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What’s the Difference Between Hormonal and Non-Hormonal IUDs?

What’s the Difference Between Hormonal and Non-Hormonal IUDs?

If you're trying to prevent pregnancy, you have several different options. You can choose to use barrier methods like condoms or opt for hormonal birth control. The best thing to do is get information on each type to determine the best option for your needs and lifestyle.

An intrauterine device IUD) is an excellent choice for birth control that’s available in hormonal and non-hormonal options. Both are effective for contraception, so which you choose is entirely up to you.

Dr. Inga Zilberstein and her team offer a wide range of birth control options. She provides IUD insertion and removal for both hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs  at her office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Here’s an overview of the differences between the two types.

What is an IUD?

An intrauterine device is a type of long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) that sits just inside the uterus. It's a tiny but powerful device that's one of the most effective forms of birth control.

One of the benefits of an IUD is that once Dr. Zilberstein inserts it, you don't have to worry about it for several years. It's also reversible with a simple in-office removal procedure when you're ready to have kids or choose another method of birth control.

There are both hormonal and non-hormonal types of IUDs available that prevent pregnancy. You can also use one type of IUDs as emergency contraception if it’s inserted within five days of unprotected intercourse.

How hormonal IUDs work

Hormonal IUDs, including Mirena®, Skyla®, Liletta®, and Kyleena®, prevent pregnancy in multiple ways with the synthetic hormone progestin. It's very similar to the body's natural hormone progesterone.

The progestin in a hormonal IUD thickens the cervical mucus, which inhibits sperm from swimming up the uterus to meet an egg. It also thins the lining of the uterus, preventing a fertilized egg from implanting itself.

The Mirena and Liletta IUDs last up to eight years, the Kyleena lasts five, and Skyla works for three.

How a non-hormonal IUD works

A non-hormonal IUD contains copper. Men's sperm don't like copper, which prevents them from getting close to the uterus to fertilize an egg.

It also creates an immune response, preventing healthy eggs from forming. The Paragard® IUD is also highly effective as an option for emergency contraception because the copper starts working as soon as Dr. Zilberstein inserts it into the uterus.

An added benefit of the copper IUD is that it lasts 10 years or more. That makes it a desirable option for women who have finished having children or those who don't want kids.

How to decide which option is best for you

Both types of IUDs are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, so the choice is totally up to you. Dr. Zilberstein provides information on both to help you decide which will best suit you.

Things to consider when choosing an IUD are whether you want hormones in your body and how long you want the contraception to last. 

Hormonal IUDs may be a better option if you have symptoms related to your menstrual cycle, such as cramping and heavy periods. You may want to avoid hormonal IUDs if you smoke or have a clotting disorder, as your risk of severe complications increases with added hormones.

The copper IUD is a good option for those trying to avoid hormones with birth control. It's also a good choice for those who want to prevent pregnancy for an extended period.

To learn more about IUDs and insertion, call our office today or use our convenient online booking tool to request an appointment with Dr. Zilberstein.

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