Types Of IUD: Pros, Cons, Benefits, Side Effects, And More

types of iud

In this article, we’ll discuss multiple types of IUD, and their pros & cons.


Many women today use intrauterine devices (IUDs) for birth control. An IUD reduces the risk of an unintended pregnancy greatly. As there are several types of intrauterine devices. This is why you should do IUD comparisons and select the one that is best suitable for your health and preference. You can choose between a hormonal IUD (releases progestin to prevent pregnancy) and a Copper IUD (a non-hormonal device that gives out small amounts of copper ions to disable sperm).

How Can IUD Help?

IUDs are known as long-acting reversible contraception. You can plan for pregnancy after its removal. It is a doctor who is allowed to place the IUD in the uterus.  Depending on the type of IUD, you can stay protected from pregnancy in the following ways:

  • Your cervical mucus becomes too thick and disallows the sperm to pass through the cervical canal.
  • The sperm is unable to fertilize an egg due to obstruction from thick cervical mucus.
  • The sperm could be destroyed by copper ions released by a certain type of IUD.
  • The intrauterine device thins the uterine line and prevents implantation of a fertilized egg,
  • The device suppresses ovulation and does not allow ovaries to release eggs.

Types Of IUD

When checking for IUD comparisons, you will find several options in hormonal intrauterine devices. These are 99% effective and work for almost every female. Here is a brief about the pros and cons of hormonal IUDs.

1. Hormonal IUD

1.1. Pros

  • Lower Risk to Certain Cancers: The synthetic hormones from the IUD can reduce the risk of cancers related to the cervix and uterine lining.
  • Regular Periods: Hormonal intrauterine devices regulate your periods. So, you may experience regular periods. Your period can get lighter or disappear.
  • Good for Estrogen Intolerants: Those sensitive to contraceptives containing estrogen can switch to a hormonal IUD. This is because; the device contains only the progestin hormone and not estrogen. This is even good for females with a higher risk of blood clots in legs or migraines.

1.2. Cons

  • Unsuitable for a Few: The hormonal intrauterine device is unsuitable for those with uterine distortions, endometrial or cervical cancer, pelvic infections, or unexplained vaginal bleeding.

Also Read: Benefits Of Hormonal Birth Control

2. Non-Hormonal IUD

When running IUD comparisons, you will come across the option of Copper ID. This is a non-hormonal intrauterine device. Here is a brief about the pros and cons of Copper IUD.

2.1. Pros

  • Lasts Longer: Both hormonal and non-hormonal forms of IUDs last long. But, the Copper version lasts longer for 10 years. The hormonal one lasts for 3 years. 
  • Emergency Contraception: A non-hormonal IUD works instantly after insertion. Thus, it can act as an emergency contraceptive.
  • Free of Hormones: The Copper IUD does not contain hormones. It is safe and tolerable for those who have issues with the use of hormonal birth control.

2.2. Cons

  • Allergy to Copper: If you have Wilson’s disease or copper allergy, then it is not safe to use this device.
  • Heavier Bleeding: During the periods, you may experience heavier bleeding when on a Copper IUD. Thus, if you have a problem with a painful period or endometriosis, then look for another form of contraceptive.

Advantages Of IUD

  • Fewer Worries: You need not handle the IUD yourself. All you have to do is visit a health professional that will do the needful of inserting the birth control device in your uterus. Once the device is in place, you do not have to do anything every day to protect yourself from pregnancy. As IUDs last between 3 years and 10 years, depending on its type, you can stay free of worries. There will be no pills to take or even use a condom, for safeguarding against unwanted pregnancy.
  • Long-Term Contraceptive: An intrauterine device works for several years without losing its effectiveness. This is why many females choose it to stay away from pregnancy in the long-term. This device is good for any female in her teens. Non-hormonal IUD is often a choice for those who are sensitive to hormonal IUDs or cannot tolerate other forms of birth control.
  • High Success Rate: The birth control device is highly effective. The failure rate is small, between 0.9% and 1.5%. This is quite an excellent figure because other forms of contraceptives have a higher failure.
  • Use it whenever you Want: If you are not pregnant, you can get an IUD placed whenever you want and at any point during your monthly cycle. For birth control pills, you have to use a backup contraceptive method if used after periods. But for an IUD, you do not have to wait for a period to end or start to get the device placed in the uterus.
  • Affordable Contraceptive: Intrauterine devices are affordable due to being low on maintenance. You do not have to visit a doctor repeatedly for consultation or medicines. If your insurance covers this device, it may become much more pocket-friendly for you.

Associated Risks

Though IUDs have a high success rate, it may not suit every female. For some, it can cause serious issues.

  • Pain during Placement: Some women can experience pain when the doctor places the IUD in the uterus. Women have described a momentary intense to minimal pain or no pain at all. It is advisable to consult a professional and a skilled doctor who can perform the insertion procedure quickly and without causing much pain. You may take ibuprofen or an NSAID before the insertion to protect yourself from the pain.
  • Pregnancy Issues: Though it is almost impossible for anyone to get pregnant when they are on IUD, in a rare event, a pregnancy can occur. The risks of an ectopic pregnancy are higher if someone gets pregnant while still with an intrauterine device. Other complications include preterm labor, miscarriage, infection, etc. In case a pregnancy is detected, it is best to soon get examined for possible complications and get treatment for the same. Ectopic pregnancy has to be eliminated as soon as possible. Otherwise, the pregnancy can turn to be life-threatening.
  • PID or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Some people can experience irritation from an IUD. The device can inflame the cervix or uterus causing a painful condition. The risk to PID is usually in the first month of IUD placement. But, this is a rare occurrence.
  • Slippage from the Uterus: For some, IUD may get dislodged from its original placement. About 1 in every 1000 females may experience slippage or fall out of the intrauterine device from the uterus. Though slipping out of an IUD is uncommon, it is not unheard of. This may not cause any complications. But if the IUD moves away from the uterus, it can hurt other organs. Or, it can move deeper into the uterine wall causing discomfort and pain. In such a case, your healthcare professional has to take out the device.

Types Of IUD: Wrapping Up

Intrauterine devices have a high rate of effectiveness and satisfaction in women. These work better than many other reversible forms of contraceptives. Many women find IUDs as the right package of safety, reliability, and lower side effects. Be it a hormonal or a non-hormonal version, you can choose the one that suits your health and interest.

If you have any health concerns, we suggest you consult with a doctor about approach towards birth control. Until then, you can go through the above-given pointers. These will help you make the apt IUD comparisons and select the suitable intrauterine device for yourself.