Contraception is a very personal choice. Whether you want to plan your family or prevent pregnancy altogether, Dr. Tobie Beckerman would love to help. She’d love to get to know you and your needs in a personalized appointment at Beckerman Women’s Health, serving those in Washington, DC, Potomac, Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg and surrounding cities in Montgomery County, MD. Call our office today to learn more and get started on choosing the best birth control option for you.

IUD, Nexplanon, and Oral Contraceptive Pills Q & A

What is an IUD?

An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a tiny T-shaped device that prevents pregnancy by its position within the uterine cavity. Some IUDs are made of copper, others contain hormones. There are currently five IUDs on the market.

All IUDs are 99.8% effective and are currently approved for 3,5 or 10 years depending on the IUD selected.

The insertion process is generally done in the office, takes just a few minutes, and often causes cramping which mostly subsides within a few minutes in the office. The crampy feeling may last for 24 hours, but does not prevent most normal activities Using NSAIDS like Motrin or Advil has been shown to decrease post insertion pain, and we suggest a dose taken an hour before your insertion time.

Advantages to an IUD include ease of use with 100% compliance and no pills to forget; light or even absent periods in many women, making it a good option in women who need control of heavy menstrual flow. It is a non-estrogen method of birth control and therefore can be used in women who otherwise need to avoid estrogen products such as women with clotting issues or a migraine headache with aura. We will meet to discuss your concerns and needs and select the best IUD for you.

In the past, IUDs were associated with an increased risk of pelvic infection. These current IUDs have not been associated with an increased risk, however, caution must be taken to protect against sexually transmitted infections whether or not an IUD is in place. After insertion, there can be up to 3 months of irregular spotting, staining or bleeding. This is often light and annoying, rather than problematic. It generally subsides in almost everyone.


How does NexplanonⓇ work?

Nexplanon is another birth control option that is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The small, flexible, thin device is implanted in your upper arm for three years of pregnancy prevention. The insertion is done in the office with minimal discomfort. There is mild soreness at the implant site for a few days and there may be some bruising, but both symptoms resolve quickly.

Nexplanon works by releasing a low, steady dose of hormone into your bloodstream. Like an IUD, Nexplanon allows you to go about your daily life without having to remember to take a pill or refill a prescription.

The most common side effect of Nexplanon is unusual menstrual bleeding. Your periods may be shorter or longer than usual or disappear. Some women experience very irregular flow, and studies show up to 11% of women elect to remove the device early for this reason.

What are oral contraceptive pills?

Oral contraceptive pills are pills that contain a combination of the hormones estrogen and synthetic progestins. They are taken orally on a daily basis for 99.6% pregnancy prevention. They have additional benefits of controlling menstrual cycles, decreasing amount of menstrual bleeding regulating hormones, and sometimes helpful in the control of acne or PMS. We will discuss which pill is right for you at your visit.

Which contraception method is right for me?

There is no one-size-fits-all birth control method for everyone. Dr. Beckerman works closely with you to get to know you, your lifestyle, your health goals, and to answer any questions you may have before determining your best option.

To learn more, call Beckerman Women’s Health now.