An intrauterine device is a system approximately 2 cm in size (usually T-shaped) inserted into the uterus through the vagina and the cervix by a gynaecologist to prevent pregnancy. Its composition may include a metal, usually copper. It works by changing the cervical mucus and inducing a local inflammatory reaction in the endometrium, thus preventing implantation of an embryo in the uterus.
A variation of the intrauterine device available in the Polish market are Mirena and Jaydess, which contain the hormone levonorgestrel and have high contraceptive efficacy with failure rates ranging between 1.2% and 1.3%. A properly inserted device may remain in the uterine cavity for up to five or three years, respectively (it may also be removed at any time). Jaydess may be used in women who have not yet given birth and it does not affect subsequent fertility, while Mirena is recommended for women with a history of births who are planning another child but within a period longer than three years. These devices are also used in nursing women. Both systems can be used in women after a caesarean section.
Copper devices are used for women who not planning to have more children. After three to five years the device must be removed from the uterine cavity.
The device may be inserted only by a gynaecologist after an examination, endocervical culture, Pap smear, and gynaecological ultrasound.
After a week from the insertion, and then after a month, the gynaecologist must check the position of the device in the uterine cavity. If the device is in the correct place and there are no other symptoms, the next check-up is recommended in six months.
Who is it for?
For women who have given birth, for those who are not planning to have more children (at least not in the next few years), for smokers over 35 years of age, and for women diagnosed with hypertension.