White Mountain Community Health - Affordable Health Care, Conway NH
Open Monday through Friday
8:30am to 4:00pm
(603) 447-8900

The Latest

Feb 3, 2017

Preventing pregnancy with an IUD


An intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped contraceptive that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are safe, effective and long-lasting. They do not affect fertility; pregnancy can occur right after removal.

There are two types of IUDs: hormonal and copper. We offer three hormonal options: Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla, and Paraguard, a copper IUD. Kyleena is recommended for women of small stature.

Hormonal IUDs work by releasing progestin, which is similar to the hormone progesterone that our bodies naturally make. These IUDs prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to move to the egg. They also sometimes stop ovulation. This type of IUD can reduce cramping and make periods lighter. They work for 3-6 years, depending on the brand.

Copper IUDs are a non-hormonal option. Sperm do not like copper, so this form of contraceptive easily deters movement toward the egg, preventing pregnancy. When used within 120 hours (five days) of unprotected sex, Paraguard can be used as an emergency contraceptive and is 99.9 percent effective.

IUDs are inserted by a medical provider in a simple and safe office procedure. Some people experience cramping or pain similar to the discomfort of strong menstrual cramps during and/or after the procedure, although others experience little or no pain. IUDs will work immediately if inserted during the first seven days of your menstrual cycle, but otherwise take seven days to become active. We encourage patients to use back up protection during this time to help prevent pregnancy. IUD users should always use protection against sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

IUDs cost between $0-$1,000, but should be covered by your insurance with no co-pay. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance must cover all family-planning services at 100 percent. We also have affordable options for uninsured patients.

For more information, call the office at 447-8900 to make an appointment with a provider.  Teens can also discuss this and other birth control options at the walk-in Teen Clinic every Thursday from 2:30-5 p.m.