According to experts, modern intrauterine contraception, that is, the application of modern intrauterine devices is one of the safest, most sparing and most cost-effective methods of contraception today. In terms of user satisfaction, this is the method most in favour. Most women, however, still rely on other, less dependable methods even today. The reason is that there are many mistaken and outdated notions about intrauterine contraceptive devices, stubbornly persisting in spite of scientific disprovals. The following is a collection of some widespread misbeliefs in connection with intrauterine contraceptive devices, which are scrutinized in view of current scientific knowledge.

Intrauterine devices exert their effect by the interruption of pregnancy

It is a scientifically demonstrated fact that intrauterine devices exert their effect before the nidation of a fertilized egg. In addition to the prevention of nidation, their contraceptive effect is based on the fact that the mobility, vitality and fertility of sperms is reduced, thus they do not even reach the fallopian tube; as a consequence, fertilization does not occur. Therefore, intrauterine devices have a contraceptive impact and they do not interrupt pregnancy. This also applies to the application of intrauterine devices for emergency contraception.

Intrauterine devices increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases

The risk of sexually transmitted diseases is generally connected to sexual activities, regardless of the method of contraception applied. Only the use of condoms provides efficient protection against most sexually transmitted diseases. Obviously, there is a higher risk of pelvic inflammation if the IUD is applied in case of an already existing infection of the cervical canal. Therefore the physician checks for the existence of any such type of infection before application.

Intrauterine devices are unpleasant for both users and their partners

Intrauterine devices are small, soft and flexible; they cannot be felt at all if they are put in place in an appropriate manner. As they are applied to the uterine cavity, they are not disturbing at all during sexual intercourse. Only soft threads hang down a bit into the vagina, which can be felt by the partner on very rare occasions. This is not disturbing in general. If yes, a physician must be consulted and threads should be shortened if possible.

Intrauterine devices cannot be applied in case of young or nulliparous women

The approach according to which intrauterine contraceptive devices are only allowed to be applied in case of women over 35 years of age who have finished family planning, is outdated today. Prescription criteria for Intrauterine devices were also modified in the USA, for instance, so they can be applied in the case of all women over 16 since 2005. Indubitably, stronger menstruation, pain or rejection occur more frequently when normal-sized intrauterine devices are applied in young and nulliparous women. In such cases, smaller-sized intrauterine devices may help as they take into consideration that these women frequently have smaller wombs.

Intrauterine devices cause pelvic inflammation

According to the current state of research, the risk of pelvic inflammation is slightly increased only in the first month of application as bacteria can get into the upper section of the genital duct in the course of application. This risk can be kept very low by professional application conducted properly. After one month of placement, there is no increased risk of pelvic inflammation development.

Intrauterine devices increase the risk of extrauterine pregnancy

Actually, the application of intrauterine devices – just like any methods of contraception – reduce the risk of extrauterine pregnancy compared to women who do not use contraceptives. However, if a woman gets pregnant while applying an intrauterine device, the risk of extrauterine pregnancy is a bit higher as the intrauterine device prevents normal pregnancy more efficiently than extrauterine pregnancy.