Copper Intrauterine Device



1.   What is copper IUD?

Copper IUD is a method of contraception in which a small plastic and copper device is placed into your womb. It has a small thread attached to its end. This thread will hang through the opening of your cervix at the top of your vagina. Depending on the type of IUD, it will provide contraception that could last 3 – 5 years.
2.     How does it prevent pregnancy?
  • The released copper causes changes in the cervical mucus and uterus (womb) that affects the sperm preventing it from fertilizing an egg.
  •  Changes the lining of the uterus preventing implantation for occurring.
3.     What is the effectiveness of copper IUD in preventing  pregnancy?
The newer IUD which contains more copper is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
4.     Could all women use the copper IUD?
Some women with the condition below may not be suitable for copper IUD:
  • The woman or her partner is at high risk of getting sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • The woman is not in a mutually monogamous relationship
  • Women with cervical or uterine abnormalities
  • An untreated STD infection
  • Unexplained bleeding from the vagina
5.     What are the advantages of using copper IUD for     contraception?
  • Highly effective
  • Convenient
  • Does not require compliance
  • Lasts up to 3 years
  • Fertility is reversible promptly after removal
  • Relatively cheap
  • Is it not affected by any medications
6.     What are the disadvantages of using copper IUD for   contraception?
  • Could affect the menses making it heavier, prolonged and painful in some women.
  • It does not protect you from sexually transmitted disease.
  • There is some small risk of pelvic infection especially the first 20 days after insertion.
  • Spontaneous expulsion of the IUD from the uterus could happen.
  • Uncommonly, the IUD could perforate through your uterus and require surgical removal.


      7.     How is the copper IUD inserted?

Your doctor will examine you internally the find the position and size of your uterus. The procedure takes about 10 – 15 minutes and some women may find it slightly uncomfortable or painful. Pain killer could be given to you to reduce the pain. You will be asked to come again about 3 – 6 weeks time to make sure there are no problems. You need to inform your doctor if you have lower abdominal pain or foul smelling vaginal discharge as this could indicate a pelvic indication.
8.       When will the copper IUD start to work?
The copper IUD will be effectively immediately after it is inserted.
9.       How will I know whether the IUD is still inside the womb?
Your doctor will teach you how to feel the thread attached to the IUD to make sure the IUD is still in place. You should check for the thread every month after each period. See your doctor if you could not feel the thread.
10.  Will my partner be able to feel the thread during sexual intercourse?
   In some women, their partner may be able to feel the thread. However, you may ask your   doctor to trim the thread a bit if it gets to uncomfortable for your partner. In the majority of women, there is no problem with sexual intercourse with the IUD inside.
11.  What happens if I fall pregnant with the IUD still inside the womb?
There is a risk of ectopic pregnancy. You need to see the doctor immediately. If the pregnancy is not an ectopic pregnancy, you still need to remove the IUD as soon as possible.



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