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The Connection Between IUDs and Cancer

As far as long-term birth control goes, IUDs aren't too popular in the US — only 2 percent of women who use contraception have one. With that said, I guess many people don't know about all the benefits of an IUD! Once it's inserted into your uterus, it offers protection from unplanned pregnancies for up to five years. That means they're a great choice for women who know that it'll be a while until they're ready to start a family, or if they've already had children and aren't planning on having anymore. Plus IUDs are 99.9 percent effective.

Here's some more great news. Using an IUD may also help protect women from endometrial cancer, a type of cancer that affects the lining of the uterus. It can reduce a woman's risk by 40 percent, which is similar to the cancer-preventing qualities of oral contraceptives.

Dear's Advice: If you're interested in using an IUD, talk to your gynecologist. You should know that some women experience irregular bleeding or pain. Also, IUDs don't protect against STIs, so they're only a good option for women who are in a monogomous relationship with someone they know is disease free.


Join The Conversation
littlecharms littlecharms 9 years
The IUD that I got is Nova-T and I have barely noticed it. It was first implanted when I was 17, I am now 20 and have not experienced any complications with it. I had cramping within the first few days of insertion but since the discomfort has pretty much gone away. My periods have gotten slightly heavier and longer but that isn't too bad since my periods were quite light to begin with. From what I remember, the gynie said that the copper spring on the IUD is what makes it effective because it makes the lining of the uterus uncomfortable for the egg to settle on. I would defintely recommend this to women that are unable to take the pill but for those with allergies to copper I suggest you speak to your doctor about alternate IUD brands or methods.
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
IUDs (also called IUC - intra uterine contraceptive) are the most popular form of birth control amongst female gynocologists. I love my Mirena. I haven't had a period since the first year, and it is so nice to not deal with that shizz! If your doc won't give you one bc you dont have children, look around for a doc who will.
apma apma 9 years
I got one after I had my baby. My doctor told me that they don't like to give IUD's to patients who haven't had children because it doesn't stay in place as well. I'm not sure why that is but I haven't had any issues with it.
avettafawna avettafawna 9 years
BlairBear-That doesn't make me any less creeped out. Its the idea of the foreign object up in there that I dislike. However, if I was having regular sex right now maybe I'd see things differently.
snarkypants snarkypants 9 years
i also was told that i couldn't get one b/c i haven't had kids. i need to find a different ob/gyn!
seraphicstar seraphicstar 9 years
i got my mirena when i was 19, no kids. i made an appointment at planned parenthood and in it went! yes, it hurt for a few days and occasionally i have cramps but its NOTHING compared to taking a pill every day and bleeding every month!!
jJuliet jJuliet 9 years
I got the Mirena one when I was 20 or 21 and I stopped having periods after about 3 months. I've had it in for about 2 years and I haven't had a problem with it. I dread the day when I have to take it out and start getting periods again.
emalove emalove 9 years
My sister just got an IUD put in a couple of weeks ago.
Bookish Bookish 9 years
I have a Paraguard IUD and I was psyched to hear this news. I'll take all the benefits I can get!
BlairBear BlairBear 9 years
I have the Mirena IUD and it's awesome! I totally forget its there. I don't have a period anymore either. I got some cramps the first day but nothing since. I'm planning on getting one every five years because I don't want to have a tubal ligation and I'm not planning on having anymore kids. avettafawna- it doesn't 'float' around your uterus, it's placed just inside your uterus and stays in place right above your cervix.
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
I LOVE my IUD... it gives me some cramping every once in a while, but its tolerable... and its the Paraguard, so no hormones. LOVE IT!
avettafawna avettafawna 9 years
While I logically know that IUDs are safe and effective, the thought of having a little T floating around in my uterus really creeps me out.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
bbkf- I got an IUD when I was 21 and it wasn't a problem for the doctor. It's not like its permanent so they shouldn't be able to tell you you can't have one. I love mine it's so easy. I have the Mirena IUD. I have slight cramping but it eliminates my periods for the most part. I didn't have any irregular bleeding. You and your partner can't even tell it's there. I had problems with hormonal bc but this is a lot lower and I've had no problems with it.
yaliyah yaliyah 9 years
I've worked for and with many OB/Gyns. IUDs are a very effective mode of contraception and they are now VERY safe. The older thinking that they can cause infertility and PID has not been supported by evidence in the literature. Women who are at risk for PID are the women who are at higher risk for STDs, so if you get tested regularly and practice safe sex, PID with an IUD shouldn't be a problem. Just my 2 cents.
coppertop2 coppertop2 9 years
I have one and I love it and I highly recommend it! I actually have the non-hormonal kind (called the ParaGuard) and it's good for up to 10 years. Unlike the Mirena, it may make your periods a bit heavier and you may cramp a bit more than usual the first few months afterwards, but it usually goes back to normal after that. And no hormones at all. bbfk- keep asking other MDs about it. Not having a kid shouldn't be the sole reason for you not to get one. I (and many friends) have the IUD without having kids first and we've had no problems.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
I got one post kid and I loved it! Unfortunately, my body did not. So, after several uterine infections, it had to go bye-bye. I still think really highly of it, and encourage people who want to to try it. :D
bbkf bbkf 9 years
I would *love* to get one, but my dr. won't do it because I haven't had a baby and I'm "too young" (I'm 24, married, don't want kids). I'd be curious if other dr.s would do it.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
These things just look scary...i'm not a fan of having something unnatural in my body for a prolonged period of time.
gooniette gooniette 9 years
I tried to bring it up with my primary doctor, but he quickly dismissed the idea of an IUD. There is so much stigma about it here in the US. Guess it's time to grow up and go to a gyno.
Karma87 Karma87 9 years
I had one 25 years ago, an IUD C-7. After a year, it gave me PID. My gyno told me that I'd have a 50-50 chance of having kids after the IUD was removed. I did have 2 children afterward so I was in the lucky 50%. The ones now are safer, but I would read as much as possible about them before getting one. My primary doc is a Harvard grad and he made a weird face when we talked about them, like he got the heebeegeebee's - and he's a dude!
irishvixen7879 irishvixen7879 9 years
I actually got an IUD almost five years ago and I have been really satisfied with it. I cramped for a few days after it was inserted, but Advil got rid of that. Within a year I did not have periods anymore. I will definitely be getting one again. For those of you that are interested, speak with your gynecologist about the Mirena brand IUD.
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