Copper Intrauterine Device as Emergency Contraception

What is a copper intrauterine device (IUD)?
It is a small device made out of copper which is inserted inside your womb. It is used as an effective long term and emergency contraception.
How is the copper IUD inserted?
The doctor will first perform a vaginal examination on you to check the position and size of your uterus. Then the size of your uterus will be measured using a metal device. Following this, the IUD will be slowing inserted through your cervix and into your uterus. Some women may find this procedure a bit uncomfortable. You may ask for some analgesia to be given before hand or local anaesthesia during the procedure itself. There may be some vaginal bleeding after the procedure.
How does copper intrauterine device work as an emergency contraception preventing pregnancy?
  • Prevent the egg from being fertilized by the sperm.
  • Prevent implantation of the egg.
What is the effectiveness is the copper IUD as an emergency contraception?
It will prevent 99% pregnancies from occurring. It can be fitted up to 5 days after the unprotected sexual course or up to five days after the earliest time you could have ovulated.
Who could use the IUD?
Any women except those with abnormalities with their uterus or cervix could use the IUD, especially if they do not want to use hormonal method for emergency contraception or they would like to use IUD for long term contraception.
When will I get my next menses?
You menses should come at the same time as you expected it. However, it your menses does not come within 3 weeks after insertion of the IUD, you do a pregnancy test.
Should I go and see the doctor after I had the IUD inserted?
Yes, you should see the doctor 3 – 4 weeks after the IUD has been inserted to ensure whether you are pregnant are not, discuss other issues such as contraception or remove the IUD.
When could I remove the IUD?
You could remove the IUD during your next menses. It is usually a simple procedure, the doctor could gently pull on the IUD strings. However, if you want to remove it at other time of your menstrual cycle, you need to use other contraception 7 days prior to removing the IUD to prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring.
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