to its "7", "T" or "S" shape and is held in position by the arms of the device pushing on the uterine walls. It is normal to insert the intrauterine device immediately after a menstrual period, but may be inserted at other times if the woman wants immediate protection Once in place, the woman is not aware of its presence. After each period she should feel for the fine thread which will normally hang into the vagina. This is used to remove the intrauterine device at a later time. The device can remain in place for two or three years before its needs to be changed, but a doctor should check it every year, when you should also have a routine Pap smear test. The intrauterine device has one great advantage - you cannot forget to take it or use it. Once in place it can be relied upon to give 97% protection against pregnancy. When you want to become pregnant, or no longer require contraception, the device is easily removed. Your doctor will merely pull on the short thread left outside the uterus (but inside the vagina), and the intrauterine device will fold up on itself, enabling it to be gently withdrawn.

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