intrauterine device

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A contraceptive method that relies on the presence inside the uterus of an object made of plastic or metal that prevents implantation of the fertilized ovum. An IUD is believed to work by thickening the mucus around the cervix, thereby acting as a barrier to the passage of sperm. An IUD may cause a state of chronic low-grade inflammation and sometimes causes an offensive vaginal discharge. The method is frowned upon by those who believe human life begins at conception. However, it has the advantage of being permanently in place, so it provides protection against pregnancy through unplanned or casual acts of sexual intercourse.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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