2. Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Inserted into your uterus by a physician, IUDs are available in two different varieties: a copper IUD that is 99.4 percent effective, or a progesterone-based IUD (Mirena, or Jaydess). The Mirena brand is 99 percent effective against pregnancy. “Mirena is as effective as a tubal ligation (a surgical sterilization technique),” says Black. Mirena can stay inside your uterus for up to five years, while Jaydess has been approved for three years. IUDs cannot prevent STIs.
The problem: Extreme cramping and bleeding is sometimes associated with the copper IUD.
The solution: “Pain can often be managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), however, if you already have a history of heavy bleeding or cramping, you should shy away from a copper IUD,” says Black. If you can tolerate a hormonal birth control method, the Mirena IUD is a good option. “Mirena is associated with a decrease in menstrual bleeding and cramping,” says Black.