Copper IUD- Benefits, How To Use - Find My Method
 

Last modified on March 3rd, 2021

non-hormonal-iud
  • Easy to hide. A small plastic and copper non-hormonal device that’s put into your uterus (womb).
  • Effectiveness: IUDs are one of the most effective methods. 99 in every 100 individuals using this method will manage to prevent pregnancy.
  • Side effects: you might have increased blood flow and cramping
  • Effort: low. It is inserted once and lasts for years
  • Doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Summary

Copper IUD

Summary Non Hormonal IUD

The IUD is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic and copper. It is put into your uterus. The copper slightly changes the environment of the uterus and prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. IUDs offer 3-12 years of protection from pregnancy, depending on which IUD you get. If you want to get pregnant, you can have the IUD removed.

 

Questions? Visit our FAQs section

Details

Get it and forget it. If you do not want to worry about remembering your contraceptive method, the IUD just may be for you. Once it is in, you can leave it in for 3 to 12 years.

Hands-free. No packages or prescriptions to pick up at the pharmacy. There is nothing that could get lost or forgotten.

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

Safe and sound for female bodies. Most experts agree, if you are healthy and have a uterus, you are probably a good candidate for the IUD. That is true even if you are young, have never been pregnant, or have never had kids. It is also a great method for new moms (even if you are breastfeeding).

The pregnancy question. You should be able to get pregnant very quickly after you have the IUD removed. If you are not ready to get pregnant as soon as you have an IUD taken out, be sure to protect yourself with a different method.

Availability. Would you like to use this method?  This method is widely available.  Just ask in your local health facilities.

How To Use

The first step to getting an IUD is to talk with your health care provider. She or he will ask you questions and give you an exam to make sure the IUD is right for you.

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 are not pregnant. It may be the most comfortable to get it done during the middle of your period (that is when your cervix, the opening to your uterus – is open the most) [9].

It is common to feel some cramps when you get an IUD inserted, but they will go away with rest or pain medication. Some women might feel dizzy, too. Once the IUD is in, you will notice a little string that hangs down into your vagina. That is there so that the IUD can be removed later. (The strings do not hang out of the vagina.) [7]

Once it is in, you should check the ends of the strings a few times a year to make sure it is in place. This is how [11]:

Wash your hands with soap and water, 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, congrats! Your IUD is good to go. 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.

Do not tug on the strings! If you do, the IUD could move out of place.

If you are not comfortable checking for the strings, you can let your provider do that the month after insertion, and then yearly after that [13].

Side Effects

Everyone is different. What you experience may not be the same thing as another person.

The Positive: there are lots of things about IUDs that are good for your body as well as your sex life [5].

  • Easy to use
  • Does not interrupt the heat of the moment
  • Super long-lasting protection without much effort
  • Safe for smokers and those with hypertension and diabetes
  • IUDs do not change your hormone levels
  • You can use it while you are breastfeeding

The Negative: everyone worries about negative side effects, but for many women, they are not a problem. Most women adjust to having an IUD pretty quickly, but it could take a few months [6].

The most common complaints:

  • Spotting between periods (especially during the first few months after you get an IUD)
  • Increased period flow
  • Cramps and backaches

Other issues to watch out for:

  • IUD slipping out
  • Infection
  • IUD pushing through the wall of the uterus

If you feel the side effects are more than you can accept after three months, switch methods and stay protected. Remember, there is a method for everyone, everywhere!

*For a very small number of women, there are risks of serious side effects

References

[1] Arrowsmith, et al. (2013). Strategies for improving the acceptability and acceptance of the copper intrauterine device. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Retrieved from https://www.cochranelibrary.com/es/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008896.pub2/abstract
[2] BATESON, D., & McNAMEE, K. (2016). Intrauterine contraception A best practice approach across the reproductive lifespan. Medicine Today. Retrieved from https://www.shinesa.org.au/media/2016/07/Intrauterine-contraception-A-best-practice-approach-Medicine-Today.pdf
[3] Dr Marie Marie Stopes International. (2017). Contraception. Retrieved from http://www.mariestopes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Contraception-brochure-web-200417.pdf
[4] FSRH The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare. (Amended 2019). UK MEDICAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA. RCOG, London. Retrieved from https://www.fsrh.org/standards-and-guidance/documents/ukmec-2016/
[5] FPA the sexual health charity. (2017). Your guide to the IUD: Helping you choose the method of contraception that’s best for you. Retrieved from https://www.fpa.org.uk/sites/default/files/intrauterine-device-iud-your-guide.pdf
6] IFPA Sexuality, Information, Reproductive Health and Rights. (2009). Copper intrauterine devices (IUCD). Dublin. Retrieved from https://www.ifpa.ie/sites/default/files/documents/media/factsheets/iucd.pdf
[7] Nelson, A. L., & Massoudi, N. (2016). New developments in intrauterine device use: focus on the US. Retrieved from https://www.dovepress.com/new-developments-in-intrauterine-device-use-focus-on-the-us-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-OAJC
[8] Planned Parenthood. (2020). What are the benefits of IUDs? Retrieved from Planned Parenthood https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/iud/what-are-the-benefits-of-iuds
[9] Pathfinder International. (2008). Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): Trainer’s Guide. Retrieved from http://www2.pathfinder.org/site/DocServer/IUD2E_combined.pdf?docID=11263
[10] Reproductive Health Access Project. (2017). IUD Information. Retrieved fromhttps://www.reproductiveaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IUD_facts.pdf
[11] Reproductive Health Access Project. (2015). Copper IUD. Retrieved from https://www.reproductiveaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/factsheet_iud_copper.pdf
[12] Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. (2016). Canadian Contraception Consensus: Chapter 7 Intrauterine Contraception. JOGC. Retrieved from https://www.jogc.com/article/S1701-2163(15)00024-9/pdf
[13] Shefras and Forsythe. (2019). Copper intrauterine device IUD. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved from https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/43583Pcopper.pdf
[14] Sanders, et al. (2018). Bleeding, cramping, and satisfaction among new copper IUD users: A prospective study. PLOS. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6221252/
[15] Tudorache, et al. (2017). Birth Control and Family Planning Using Intrauterine Devices (IUDs). Retrieved from https://www.intechopen.com/books/family-planning/birth-control-and-family-planning-using-intrauterine-devices-iuds-
[16] World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (2018) Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers. Baltimore and Geneva. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/260156/9780999203705-eng.pdf?sequence=1
[17] World Health Organization. (2016). Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use. Geneva. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/252267/9789241565400-eng.pdf?sequence=1


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