Question for Betty.
 
I'm considering getting an IUD.  My doctor and I have talked about it and she says it's probably my best option.  But when I got home I did some research and found some real horror stories about IUDs.  Am I only seeing the bad things?  I'm thinking between Mirena and Skyla.
 
Betty's Answer.
 

Good idea to check out your contraception options.  An IUD (intrauterine device) is one of the safest, most effective methods for preventing pregnancy.  
The IUDs which you mentioned, Mirena and Skyla (newly approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, in Feb. 2013), are highly-effective at preventing pregnancy, long-lasting, and reversible. Like other IUDs, they do not protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections).  
In the past, before approval of today's IUDs, some women experienced severe complications from certain IUDs.  These devices have been taken off the market. Worldwide, more than 85 million women use IUDs.   
IUDs have advantages and disadvantages, as with any method of birth control.
Advantages:

  • High level of protection against pregnancy - 99% effective
  • Long term protection (Mirena for 5 years and Skyla for 3 years)
  • Can be removed at any time by a health care provider, fertility resumes when it is removed
  • Inexpensive long-term reversible method

 

Disadvantages:

  • Appointment with a health care provider for insertion, yearly exams and for removal
  • Does not protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
  • Some women expel the IUD in the first few months
  • Some women experience complications during and shortly after insertion, including cramping, dizziness, backache, and spotting between periods
  • Possible change in menstrual flow, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), perforation of the uterus, or embedding ot the IUD in the uterine lining

If you are considering the IUD and still have concerns, discuss these with your health care provider.