If you’re looking for long-lasting birth control that will allow you to “get it and forget it,” you may want to consider two options: an intrauterine device (IUD) and the Nexplanon® birth control implant.
Both offer long-term protection from unintended pregnancy. In fact, these long-acting reversible forms of birth control are 20 times more effective than birth control pills, the patch, or the vaginal ring, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
But the IUD and Nexplanon do differ in some important ways. Before you choose a birth control method, educate yourself about each option’s pros and cons.
Your health care providers at Westmed Family Healthcare want to help you make birth control choices that work best for you. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at these two types of birth control.
An IUD is a T-shaped birth control device that we implant into your uterus during an office visit. It is one of the most reliable forms of birth control available, with a success rate of over 99%. (In comparison, the typical success rate of a male condom is 82%.)
One reason for the greater effectiveness of the IUD is that you don’t have to remember to use it each day (like the pill) or whenever you have sex (like condoms and diaphragms).
There are two types of IUDs: hormonal IUDs and copper IUDs.
Hormonal IUDs are treated with the hormone progestin, which is slowly released into your body and prevents sperm from reaching an egg. They last for three to seven years, depending on the brand. Copper IUDs are hormone-free, but the copper acts as a spermicide and also prevents sperm from reaching an egg. They can last up to 12 years. After that, they have to be replaced.
An IUD can be inserted during an office visit. If you decide you want to become pregnant, you can have your IUD removed at any time in our office.
IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. So even if you have an IUD, you should use condoms to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections if you are at risk of exposure.
Nexplanon is a birth control implant that releases hormones and lasts up to five years. It is a thin rod about the size of a matchstick that your doctor inserts under the skin of the inner portion of your upper arm.
Nexplanon prevents unintended pregnancy by slowly releasing hormones into your body. These hormones stop you from getting pregnant. Like the IUD, the Nexplanon implant has a pregnancy prevention success rate of over 99%.
If you decide you want to get pregnant, we can easily remove your Nexplanon implant at any time in our office.
Like the IUD, Nexplanon does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. So even if you have a Nexplanon implant, you should use condoms to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections if you are at risk of exposure.
IUD and Nexplanon are both growing in popularity because they offer women a long list of birth control benefits, including effectiveness, convenience, simple insertion, reversibility, and long-lasting protection.
If you have questions about which birth control is right for you, call Westmed Family Healthcare in Westminster, Colorado, or schedule an appointment online.