There are now numerous different methods of contraception. The most popular are the birth control pills and condoms, but the IUD is also used regularly in women. In addition to advantages, however, risks can also be identified.
The IUD is an element of contraception.
The IUD is an element of contraception. Described for the first time by Graefenberg in 1928, the spiral has been continuously developed to this day. It is now made of flexible plastic that is implanted into the uterus. The spiral measures about 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters and is T-shaped.
Nowadays one can differentiate between different spirals. On the one hand, spirals made of copper, plastic without additives or those with added hormones can be used. Some models also have a gold plate to make it easier to locate the coil in an ultrasound image. IUD contraception is considered very safe. As a rule, it must be changed every five years, provided that it is well tolerated. However, the method is not suitable for all women.
The IUD is usually only used in women who have already given birth to a child.Young girls and women with irregular cycles or inflammation in the region of the uterus and ovaries should use other methods. The same goes for the presence of certain underlying diseases such as diabetes and kidney problems.
Today's IUDs are also called the intrauterine system, abbreviated as IUDs, after a variety of developments. On the one hand, the spirals differ in their structure, on the other hand, differences in their effect can sometimes be determined. The exact mechanism of action has not yet been fully researched. In the IUD with copper, one of the arms of the T-shaped spiral is surrounded by a copper wire.
This is tightly wrapped around the material and thus stabilizes the attachment in the uterus. Depending on the product chosen, the surface of the copper measures 195 square millimeters to 375 square millimeters. The copper releases ions into the surrounding cells. The copper coil triggers an inflammation in the uterus that is considered harmless. As with any inflammation, the body reacts by building cells that the intruders are supposed to destroy so as not to endanger general health. This leads to an increased accumulation of white blood cells and macrophages in the area of the uterus. This can make it more difficult for an egg to implant.
At the same time, the copper ions in the coil act on the sperm. These are damaged by the toxins and their mobility is restricted. The greater the copper content, the more intense the effect on the sperm is. The copper ions have a similar effect on the fallopian tubes, which directly inhibits implantation. The copper IUD is therefore also suitable as a means of termination of pregnancy.
The IUD with the addition of progestin looks like the copper IUD. However, it does not have a copper arm; instead, the part of the spiral is provided with gestagen. The effect is based in turn on an inflammation by the foreign body. In addition, the cervical secretion takes on a thicker consistency, the fallopian tubes become more immobile and the bleeding intensity is reduced. Some women benefit from less painful menstrual periods because of the IUD. IUDs without an additive are no longer used in Germany. These irritate the uterus and are considered to be hazardous to health. The insertion of an IUD should be done by an experienced gynecologist.
Not every spiral is suitable for every woman, an important factor here is size, for example. It is usually used during menstruation because the cervix is easier to reach when bleeding. It is not uncommon for women to feel pain during insertion. After completing the process, a regular check-up is inevitable. The aim of the IUD is therefore to avoid the implantation of an egg and a resulting pregnancy. However, sexually transmitted diseases cannot be eliminated with this method of contraception.
The IUD is one of the most popular contraceptive methods worldwide. However, it is also associated with risks that should be considered before use. The spiral is stabilized by perforating the tissue in the uterus. If the IUD is too deep, heavy menstrual bleeding may appear.
The thread may no longer be localized. If this is the case, the coil must be located using an ultrasound image and a possible pregnancy tested. Depending on the model, 0.5 to 10 percent of all patients experience an unnoticed expulsion of the IUD. This is particularly common in the first few months after the onset during menstruation. Further side effects and complaints develop from germs that get into the uterus and settle on the coil. There is inflammation, pain and bleeding disorders.
Inflammation can lead to extensive damage to the fallopian tubes. Under certain circumstances, such inflammation results in conditional infertility. With the copper IUD, very heavy or exceptionally weak bleeding is observed; with the progestogen-containing IUD, intermenstrual bleeding and spotting cannot be ruled out. About 20 percent of all women can no longer detect any menstruation after a year of use. Despite a low Pearl Index, there is still a risk of pregnancy. 50 to 60 percent of all pregnancies that arise despite an IUD develop into miscarriages.