An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of temporary birth control for women. It is inserted by a doctor.

There are two types of IUDs:

  • Hormone-releasing—Releases the hormone progestin. Can be left in the body for 5 years before it needs to be replaced.
  • Copper—Releases copper ions. Can be left inside the body for 10 years.

Intrauterine Device
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Both devices are shaped like a letter “T” with a tiny string attached. When the device is removed, most women can become pregnant again.

This procedure is done to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The hormone-releasing IUD may also have other benefits, such as treating: