An intrauterine device (IUD) is a little, T-shaped piece of plastic inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is a type of long-term contraception that is considered to be 95 to 98 percent effective. One type of IUD releases a hormone (progesterone) and is replaced each year. The second type is made of copper and can be left in the body for five years. The most common shape, however, is a plastic “T” wrapped with copper wire. Mirena, Skyla, and ParaGard are common brands.
Prior to the placement of the IUD, the physician should take a woman’s medical history, conducting a physical examination as well as a pap test. After a full evaluation, the physician will be able to determine whether a woman can safely use an IUD. Some women are disqualified from using the device due to a variety of reasons. For example, a woman who suffers from abnormal vaginal bleeding or who is currently pregnant would not be able to use an IUD.
If it is deemed safe, a physician places an IUD into the uterus. The physician should take great care when doing this in order not to injure the woman. The improper insertion of an IUD can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician.