Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a method of birth control that has few side effects. They can provide long-term effective protection towards prevention of pregnancy. The devices require precision and care to be fully effective and protect against infection. Improper insertion of an IUD can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and other pelvic infections. IUDs should only be inserted or removed by a trained health care professional who will minimize risks for complications or serious damage.