Share on PinterestCopper acts as a spermicide in a copper IUD, which is a nonhormonal form of birth control.
According to the journal, Open Access Journal of Contraception, currently, the only copper IUD available in America is the CuT-380A IUD, or ParaGuard.
This IUD is around 36 millimeters (mm)-long with two white strings around 10.5 centimeters (cm) long that help healthcare professionals insert and remove the device.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend removing the copper IUD after 10 years.
The copper IUD is a contraceptive. This means that it prevents sperm from fertilizing any eggs.
Copper IUDs (intrauterine devices) are a form of birth control. IUDs are a safe and effective method of preventing unintended pregnancies.
As of 2012, 11.6% of females in the United States use some form of IUD or implant, according to an article in Open Access Journal of Contraception. This article discusses what copper IUDs are, how they work, their side effects, and how to get one.
Copper acts as a spermicide. It changes the way that sperm move so they are not able to swim to an egg and prevents the sperm’s head from breaking through an unfertilized egg. Planned Parenthood warn that while the copper IUD prevents unintended pregnancies, it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
To help prevent STIs, a person should use barrier methods of birth control, such as male or female condoms during oral or penetrative sex or dental dams for oral sex.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the typical failure rate of a copper IUD is 0.8%. The Open Access Journal of Contraception indicates that failure rate can increase slightly the longer a person is using it. For example, after 4 years, the failure rate increases to 1.3%, and by year 10, it has a failure rate of 2.1%.
This means that copper IUDs are more effective than other forms of birth control. According to the CDC, condoms have a failure rate of 13%, and birth control pills can fail 7% of the time.
According to Planned Parenthood, the copper IUD is also a very effective method of emergency birth control. If a healthcare professional inserts the copper IUD within 5 days of having sex without birth control, it is more than 99.9% effective at preventing unintended pregnancy. However, if the IUD becomes dislodged or falls out, it no longer prevents pregnancy. It is important to check for the strings attached to the device regularly. If a person is unable to feel the strings, it is essential to use other methods of birth control and make an appointment with a healthcare professional.
A copper IUD is a nonhormonal form of birth control.
The copper IUD does not release any hormones in the body. This means that people who cannot have hormonal contraceptives due to preferences or medical reasons may find the copper IUD better than contraceptives.
According to the CDC, once a healthcare professional has inserted the IUD, it then protects from unintended pregnancies for up to 10 years. Another benefit of the copper IUD is that it can act as an emergency contraceptive.
The most common side effect of the copper IUD is irregular and heavy bleeding.
The 2016 article in Open Access Journal of Contraception indicates that during the first year after insertion, 4–15% of women remove the IUD for this reason. Periods may get heavier while using the copper IUD. Blood loss can increase from 30–50%. Another side effect is an increased risk of period pain. According to an older 2007 study, 38% of participants reported significantly more period pain after the insertion of a copper IUD.
Women who have had children tend to experience fewer adverse side effects than women who have never given birth.According to Planned Parenthood, other side effects include:
These side effects typically go away within 3–6 months for most people. However, anyone who experiences symptoms that do not go away or interfere with daily life should consider seeing a healthcare professional.
There are some health risks with the copper IUD. However, according to Planned Parenthood, serious risks are infrequent.Some risks include:
Healthcare professionals may say a copper IUD is not safe if a person: