by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN………………………………….
Some women just know when they are done having children. These are the women who come in for their postpartum visits asking for urologist recommendations for hubby to go get the big V (vasectomy). If you are really 100 percent sure you are done with children, then go for it! We can definitely refer you to some great urologists.
But, many of our patients are not quite so sure. Maybe in your mind you were always a two kid family, but now that your youngest is one you really miss the newborn stage. Sometimes it is really hard to shut the door on having more children. If there is even a shadow of doubt in your mind, I would not choose a permanent method of birth control. Contrary to popular belief, tubal ligations and vasectomies do not have very successful reversal rates. There are other easy birth control options that help delay the final decision.
If you are like may of our patients, you might be sick of taking a birth control pill every day. Maybe you are not such a great pill taker and not willing to take the chance of an oopsie pregnancy. You might want to consider an IUD – intrauterine device. IUDs are very effective, have very low user error (once it’s in, you do not need to remember anything), and have immediate return to fertility once it is removed.
There are two IUDs available – Mirenas and Paragards. Mirena IUDs contain progesterone that helps keep the lining of the uterus thin. The progesterone works to thicken the cervical mucous and thin the uterine lining. It is more than 99% effective as a form of birth control for 5 years. Periods with the Mirena are typically very light or no periods at all.
The Paragard IUD contains copper. By preventing fertilization and implantation, the Paragard is more than 99% effective as a form of birth control. It is a non-hormonal birth control that is effective for up to 10 years. Periods with the Paragard tend to be heavier for at least the first year.
Placement of IUDs occurs in the office. The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes. It is like a long pap smear. You will feel some cramping at insertion and sometimes menstrual like cramping for about 48 to 72 hours after placement. We can remove the IUD whenever you are ready for your next pregnancy or make that final decision for permanent birth control.
For more information about Mirena IUDs – please visit www.mirena-us.com/.
For more information about Paragard IUDs – please visit www.paragard.com/
Please contact your healthcare provider to discuss if this is an option for you at 770 751 3600.