Roe v. Wade and Birth Control: What to Know About Access and Options

Women’s health experts consider intrauterine devices, or IUDs, to be one of the most effective forms of birth control, in part because people don’t use them to remember or apply them, like a pill or a patch. A doctor inserts one of the T-shaped devices into the uterus, a procedure that typically lasts five minutes. Depending on the type, the IUD can be effective for three to 12 years. General Chat Chat Lounge

There are two types of IUDs currently available:

Hormonal, which secretes progestin. “Very little” of the hormone is absorbed into the bloodstream, compared with oral contraceptive pills, Rosen said patients tend to experience less mood-related side effects. People who receive hormonal IUDs may have abnormal bleeding or spotting during the first three to six months after insertion. Then the bleeding typically becomes lighter and more regular, or goes away completely.

Copper, which does not contain hormones. However, people with severe or painful periods may want to avoid copper IUDs, Dr. Rosen said, because they can cause longer periods and heavier flows for some.

Nexplanon is a type of implant that has been inserted under the skin of the upper arm and lasts for about three years. It also has the lowest failure rate of all birth control methods, according to Dr. Nippita.

A doctor or nurse inserts a small rod, which is about a matchstick in length, and the process only takes a few minutes. No pelvic exam is required.

Side effects can vary from person to person. About a third of patients will experience “spotting daily, abnormal, bothersome,” said Dr. Rosen; Another third will not experience bleeding at all; And the other third will simply be lighter, infrequent spotting. Some people with the implant also report mood swings, headaches, weight gain and acne.

Depo-Provera is an injection that contains progestin and protects against pregnancy for three months. A health care provider typically administers it, in an arm or in the buttocks, every 12 to 14 weeks.

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