The IUD is a highly effective and safe form of birth control. One of the best things that we've done as OB/GYNs is to make this unit available to all patients, whether or not they've had babies or not. So, if you're considering a form of birth control and you're not doing well with taking pills, or even if you did take the pill regularly and you want to change your form of birth control, this is an excellent option for you. There are two types of IUDs -- one that lasts for 5 years and one that lasts for 10 years, and both are well over 99% effective. It is a very safe form of birth control.
There is a very short window within which you are at increased risk for infection. That's the first 21 days after the IUD has been placed. After it's been placed, you are at no increased risk of infection over that of your peers who are not using the IUD.
I highly recommend this form of birth control if you are not doing well with the pills or the NuvaRing or the patch. If you're considering this form of birth control at the beginning of your contraceptive life, I think that you should talk to your doctor or your nurse practitioner if you're thinking about it and you're not considering having children within the next two to three years.