Is A Copper Iud The Right Birth Control For Me
IUDs are appropriate for most women, especially those looking for the most effective methods of birth control. If you know planning for a baby isnt in your near future, an IUD may make sense for you.
ParaGard® may especially appeal to women who are looking for a hormone-free birth control option. Because of the potential for heavier or more painful periods, women whose periods are heavy or crampy may want to be extra cautious.
While all IUDs are effective at preventing pregnancy, none protect you against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV/AIDS. Discussing your specific needs and circumstances with a trusted healthcare provider can help you find the best birth control option for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/09/2018.
Copper Vs Hormonal Iuds: What To Know
What are the general benefits of having an IUD?
OK, so whats the hormonal IUD?
And the copper IUD? That sounds scary!
Which IUD should I choose?
How do I find out more about both options?
The idea of putting any sort of device inside your body can be daunting. It is a temple, after all! So when it comes to birth control, its normal to want to know the ins and outs of all the different IUD options there are. Here, were pitting the copper and the hormonal IUD against each other, and looking at the pros and cons of each. Lets get into it…
How Does It Work
The copper stops sperm from meeting an egg in a few different ways, says Felice Gersh, MD, author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologists Lifeline to Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones, and Happiness.
What it comes down to is that copper creates a toxic environment for the sperm, says Dr. Gersh.
The copper releases copper ions locally, which changes the lining of the uterus and the makeup of the cervical mucus, she says. Both of which make the environment less hospitable to the little swimmers.
Sperm is repelled by copper, so the copper ions also change the swimming pattern of the sperm.
As the sperm nears the uterus, the copper causes it to change direction and swim away from the uterus, says Gersh.
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Getting An Iud Is Not As Scary As Everyone Says It Is
I got a Paragard in November 2015. I chose it because itâs non-hormonal, lasts up to 10 years, and I donât have to remember to take it. During and after insertion I had mild cramping and I spotted a little bit. So far the IUD has worked great and I have had no issues. I still have it. Getting an IUD is not as scary as everyone says it is. If you are worried about pain during insertion I recommend taking some Ibuprofen 30 minutes before.âCrystal, female, 28 North Carolina, USA
Here Are A Few Reasons Why An Iud Could Be An Excellent Choice For You
What research has been done shows that hormonal IUDs fail just 0.2 percent of the time while the copper IUD fails 0.8 percent of the time. This means fewer than one out of 100 women will get pregnant each year when using an IUD. A lot of this comes down to the fact that IUDs are hard to mess up.
Birth control pills, on the other hand, have a failure rate that ranges from less than 1 percent with perfect use to 9 percent with typical use . So if youre worried about messing up your birth control, an IUD might be a good choice for you.
To put it simply, IUDs are one of the best methods of contraception that we have, Lauren Streicher, M.D., an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. The only reversible contraceptive thats more effective than the IUD is the implant, which was found to have a 0.05 percent failure rate. That implant goes in your arm and can be used for up to three years.
Mirena and Kyleena are recommended for up to five years, Liletta is recommended for up to four years, and Skyla is recommended for up to three years. ParaGard, on the other hand, can be used up to 10 years. So if youre looking for long-term birth control , this could be a great option.
With methods like the pill, the ring, and the shot, you have to think about your birth control on a regular basis. But IUDs are different.
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Who Can Use An Iud
Most people with a womb can use an IUD.
A GP or nurse will ask about your medical history to check if an IUD is suitable for you.
The IUD may not be suitable if you:
- think you might be pregnant
- have an untreated STI or a pelvic infection
- have problems with your womb or cervix
- have unexplained bleeding between periods or after sex
People who have had an ectopic pregnancy or who have an artificial heart valve must consult their GP or clinician before having an IUD fitted.
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At A Glance: Facts About The Iud
- When inserted correctly, IUDs are more than 99% effective.
- An IUD works as soon as it’s put in and lasts for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type.
- It can be put in at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant.
- It can be taken out at any time by a specially trained doctor or nurse. It’s then possible to get pregnant straight away.
- Your periods can be heavier, longer or more painful in the first 3 to 6 months after an IUD is put in. You might get spotting or bleeding between periods.
- There’s a small risk of getting an infection after it’s been fitted.
- There’s a small risk that your body may push out the IUD or it may move. Your doctor or nurse will teach you how to check it’s in place.
- It can be uncomfortable when the IUD is put in, but you can take painkillers after, if you need to.
- It may not be suitable if you have had previous pelvic infections.
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections , so you may need to use condoms as well.
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How Do The Coils Work
The IUD is a copper coil that prevents pregnancy by blocking sperm from reaching the egg. It does this by releasing tiny amounts of copper into the body, which are toxic for both sperm and eggs.
Due to the presence of the copper, the sperm cannot survive in the cervix or the womb and therefore cannot reach the egg. It can also delay the egg from reaching the womb. If the sperm and egg did meet, the presence of the copper IUD prevents a fertilised egg from implanting in the lining of the womb, therefore preventing pregnancy.
Check out our copper IUD reviews on The Lowdown website.
The IUS is a hormonal coil that prevents pregnancy through releasing the hormone progestogen into the womb, that works to thicken the cervical mucus and prevent the sperm and egg from ever meeting.
The IUS can also stop ovulation for some people, while for others ovulation will continue as usual.
Contraceptive Failure With The Copper T
Several studies have demonstrated that younger women are more likely to experience contraceptive failure with a copper IUD than older women.29 However, it should be noted that the copper IUD is still more efficacious than other contraceptive methods in this age group. In particular to the Copper T-380A, a nested case-control study of women using various forms of a copper IUD showed that young age was a significant risk factor for experiencing a contraceptive failure.30 Because various copper IUDs were used, statistical adjustment was made for copper surface area . Compared with women younger than 25 years of age, women older than 35 years were significantly less likely to experience a failure . The odds of experiencing a contraceptive failure with the Copper T-380A at 40 years or more compared with women younger than 25 years was even lower . In several studies, parity, uterine position, and uterine size were not associated with an increased risk of contraceptive failure.31,32 However, suboptimal placement of the IUD within the cervix increased the likelihood of contraceptive failure.14,33 If an IUD is placed in the cervix, the likelihood of contraceptive failure was significantly increased .
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What Are The Cons Of The Copper Iud Compared To Non
Now that weve talked through the benefits of using a copper IUD compared to the hormonal variety, lets go through the potential cons. There really is just one big one, and it has to do with your monthly visitor.
According to Dr. Culwell, IUD insertion, in particular, can be painful and can cause periods to be heavier or very uncomfortable, particularly for the first few months. Because of this, she says a copper IUD isnt a great method for people with heavy and or painful periods to start with. However, if you decide to try the Paragard copper IUD, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says this issue typically goes away, or at least decreases after having the IUD for a year.
Hormonal IUD side effects are the opposite and often lead to less bleeding or potentially no period at all in some cases, but you may experience things like cramping and pelvic pain, breast tenderness, and/or headache. Why the difference in bleeding? Hormonal IUDs have a low dose of progestin, which Dr. Culwell says can make periods lighter, irregular, or totally absent. The copper IUD generally doesn’t change the frequency of your period, so you have your period on your natural schedule, however, the periods can be heavier and more painful with the copper IUD in place, she says.
Hormonal Iuds Are Safer For People At Risk For Blood Clots Than The Pill
Birth control pills typically have estrogen and progesterone,” says Dr. Cross. “The IUD only has progesterone. This means there are not as many hormones flowing through or absorbed by your system. So if youre concerned about the risk of blood clots or stroke from oral contraceptives, a hormonal IUD may be a better option than ye olde BC pills.
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Can The Iud Cause Any Serious Health Problems
In about 1 in 500 users, a small hole in the wall of the uterus may be created while the IUD is being inserted. The IUD can move through the hole and sit in the wrong place. If this happens, keyhole surgery is required to have the IUD removed.
Around 1 in 300 users get an infection when the IUD is first inserted. This can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
It is very unlikely to get pregnant when using an IUD. If you do get pregnant with an IUD in place, there is a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy. This means that the pregnancy may settle in the fallopian tubes . This should be medically assessed urgently and treated as required.
Who Is An Iud Right For
IUDs are a good birth control option for many people, but aren’t recommended for someone:
- with PID or an active STD infection
- who is already pregnant or may be pregnant
- who has problems with her uterus, like a disease or malformation, or has abnormal bleeding
Experts recommend IUDs as a good birth control option for younger adults and teens because they last for many years, need no daily care, and are very effective at preventing pregnancy.
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If You Take The Pill The Human Way Over 10 Years You Have A 61% Chance Of Getting Pregnant
Millions of women across the globe, from Melbourne to Mumbai, woke up this morning and punched a small pill out of its packet. They must remember to take one nearly every day, which is surprisingly difficult.
Theoretically, the combined contraceptive pill gives women less than a 1% chance of becoming pregnant in any given year. In reality, most of us accidentally miss around five pills each month so the rate of pregnancy is actually more like 9%. That means that if you take the pill the human way for 10 years, you have a 61% chance of getting pregnant overall. In other words, more likely than not, you will get pregnant. .
Millions of women rely on the contraceptive pill, but not all realise that there is a 61% chance of becoming pregnant on it over a decade
By one estimate, reliance on oral contraceptives leads to 960,000 pregnancies every year. There are also side effects, such as an increased risk of potentially life-changing blood clots and a faded sense of wellbeing.
The issue of compliance is common to most contraception, from condoms to the contraceptive patch. Human nature being what it is, these just arent used in real life as they are intended.
Anna Foley, from New Zealand, decided to get a hormonal IUD a few years ago. In general for me, I loved it because I always sucked at remembering to take the pill, she says. Plus I found that I had some negative side effects to the hormones, while the Mirena had a lower dose.
What If You Get Pregnant With A Copper Iud In
Becoming pregnant with a copper IUD is extremely rare. It happens to less than 1 percent of women. If you do conceive with the copper IUD, it means you may be at high risk for an ectopic pregnancy, which is when the egg implants itself outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. But because copper IUDs prevent most pregnancies, the chance of an ectopic pregnancy is much lower than it is for women who dont use this birth control option.
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Why You Shouldn’t Get A Copper Iud
more than 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancyif you have a copper allergy, Wilson’s Disease, or a bleeding disorder that makes it hard for your blood to clotreleases a tiny amount of the hormone progestin into your body over several years Takedown request View complete answer on plannedparenthood.org
Little To No Hormones:
Aside from its magically long-lasting powers and the more carefree attitude it allows women to adopt, the IUD provides a birth control option that doesn’t pump women full of the hormones that have caused many of us to feel terrible. Of course, lots of ladies swear by the pill or other hormonal treatments, and that’s wonderful! Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all sexually active ladies. Too many women become sick from hormones, or can’t safely take them at all, for there to not be more options in 2015.
Specifically, some women cannot take any oral contraceptive because additional estrogen is very harmful for them. This includes women who suffer from migraines or have histories of strokes, heart attacks, or blood clots. While other women are eligible for hormonal methods, they are negatively affected by weight gain, acne, depression, anxiety, fatigue, aches, or even temporary blindness ! Mirena, Skyla, and Paragard significantly reduce, if not altogether eliminate, the nasty hormones that have plagued so many women on their quests to avoid pregnancy.
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How Does The Iud Work
IUDs affect the way sperm move and survive in the uterus , stopping sperm from meeting and fertilising an egg. IUDs can also change the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for a fertilised egg to stick to the lining to start a pregnancy.
The hormonal IUDs also work by thickening the fluid around the cervix . This helps to prevent sperm from entering. Sometimes the hormonal IUDs can also stop the ovaries from releasing an egg.
Local anaesthetic: a medicine used to numb a part of yourbody for a short while. You remain conscious.
Sedation: a medicine used to cause a relaxed, sleep-like state so you are unaware of the procedure.
How To Tell If It’s Still In Place
The GP or nurse that fits your IUD will teach you how to feel for these threads and check that it’s still in place.
Check your IUD is in place a few times in the first month and then after each period, or at regular intervals.
It’s very unlikely that your IUD will come out, but if you cannot feel the threads or think it’s moved, you may not be protected against pregnancy.
See a GP or nurse straight away and use additional contraception, such as condoms, until your IUD has been checked.
If you have had sex recently, you may need to use emergency contraception.
Your partner should not be able to feel your IUD during sex. If they can, see a GP or nurse for a check-up.
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Does An Iud Help Prevent Stds
No. The IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases . Couples who are having sex must always use condoms along with the IUD to protect against STDs.
A doctor or nurse practitioner will check to be sure a woman doesn’t have any STDs before putting in an IUD. Getting an IUD put in while she has an STD could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease .
Abstinence is the only method that always prevents pregnancy and STDs.