The Intrauterine device (IUD) is a small object that is put inside a woman's womb (uterus) by a doctor and is left there for 5 to 10 years. IUDs don't prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It's important to use condoms as IUDs only prevent pregnancy.
The IUD works by stopping the male's sperm from reaching the female's egg, and also prevents a fertilised egg from attaching to the lining of the womb.
IUDs are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- convenient and cheap because it lasts up to 10 years,and is highly effective for this entire time.
- It can be removed at any time (by a doctor).
- Insertion does not need a general anaesthetic.
- does not protect against STIs – protection, like condoms, must be used.
- sometimes there is pain or discomfort when it's inserted.
- each month you have to check that the IUD is still in the right place.
You can get an IUD from your doctor or sexual health clinic.