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The IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a little, t-shaped piece of plastic that is placed in the uterus. It alters the way sperm moves and prevents fertilization. IUDs offer years of protection—between three and twelve, depending on the type you get.


There are four hormonal IUDs available in the U.S.—Mirena, Skyla, LILETTA, and Kyleena. All three are made of plastic and release a small amount of the synthetic hormone progestin, which thickens your cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the uterus. Depending what kind you get, hormonal IUDs can last between 3 and 7 years and may make your periods lighter.


There’s only one IUD without hormones available in the U.S. It’s called Paragard and it’s made of plastic and a small amount of natural, safe copper. Paragard doesn’t affect your periods and can work for up to 12 years.


Get it and forget it

If you’re a busy person who doesn’t want to worry about remembering birth control, the IUD just may be for you. Once it’s in, you’re good to go for anywhere from 3 to 12 years.


No packages or prescriptions to pick up at the pharmacy, so there’s nothing that could get lost or forgotten

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Total privacy

No one can tell when you have an IUD. (Some partners say they can feel the strings, but no one else will know it’s there.) There’s no tell-tale packaging, and nothing you need to do just before you have sex.

Safe and sound

Most experts agree, if you’re healthy and have a uterus, you’re probably a good candidate for the IUD. That’s true even if you’re young, haven’t ever been pregnant, or haven’t had kids yet. It’s also a great method for new moms (even if you’re breastfeeding).

How to use it

You can get the IUD inserted any time of the month. Some providers like to insert it during your period, but any time is fine as long as you can be sure you’re not pregnant. It may be the most comfortable to get it done during the middle of your period. (That’s when your cervix—the opening to your uterus—is open the most.)

It’s pretty common to feel some cramps when you get an IUD inserted, but they’ll go away with rest or pain medication. Some people might feel dizzy, too. Once the IUD is in, you’ll notice a little string that hangs down into your vagina. That’s there so that the IUD can be removed later.

After it’s in, there’s really not much you have to do other than check the string ends from time to time to make sure it’s in place.

Here’s how:

  • Wash your hands, then sit or squat down.
  • Put your finger in your vagina until you touch your cervix, which will feel firm and rubbery like the tip of your nose.
  • Feel for the strings. If you find them, your IUD is still in place. But if you feel the hard part of the IUD against your cervix, you may need to have it adjusted or replaced by your provider.

Please note that after the IUD is inserted, that you must not tug on the strings. If you do, the IUD could move out of place.

If you don’t feel comfortable checking for the strings, you can let us do that the month after insertion, and then yearly after that.

dot design for our sexual health clinic in Lawrence, Haverhill, and Beverly

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide exceptional reproductive and sexual health care to all who need it without judgment and without barriers. We operate with an uncompromising belief that everyone has the right to control their body and control their life.

We are a non-profit organization governed by members of the communities who make up our volunteer Board of Directors. We have a 25-member team of board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners, medical assistants, patient care coordinators, and administrative staff. Everyone from the Board down joined because they are dedicated to the vision, mission, and values. Together, we are making sure that sexual and reproductive health care is accessible to our families, friends, and neighbors.


Every staff I came across in this office were kind, polite and professional. Great experience overall. Every medical office should be like this one, they hear you out and help. - R.V.

I went to this clinic multiple times back in December and cannot say enough good things about the staff. I have never felt more respected, heard and cared for in a medical setting. The level of communication was above and beyond so that I never felt confused or the medical decisions out of my hands - my opinion about my body mattered. They patiently listened to all my questions and answered in ways to make sure I actually understood. We connected on a personal level - rather than the superiority/aloofness some medical professionals have - which really makes all the difference. Highly recommend. Thank you for all that you do! - C.S.

Extremely safe, private, and a professional experience for such a sensitive time in one's life. - S.S.

If you want to get an IUD, the first thing you’ll need to do is schedule your consultation to talk with us. We will give you an exam to make sure the IUD is right for you.

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