There are a couple different kinds of IUDs, or intrauterine devices, which can be used for contraception. And you mentioned that you’re going to have your second baby soon, and congratulations on that! And you are thinking ahead about postpartum contraception, and that’s good, especially if you want an IUD, because it usually has to be taken care of ahead of time and available for your 6 week postpartum appointment, and the doctor can place it. The copper IUD can be good for up to 10 years, so it’s very long-lasting, and a lot of women choose this because it doesn’t have hormone affects, and it doesn’t stop periods or cause unscheduled bleeding, and so you can continue to have regular cycles month by month. With the Mirena IUD, it can last for 3 to 5 years depending on the specific type that you get. And in many cases, it does affect bleeding or cycles, and many women, in fact, don’t have a cycle at all. Some women would think that’s great, but there are those who are bugged by that or don’t like the unscheduled spotting that you might have while you’re on it.
So it’s best to sit down and talk with your doctor about both kinds. They can tell you more about the pros and cons of each one, and help you decide which one is right for you. In either case, IUDs are a very effective form of contraception. In fact in the first year, pregnancy rates are only 0.6%, so less than 1%. And the longer time goes, or the closer you get to either that 3 to 5 year mark for the Mirena or the 10 year mark for the copper IUD, the higher pregnancy rates go, but it’s very very slight. On average, it’s about 1%, and that’s with many years of use.
Another great benefit of IUDs is that they are cost-effective if you’re going to use them for the entire duration. It’s kind of an expensive upfront cost, but if you think about other contraception that you might pay for in small increments at a time, overall, it’s less expensive. It’s also convenient because you don’t have to think about it, it’s not something you’re going to have to plan ahead for when you’re going to have intercourse, and so many people like it for all of these reasons. Good luck with everything. I hope that things go well with your labor and delivery, and your baby afterwards, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.