Taylor H. Aiken, M.D.

Are you considering long-lasting birth control, need help with controlling heavy or painful periods, or maybe you’ve heard about IUDs but want to know more? You’re not alone. According to research, 80% of women who use IUDs are satisfied with the method of birth control. 

Taylor H. Aiken, M.D., board-eligible obstetrics and gynecology physician at Women First of Louisville, is often asked, “What is an IUD, and is it for me?” and agrees that

“IUDs are a great option for birth control for most women.”

You may have heard about the convenience and reliability of an IUD among the other birth control options. But what exactly is an IUD, and is it the right choice for you?

What is an IUD?

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a highly effective, long-term birth control option. IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus. They are designed to prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones or using a copper wire to inhibit fertilization. Women and girls’ common questions are, “Am I too young for this?” or “Am I too old for this?” Dr. Aiken assures that “an IUD is an appropriate option if you have periods.” Some women may have concerns about weight gain, but generally, weight gain is unfounded, and any increase in hunger can be managed.

Advantages of an IUD:

With long-term birth control, these devices offer convenience, reliability, and peace of mind. Once it’s in place, depending on the type, an IUD can last up to 3-10 years, making it a “set it and forget it” method. Moreover, many women with hormonal IUDs experience lighter or even no periods at all, which is a compelling choice for those seeking to manage their menstrual cycle.

Disadvantages of an IUD:

However, like any medical option, IUDs have their disadvantages. Some women may experience cramping or irregular bleeding, but these usually subside at least for users of Progestin-IUD’s. It’s always important to have regular check-ups to ensure that the IUD is correctly positioned.

What are the different types of IUDs?

IUDs come in various types, and the one you choose depends on your preferences and needs.

Dr. Aiken mentions that “these devices work exceptionally well because they eliminate the need for daily or monthly adherence, making them a top choice for many women.”

There are several long-term reversible birth control options, including:


  • Mirena – 8 years
  • Liletta- 6 years
  • Kyleena – 5 years
  • Skyla – 3 years


  • ParaGard – 10 years 

Does the Insertion Procedure hurt?

When thinking about birth control and people talking about IUDs, often, girls and women worry about what that procedure will look and feel like to have it placed. Dr. Aiken reassures us, “While it may be slightly uncomfortable, steps are taken to ensure your comfort.”

A healthcare professional conducts the IUD insertion procedure, which is relatively quick and straightforward. Here’s an overview:

  • Preparation: Your OBGYN will evaluate your medical history, address your concerns, and determine your most suitable IUD type.
  • Timing: IUD insertion typically occurs during your menstrual period, when the cervix is naturally more open.
  • Positioning: Like a pelvic exam, you’ll lie on an examination table.
  • Sterilization: The provider uses an antiseptic solution to sterilize the vaginal area to reduce infection risk.
  • Cervical Dilatation: In some cases, cervical dilators are used to slightly open the cervix, especially for women who haven’t given birth.
  • Insertion: The IUD is placed in the upper part of the uterus via an inserter. This might cause a brief cramp.
  • String Trim: The provider trims the IUD strings to the appropriate length inside the cervix.
  • Verification: The IUD’s correct placement is confirmed using ultrasound or manual examination.
  • Recovery: You rest briefly after the procedure, which usually takes 5–10 minutes.
  • Post-Procedure: Your provider provides aftercare instructions, and you can resume normal activities. Arrange for transportation in case of dizziness or discomfort.

Women First of Louisville has options for sedation or nitrous oxide, which is laughing gas, to make insertion more comfortable. Usually, just a little cramping occurs during the insertion procedure and for a couple of days after, and then after that, most patients don’t have any issues.

IUDs are a safe and effective option for long-lasting birth control. They offer advantages such as convenience and reliable protection, and any discomfort during the insertion procedure is manageable. Side effects are typically minimal, making IUDs a great option.

If you’re considering an IUD or have more questions, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Aiken at Women First of Louisville. Take the first step towards a more comfortable and convenient approach to birth control, as we are here to help you make the best decision for you.

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