For many women, a common method of birth control is IUD. The hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) is a small contraceptive device that is put into the uterus (womb) to prevent pregnancy.
It’s important to understand how this method works before deciding whether it’s right for you. We’ll also help you know where to get it done in Townsville and Brisbane, as not all Doctors can offer this service…
What is an IUD?
IUD is an intrauterine device that releases a steady flow of the hormone levonorgestrel into uterus. This hormone acts as a contraceptive that is over 99% effective. It can be inserted by a general practitioner that is trained in its insertion. There are several ways that an IUD can help prevent pregnancy. It thickens cervical mucus which can help prevent sperm entering your uterus. It acts to inhibit sperm reaching or fertilising your eggs, and can thin the lining of your uterus as a last line of defence to help prevent eggs settling there.
When you book an appointment to insert an IUD, we’ll make sure you are booked in with a doctor that has experience in performing the procedure.
Can any GP perform the insertion or removal?
No – only a general practitioner trained in IUD procedures will be able to insert or remove your IUD. Thankfully, we have a couple of general practitioners trained in insertion an removal right here in Townsville and Brisbane.
Where can I go to get an IUD near me?
Dr Abid Vatani from SmartClinics Fairfield Waters and Dr Lara Sewell from SmartClinics Annandale are both female GPs who have a lot of experience performing this service in Townsville. Click here to view these Doctors’ profiles and photos or to book. Or if you live in Brisbane – Click here to find a GP near you who performs IUD insertion & removal.
Will an IUD stop my period altogether?
Some people do experience their periods stopping altogether when they have an IUD inserted, however it varies from person to person. You are likely to have reduced spotting and bleeding once your IUD has been in for around three to six months.
It is common for spotting and bleeding to increase in the early months of having your IUD inserted, but this usually goes away. If you’re still having irregularities or more blood flow than usual, chat to us.
Around 20% of IUD users may have no period at all once they’ve had the IUD inserted for six months. However, if you’ve missed your period for six weeks, it’s important to chat to us to rule out pregnancy.
How successful is IUD?
IUD is highly effective as a contraceptive. While no birth control method is 100% guaranteed, IUD is one of the most effective forms on the market. It’s important to check up on your IUD once a month and ensure that it’s still placed correctly. This is a relatively simple process that we’ll explain to you when you come in.
How long until the IUD is effective?
Provided your IUD is fitted correctly, it should be effective in preventing pregnancy immediately. However, we recommend waiting at least 24 hours. Some people may experience spotting, in which case a wait of 24 hours is a good idea.
What are the advantages of an IUD over taking the pill or an injection?
IUD is a long-term contraceptive. It lasts for up to five years, whereas many long-term injections tend to last only around three months. Compared to the pill, it is significantly lower maintenance. You’ll only need to check it once per month, as opposed to remembering to take a pill every day.
The IUD lasts longer and is more effective than many other forms of contraception.
What are the disadvantages or risks of IUD?
It is best to discuss any disadvantages or risks when you come in to visit us. Some of the disadvantages of the IUD can include placement complications, such as attachment to the wall of the uterus or pain, bleeding and dizziness during or after the placement. Provided all goes well, most symptoms will go away after around 30 minutes.
Does it hurt to get?
You may experience some pain during and after placement. However, these symptoms should pass within 30 minutes. If they don’t, give us a call.
Can you have a papsmear with an IUD?
The IUD won’t interfere with a pap smear. We highly recommend that you get a pap smear at regular intervals. Feel free to ask us about pap smears when you come in for a IUD insertion. Some women choose to do both at the same time.
What if I want to become pregnant?
If you decide that you’d like to have a child, we can remove your IUD at any time. This should only take a few minutes. Once it’s removed, you should be able to try to become pregnant shortly after. Around 80% of women who want to become pregnant are successful within twelve months of having their IUD removed.
How much does it cost?
Costs can vary between clinics and Doctors and the time of your appointment. For costs at your preferred clinic call our Annandale clinic on Ph: (07) 4775 2666 or our Fairfield Waters clinic on Ph: (07) 4778 4581. For Brisbane clinics, please choose your preferred Doctor who performs IUDs in Brisbane here