When you want to pause your child-producing abilities, women will most often look into some form of birth control. You can get birth control in the form of a pill, shot, injection, vaginal implant, or intrauterine device (IUD). If you have been considering a copper IUD, read on!
How an IUD Works
An IUD sits inside of your uterus, and it is shaped like a T. The copper IUD has copper wrapped around the T and does not contain any hormones. The copper in IUD prevents pregnancy because sperm have an adverse reaction to the copper. 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 an IUD right for you?
Just like any other product or medication, it may not be for everyone. Here is a look at some reasons why the copper IUD may be an option for you:
- 99% Effective – This is better than a condom, which Planned Parenthood estimates is at 85% when you factor in human error.
- Long-Term Contraception – Although not a permanent solution, it’s a long-term solution for not having to remember a pill every day!
- Emergency Contraception – If you get one placed within 5 days of unprotected sex, it is still 99.99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
- Removable – You can have it removed when you want.
- No Hormones- A great solution for those who have hormone sensitivities or other medical conditions.
Possible Side Effects
The placement process involves needing to get your cervix open just enough to get the IUD in. You can experience cramps and some pain at placement that goes away shortly after the procedure. Some women report having heavier, longer, or irregular menstrual cycles, as well as spotting in between and increased cramps during. These typically go away within 3-6 months 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, taking human error out of the equation. Talk to your doctor about all the available birth control options, so you can get what is right for you.
Paragard is currently is the only copper IUD available in the U.S. Women’s Health Care Research is currently enrolling for a clinical study that is testing a new copper IUD birth control option. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this study, click HERE. Qualified participants will receive compensation for time and travel.