IUDs Specialist

Estelle Archer, MD

Gynecologists located in Amarillo, TX

When you’re sexually active but aren’t ready to have children, an intrauterine device (IUD) is a convenient way to prevent pregnancy. At her self-titled practice in Amarillo, Texas, Estelle Archer, MD, FACOG, offers various IUD birth control options, such as Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla, so you can enjoy life without worrying about becoming pregnant. Call her office to learn more, or book an appointment online today.

IUDs Q & A

What is an IUD?

An intrauterine device, or IUD, is a small plastic T-shaped device that sits in your uterus and prevents pregnancy. Examples of IUDs that Dr. Archer offers include Mirena, Kyleena, and Skyla. IUDs work by:

  • Releasing progestin hormone
  • Thickening cervix mucus to prevent sperm from reaching eggs
  • Thinning the lining of your uterus
  • Partially suppressing ovulation

Dr. Archer lets you know which IUD, or other birth control option, best matches your needs as each patient is different.

What are the benefits of IUDs?

The main benefit of an IUD is long-term birth control. It’s a convenient option because of it:

  • Doesn’t require taking pills
  • May reduce or stop your menstrual flow
  • Helps protect against endometrial cancer in women at risk
  • Can be used as emergency contraception
  • May decrease menstrual pain
  • Doesn’t require partner participation
  • Can be removed at any time

IUDs may be a good option if you aren't yet ready to have children, but would like to in the future.

What happens during IUD placement?

Dr. Archer inserts an IUD during your gynecology appointment by:

  • Washing your cervix with an antiseptic solution
  • Sliding a plastic tube through your vagina into your uterus, and pushing the IUD in place
  • Removing the plastic tube, leaving the IUD in your uterus with strings attached

You might experience mild discomfort or cramping during IUD insertion. Some women also experience backaches for several days or weeks afterward. Over-the-counter pain relievers help ease discomfort. Your IUD may stay in place for up to five years or longer.

Are there any drawbacks?

Although IUDs are effective for pregnancy prevention, about 1% of women who use IUDs may still get pregnant. You might experience side effects, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Cramping or pelvic pain
  • Mood changes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Acne

You may have no side effects at all, as each patient is different. If you had or have breast cancer, uterine or cervical cancer, liver disease, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, or unexplained vaginal bleeding, you might not be a good candidate for an IUD.

Dr. Archer goes over the risks and benefits of IUDs and other birth control options with you, to find one that best matches your individual needs. To learn more, call her office today, or book an appointment online.