To put a pause on childbearing potential, many women will look into some form of birth control. You can get birth control in the form of a pill, shot, injection, ring, or intrauterine device (IUD). If you have been considering a copper IUD, read on!
How a Copper IUD Works
An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is used for birth control and sits inside of your uterus. It is shaped like a T and a copper IUD has copper wrapped around it. A copper IUD does not contain any hormones and prevents pregnancy because sperm have an adverse reaction to the copper as the copper “zaps” their ability to swim. If they can’t swim, they will not reach the egg to fertilize it.
A hormonal IUD is virtually identical to a copper one, but instead of copper, it emits a small amount of progestin that thickens the cervical mucus. This prevents the sperm from reaching the egg as well.
Is a Copper IUD right for you?
Just like any other product or medication, a Copper IUD may not be right for everyone. Here is a look at some reasons why the Copper IUD may be a good option to consider:
- 99% Effective – This is better than condoms, which Planned Parenthood estimates are only be around 85% effective, accounting for human error.
- Long-Term Contraception – Although not a permanent solution, IUDs are a long-term solution and easier than having to remember to take a pill every day.
- Emergency Contraception – If you get an IUD placed within 5 days of unprotected sex, it is still 99.99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
- Removable – You can have an IUD removed at any time.
- No Hormones – Many women have a sensitivity to hormones that come with undesired side effects.
Potential Side Effects
The placement process involves opening your cervix just enough to get the IUD in. You can experience cramps and some pain at the time of placement that goes away shortly after the procedure. Some women report having heavier, longer, or irregular menstrual cycles, as well as spotting in between cycles. Some women also report cramps during menstrual periods as well. These symptoms typically go away within 3-6 months after placement as your body adjusts to having the IUD there.
Effective and Convenient
No matter how you look at it, IUD’s remain an effective and convenient birth control method. Talk to your doctor about all the available birth control options, so you can decide what is right for you.
Where Can I Learn More About Copper IUDs?
The doctor and staff at Seattle Women’s can provide further information about all forms of birth control as well as Copper IUDs. They are also enrolling women in a clinical study that is evaluating a new copper IUD birth control option. Qualified participants will be seen by Seattle Women’s medical staff, may receive a Copper IUD at no cost as well as compensation for time and travel. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this Copper IUD study, click HERE. Seattle Women’s will give you the care, education and attention that you need to make the best decision for your family planning needs.