Intrauterine Device (IUD): Is it for me?

I received this question from a patient:

hi doctora,

I’m your patient & you delivered my 2 kids, (2005 in med city & 2009 in mmc) since I already have a boy & a girl & i’m 36 years old I feel i’m done having more babies but my husband doesn’t want it to be super final cause in the future we might want one more.

I’m currently using althea, but I’d like to consider mirena. Is it the same as IUD cause I heard a lot of horror sories on IUD. You recommended mirena for me before but I’m still feel a bit weird having a foreign object inside me although I really like the long term birth control. How do you put it & how much is it now?

thanks in advance!

My answer:

Different physicians, especially obstetricians, have conflicting views about the IUD. Factor in, the medical school in which they trained…kung Catholic medical school, or they just plain have a solid stand AGAINST or FOR a certain method of contraception. You, as a patient, will really get different answers about the IUD and contraception in general.

I studied in a Catholic medical school and I trained in obstetrics in a government non-partisan hospital. So, i will try my best to give a non-biased opinion about the IUD.

An IUD or intrauterine device is a copper or plastic appliance that is about 1-inch in length. It is inserted inside the uterus and stays there from 5-10 years depending on the type of IUD. The concept of the IUD in controlling pregnancy is that:

#1. the presence of the IUD prevents the meeting of the sperm and the egg
#2. in case the sperm is such a good swimmer and it still manages to meet with the egg, the formed embryo  (which in MY opinion, is already a human being) will not be able to attach to the uterus due to the presence of the IUD. So, the woman will just shed out the embryo in the form of spotting or discharge. The woman will not even notice it, since it is so tiny.

Mirena is a medicated IUD. It contains progesterone. It is the same hormone that circulates in the body of a pregnant woman. Since a pregnant woman does not ovulate, this Mirena also prevents ovulation. No egg is released from the ovary, and no embryo is formed. It is very similar to the fact that a pregnant woman can still have sexual relations with her husband without fear of getting pregnant. Mirena costs P15,000 (prices vary per clinic) and is changed every 5 years. That’s about P250/month, which is cheaper than some brands of contraceptive pills. The Mirena is inserted in the clinic during the 2nd to 4th day of your period when the menses are strongest. No anesthesia is necessary.

I personally DO NOT insert the copper and plastic IUD. It is against my principles. I have not only heard but seen horror stories of patients coming to me with a full-grown pregnancy with a plastic IUD attached to the baby’s water bag. But, YES, I insert the Mirena because several studies and research support its success rate in preventing ovulation or the release of an egg. I have also recommended Mirena for women who have profuse or strong menstruation because the progesterone hormone in this IUD decreases the amount of blood produced every month.

I hope I was able to answer your question. And, I hope you and your husband will come to a common decision as to your ideal family size. List down all the pros and cons, pray, and listen to each other. Basta dapat laging dalawa kayong mag-asawa ang mag-decision. It should not only be one person who makes the choice. Remember you are a couple! Good luck!


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