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Set It and Don't Sweat It Contraception: When to Consider IUD or Implant Birth Control 

Set It and Don't Sweat It Contraception: When to Consider IUD or Implant Birth Control 

Contraception has come a long way since the first birth control pill received FDA approval in 1960. Today, there are more options than ever to help women take control of their health, lives, and futures. Knowing all your options ensures that your birth control method is the best for your lifestyle.

A leading gynecologist in Phoenix, Arizona, DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, offers various birth control options for women at Desert Star Family Planning. In this post, learn about two popular options: IUDs and implants.


An IUD is a T-shaped device implanted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. One of the most effective and reliable forms of birth control, an IUD, prevents more than 99% of pregnancies. 

An IUD is inserted right in our office during a regular pelvic exam. The insertion process takes just a few minutes; afterward, you can return to your routine. Some women have a little cramping when the IUD is inserted, but the process is quick.

IUDs are available in hormonal and nonhormonal forms. The hormonal form releases hormones over time to prevent pregnancy, while the copper IUD repels sperm and helps prevent fertilization.

IUDs are the second most popular form of birth control (after the pill, the most popular form). Depending on the type of IUD you receive, the device remains in place for 3-10 years, after which it can be removed and replaced in the same office visit.


Implant birth control uses a very thin rod (about the size of a matchstick) that’s implanted in your arm. The rod is inserted through a tiny incision or puncture after we numb your skin. Like IUDs, implants are placed during a quick outpatient procedure that takes a few minutes.

Once in place, the implant releases a steady flow of hormones to help prevent pregnancy. These hormones prevent ovulation and thicken the mucus in your cervix (the opening of your uterus), making it difficult for sperm to enter. 

Like an IUD, implants are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Implants last as long as five years and can be easily removed if you decide to start a family. 

Although they’re inserted just beneath the skin of your arm, an implant isn’t visible. However, you can feel it if you gently press the skin over the implant.

The proper method for you

IUDs and implants work on their own, day after day, without your input. With either method, there’s no risk of forgetting to use birth control since each method is already in place. Each method lasts a long time before it needs to be replaced, insertion for either device takes just a few moments, and each can be easily removed right in the office if you decide to start (or add to) your family. 

Many women find the convenience of these options gives them tremendous peace of mind. There are no worries about skipping a dose or not having your diaphragm on hand and no messy spermicides to handle. There’s also no need to insert a ring or handle any contraceptive.

The primary differences to remember are: One is placed in your arm while the other is placed during a pelvic exam. IUDs need to be replaced less often, and there’s also a copper option that doesn’t use hormones.

It’s your choice

Bottom line: Choosing a birth control method is personal, but it’s not carved in stone. If you select a method and decide you don’t like it, trying another is perfectly fine.

To learn more about these and other contraceptive options that can help you feel confident about your life and future, call 480-447-8857 or book an appointment online with Dr. Taylor and Desert Star Family Planning team today.

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