Copper IUDs – Are They Still Around?

  • Parenting
  • Copper IUDs – Are They Still Around?

Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUD) are a very easy to use, safe and cost effective form of birth control. There are two types of IUD, one that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy and the other is made from copper. The copper one has its appeal with the fact that no artificial hormones are used in your body.

How does it work?
A copper IUD works by affecting the sperm, stopping the sperm from fertilising the egg. It affects the eggs’ journey down the fallopian tubes and also changes the lining in the womb to make it less suitable for a pregnancy to occur. This is done by just having the copper in the womb. The metallic properties are what prevent the pregnancy. A copper IUD implanted after sex will still prevent the pregnancy from taking place. This makes the device at least 99% effective in the prevention of pregnancy.

Why use a copper IUD?
This form of contraception is good for those women who can’t or prefer not to use synthetic hormones in their bodies. It is also a good long term reliable form of contraception as the device can last up to 10 years. Economically it is also possibly the best value, as the device itself costs approximately $100-$150 and the insertion can be bulk billed if undertaken at a family planning clinic, or approximately $250 at a private practice.

As this form of IUD does not adjust your hormone levels, it is also a very good option for breastfeeding mothers. If your body is sensitive to hormones – resulting in weight gain or mood swings this is a contraceptive that might work well for you. It is an immediately reversible form of contraception. So once it is removed you are back to your previous level of fertility.

What to expect with a Copper IUD?
Many women have reported that with this form of contraception they have less PMS symptoms as well as shorter periods. On the other hand some women have had heightened PMS symptoms which is probably why they were on a hormone based contraception in the first place.

The insertion procedure is quiet painful and you should speak to your doctor regarding what pain management techniques you might want to consider. Some options are local anaesthetic injection in the womb or even a general anaesthetic. The removal procedure is quiet simple as the doctor will use a special instrument that will gently pull it out via the string.

Warnings
Copper IUD should not be used if you are pregnant or wanting to become pregnant, if you have unexplained bleeding from your vagina, if you have a current pelvic infection or you are awaiting treatment for cervical cancer. With all medical procedures you should discuss with your doctor what is going to be best for you and your health. Like all internal contraception a copper IUD does not give any protection against STI’s.

Want More information?
For more information on the Copper IUD see your doctor or family planning clinic.

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