AN IONIC CHOICE
The 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 contraception method is for everyone, it's important to discuss the copper coil with your doctor or nurse first. Once you've decided an IUD is the right contraception method for you however, there's not much more for you to do. Your doctor or nurse will insert it for you, and it will remain effective for up to 5 to 10 years. Once removed, fertility quickly returns to normal.
How it measures up
EFFICACY WITH PERFECT USE
Inserted with a prescription by a doctor or nurse and left in place for up to 5 or 10 years, the copper coil is a highly effective and reliable method of contraception.View ’Typical’ Use Efficacy Rate
EFFICACY WITH TYPICAL USE
Since it is inserted with a prescription by a doctor or nurse, possibility for error is very low and the efficacy of the copper coil is high. Should you have a concern about the placement of your IUD, consult your doctor or nurse immediately.View ’Perfect’ Use Efficacy Rate
No. The IUD releases no hormones, and instead uses copper ions to prevent pregnancy.
Ease of Use
The IUD is placed in the uterus by a doctor or nurse, and lasts for up to 5 to 10 years.
Women with an IUD may experience heavier and longer bleeding with cramps.
The placement of an IUD is usually well tolerated by most women. Your doctor or nurse may recommend local anaesthesia in the cervix prior to placement to minimize discomfort. Some women may experience some pain and dizziness after placement, but this usually settles after a short time.
The IUD must be placed by a doctor or nurse, who will ensure it is correctly positioned. Occasionally, muscle contractions during menstruation can push it out of place or expel it, and very rarely it can perforate the wall of the uterus. If you experience any unusual bleeding, pain or discomfort, you should consult your doctor or nurse as soon as possible.
An IUD can be left in place for up to 5 or 10 years. After this time, it will need to be replaced with a new device. If this method of contraception has worked well for you in this time, you can discuss continuing with the IUD with your doctor or nurse.
It is recommended to use sanitary pads. If you do use tampons, they should be changed more frequently and care should be taken not to pull the threads of the IUD when manipulating the tampon.
Neither you nor your partner should feel the IUD during sexual intercourse. If you do, you should avoid having sex until your doctor or nurse has checked that the IUD is still in the correct position.
For many women, the cramps go away relatively quickly. But for others, they may last longer. Cramps should gradually decrease in severity but may continue on and off for the first few weeks after placement. Within the first three to six months, they should subside entirely.
Around 18 percent of women can’t feel the IUD strings. They may be higher up in your vagina or coiled around your cervix, which is generally no cause for concern.
You may experience some cramping, changes in your period, or moderate bleeding. If you’re concerned about any side effects after removal, contact your doctor.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse today.
Up to a decade of protection once fitted.
The window of time an IUD can be placed when using as emergency contraception.
The number of women worldwide using IUDs
- It can stay in place for up to five or 10 years, but can be removed at any time.
- Allows spontaneity and doesn’t interrupt sex.
- Can be used as emergency contraception if placed within five days of unprotected sex.
- Is hormone-free and can be an option for women who experience effects from hormones.
- Fertility returns to normal once the IUD is removed.
- A doctor or nurse must perform the placement and removal.
- Some women experience cramps, irregular bleeding, headaches, tenderness, or acne after placement.
- There is a small risk the IUD can be pushed out of place and become less effective
- Doesn’t protect against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Some women experience longer periods with heavier menstrual bleeding and pain.
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Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.