Many forms of contraception can effectively prevent unwanted pregnancies. Doctors prescribe birth control pills, and people can buy condoms at any corner store. IUDs are one form of birth control that is becoming more common for women seeking long-term preventative measures. Researching the benefits and risks of this form of birth control can help you decide if it's right for you.


1. What is an IUD?

An IUD is an intrauterine device used to prevent pregnancies in sexually active women. A doctor inserts the small, T-shaped device into the uterus, where it can help prevent pregnancy for many years. Dr. Richard Richter described the first IUDs in 1909, and the invention became popular in the 1950s.

Intrauterine Device Birth Control Pregnancies flocu / Getty Images

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