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IUDs are an excellent form of birth control for monogamous women who want a more long-term method that they do not have to think about every day. IUDs can last from 5-10 years depending upon the type you choose. IUDs got a bad rap in the '60s, when they were associated with pelvic infections and infertility. Today's IUDs are safer, and we have learned that Chlamydia was the real culprit in pelvic infections. Today's IUDs are safe for use as long as you are monogamous and therefore not at risk to acquire a sexually transmitted infection. They are inserted with a simple office procedure that takes only a few minutes. The IUD is a great method if you are done with childbearing, or do not want children, yet may not want permanent sterilization. It is also a good choice if you have medical contraindications to hormonal contraception, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or a history of blood clots.

IUDs are small, T-shaped pieces of plastic, which contain either copper or a progesterone-releasing system that prevents pregnancy. Your health care provider puts the IUD in the uterus, where it can remain for five years or ten years depending on your preference and the type you and your healthcare provider select. The progesterone-releasing IUD may lessen cramps and bleeding during monthly periods, while the copper IUD may increase cramps and bleeding. The IUD is highly effect in preventing pregnancy, yet is fully reversible. You can start trying to get pregnant as soon as it is removed.You cannot use any type of IUD if you have recently been diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection that affects the lining of the uterus, the fallopian tubes and/or ovaries.