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As a teen, what is an IUD?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
IUDs are small, T-shaped plastic devices that are inserted into the uterus for long-term birth control. They come in two forms, one that releases hormones that last for five years (Mirena) and one that contains a small amount of copper and lasts for twelve years (ParaGard). Both interfere with the uterine lining, making it an inhospitable place for a baby to grow. The one with hormones does more to actively prevent conception from taking place by keeping sperm from the egg, just like the Pill, Depo-Provera, and the NuvaRing. IUDs are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy but, like all hormonal contraceptives, do not prevent STI, so you’ll need to use a condom as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.