IUD vs. implant? What is the difference between the two? We break it down in our introduction to implants and intrauterine devices.
IUDs and Implants are highly effective and super low-stress forms of birth control, which is great news for women looking for birth control solutions. If you’re wondering about the difference between the two, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for our quick and easy guide to IUD vs. implant birth control.
There are many safe and reliable methods available to prevent pregnancy. You’re probably already familiar with “the pill,” which is taken orally daily. However, some sexually active women prefer birth control devices because of their convenience. Once a device is properly inserted by your healthcare professional, you can forget about it for several years!
If you’re interested in birth control methods like IUDs and implants, talk to your provider about them, and set up an appointment to get one inserted. At Dr. Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology, we regularly consult with our patients on the many available choices for birth control. We’d be happy to discuss your options with you!
An introduction to the IUD vs. implant
Are you choosing between an IUD and an implant for birth control? To consider IUD vs. implant birth control, you’ll need to find the best fit for you. Let’s start by defining what they are and how they work.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
What is an IUD? Those three familiar letters are “intrauterine device,” meaning a device inside your uterus. Imagine a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T. IUDs are long-term, reversible, convenient, safe, and highly effective at preventing pregnancy. There are actually two types of IUDs, copper and hormonal.
- Do not release hormones
- Effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 10 years
- Release the hormone progestin
- Effective in preventing pregnancy for 3-6 years
What’s an IUD insertion like? Your provider will put a speculum into your vagina. They will then use a tool to place the IUD through the opening of your cervix and into your uterus. The process usually takes less than five minutes.
Implant birth control
Rather than being inserted in your uterus, the birth control implant is inserted into your arm. It’s a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick. Implants are also long-term, reversible, convenient, safe, and highly effective at preventing pregnancy.
Like the hormonal IUD, the implant releases the progestin hormone into your body, and that prevents you from getting pregnant for up to 4 years. The insertion is quick, and your doctor will use a local anesthetic, so it’s painless. You won’t even need stitches. Once it’s in, you can’t see the implant, but you can feel it under your skin.
So, how does progestin work?
Here’s another thing to consider. IUDs and implants are great options for people who can’t use estrogen-based contraception because they use progestin to block pregnancy. Progestin is similar to the human hormone progesterone and is released via a birth control device with multiple lines of attack.
- First, it works by reducing or stopping ovulation.
- Also, it thickens the cervical mucus to help stop sperm from reaching the uterus.
- Additionally, it thins the uterine lining to make a fertilized egg less able to attach.
The consideration of IUD vs. implant is a matter of two highly effective and reliable forms of birth control.
Do they prevent STDs?
When considering IUDs vs. implants, there’s another important thing to consider. IUDs and implants won’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It’s always a good idea for you and your partner(s) to be regularly tested and to consider barrier methods to protect you from infection.
Choosing your doctor
Almost all women can safely use implants and IUDs. It’s best to enlist the help of your doctor to help you choose based on your preference, anatomy, and medical history. Dr. Lona Sasser and Dr. Mary Squire-De Leon are highly skilled and experienced gynecologists in Coral Springs, Florida. At Dr. Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology, your health is our top priority.