Copper IUDs

Copper IUDs, Birth control and emergency contraception.

Copper IUDs image

This article is about non-hormone-based IUDs. For hormone-based, see Hormonal IUDs. Birth control and emergency contraception

Intrauterine device (IUD) with copper, also known as intrauterine coil, is a type of intrauterine device which contains copper. It is used for birth control and emergency contraception within five days of unprotected sex. It is one of the most effective forms of birth control with a one-year failure rate around 0.7%. The device is placed in the uterus and lasts up to twelve years. It may be used by women of all ages regardless of whether or not they have had children. Following removal, fertility quickly returns.

Some side effects may be heavy menstrual periods, rarely the device may come out. It is less recommended for people at high risk of sexually transmitted infections as it may increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease in the first three weeks after insertion. It is recommended for people who don’t tolerate or hardly tolerate hormonal contraceptives. If a woman becomes pregnant with an IUD in place removal is recommended. Very rarely, uterine perforation may occur during insertion if not done properly. The copper IUD is a type of long-acting reversible birth control. It primarily works by killing the sperm.

The copper IUD came into medical use in the 1970s. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. They are used by more than 170 million women globally.


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