The letters "IUD" stand for "intrauterine device." The IUD is a safe and highly effective form of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). IUDs are small, "T-shaped" contraceptive devices made of flexible plastic. IUDs are inserted into the uterus by a medical provider with special training.
There are currently 5 types of IUDs available on the United States; ParaGard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla. The Paragard is a nonhormonal IUD and a plastic T wrapped with copper wire which can be left in place for up to 12 years. The Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla IUDs use the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin is very similar to the hormone progesterone that bodies make naturally. Mirena and Liletta IUDs work for up to 7 years. The Kyleena IUD works for up to 5 years and the Skyla works for up to 3 years.
The IUD is the reversible contraceptive method used by more people across the globe than any other method.