The IUD is one of the most widely used contraceptives around the world. It's a small t-shaped device that is placed in the uterus by a doctor, but in the United States, some women still have lingering doubts about the device, because in the early 1970's one IUD, called the Dalkon Shield, was recalled due to design flaws that led to an increased risk of infection. At that time, the FDA recommended them only for women who had already had a child. Now, the FDA has just approved a new IUD that it describes as safe for use in women at any age, between 16 and menopause.
"The new FDA approval of the Paragard abel change means that even more women can use a method of birth control that is highly effective, easily reversible, and hormone-free," says Laura Maciaac M.D. Family Planning at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The Paraguard IUD can be kept in place for up to 10 years with little maintenance and no hormone-related side effects. Although some women have complained about cramping or heavier periods. Remember, though, IUDS do not protect against STDS or HIV. You might want to talk to your doctor if you think this hormone free birth control might be a good option for you.