THE COPPER IUD – AKA THE COPPER COIL
GOOD FOR THE LONG TERM, AND IN AN EMERGENCY.
AN IONIC CHOICE
The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, T-shaped device that contains a copper thread. Also known as the copper coil, instead of hormones it releases copper ions that immobilize sperm and stop them from fertilizing the egg. Should a sperm manage to get through, the copper also prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb lining, so you're still protected against pregnancy.
As no birth control method is for everyone, it's important to discuss the copper coil with your doctor or nurse first. Once you've decided a copper IUD is the right birth control method for you however, there's not much more for you to do. Your doctor or nurse will place it for you, and it will remain effective for five to 10 years.1,2 Once removed, fertility quickly returns to normal.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
No. The copper IUD releases no hormones, and instead uses copper ions to prevent pregnancy.
EASE OF USE
The copper IUD is placed in the womb by a doctor or nurse, and lasts for five to 10 years.1,2
Individuals with a copper IUD may experience heavier and longer bleeding with cramps.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Up to 10 years of protection once fitted.1,2
The window of time a copper IUD can be placed when using as emergency birth control.
The time it takes to fit a copper IUD.3
- Highly effective and can be used for up to 10 years after a one-time placement experience.1,2
- Allows spontaneous sex and does not interrupt it.6
- Removable at any time, which returns your ability to get pregnant right away.
- No protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- You have to see a doctor or nurse to place or remove it.
- Can cause some pain or cramping for a few days after placement – if this worries you, talk to your doctor or nurse about ways you can relieve the pain.
- NICE. What types of intrauterine contraception are available in the UK? https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/contraception-ius-iud/background-information/types/ [Accessed April 2023] Return to content
- Paragard. Paragard Prescribing Information. https://www.paragard.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/PARAGARD-PI.pdf [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- NHS. How effective is contraception at preventing pregnancy? https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/how-effective-contraception/ [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- Prabhakaran S and Chuang A. Contraception 2011;83(2):102-106 Return to content
- NHS. Emergency contraception (morning after pill, IUD). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/emergency-contraception/#:~:text=The%20IUD%20can%20be%20fitted,use%20the%20IUD%20get%20pregnant [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content
- NHS. Intrauterine device (IUD). https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/iud-coil/ [Accessed April 2023]. Return to content