Copper IUD Pros And Cons: All You Need To Know
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small and flexible device that the doctor inserts in the female’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. A copper IUD is made from a combination of soft plastic and copper. If you do not want an unplanned pregnancy, the doctor will insert this device in your uterus as it is a contraceptive.
When placed properly, the IUD is effective 99%. This device is non-hormonal birth control and releases no hormones. The hormonal birth control, on the other hand, is either progestin-only or a combination of estrogen and progestin hormone.
The benefit of a Copper IUD is that it does not involve hormone. Thus, it will not interact with any medicine as well. Also, you do not have to worry take the pill every day or remember things to keep yourself protected from pregnancy. But the disadvantage of this device- it is painful in a way.
Many females may experience cramping during periods and heavy bleeding. These symptoms may reduce over time as you get used to the device. But this may not be true for every user.
So, a Copper IUD has its own set of pros and cons. In the below post we will discuss the same.
Copper IUD Benefits
1. It is a Long-Acting Form of Birth
The hormonal IUDs that act as birth control methods last between 3 years and 6 years. So after 3-6 years, you need to visit the doctor for insertion of new IUD.
While it may seem convenient to many, what if we tell you, there is a better and longer-lasting non-hormonal contraceptive? Here we go; a Copper IUD is the contraceptive we are talking about. It can last up to 12 years.
As this device does not have hormones, it does not have any effect on your periods. You do not have to worry about hormone level dwindling in the body and having it replaced with synthetic hormones. The hormonal form of contraceptives does have an effect on your periods.
Both the methods of birth control are however effective in disallowing the possibility of pregnancy.
2. One of the Only Approved IUDs without Hormones
Copper IUD is one of the very few IUDs approved around the world. Also, it is the only approved non-hormonal IUD approved in the U.S. This is the only non-hormonal IUD of its kind. The other approved IUDs contain the hormone progestin.
The hormonal device increases the thickness of cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy. The non-hormonal IUD does not interfere with hormones or bodily functions related to the menstrual cycle. It destroys the sperm so there is no scope for pregnancy.
3. One of the Reliable Non-Hormonal Contraceptives
Many women consider Copper IUD as a primary type of birth control. IUD insertion is a quick procedure without any pain. This is why; it is highly reliable and preferred by females. Also, this device can be easily removed at any time as per your request to the doctor. Just fix an appointment and after the procedure, you can be released soon.
The effect of IUD ceases soon after it is removed. But in the case of contraceptive pills, it can take a few weeks to months for fertility to return or ovulation to resume its natural cycle.
4. It is Cost-Effective and Easily Available
The cost of Copper ID is minimal when compared to the cost of other contraceptives and their longevity. As this non-hormonal IUD can be used for up to 12 years, spending a few bucks on the device is indeed a pocket-friendly option. Even without insurance, the annual cost of the IUD is quite economical.
In comparison, the cost of a month’s worth of contraceptive pills could be higher. So, if you are looking for an affordable and long-lasting birth control, then a Copper ID is the perfect option.
5. Highly Successful Compared to Other Birth Control Measures
Copper IUD is extremely effective compared to other forms of contraceptives. It has a very low failure rate. Even less than 1 person may get pregnant in 100 females. It is thus known for its high effectiveness and function. Whereas birth control pills are up to 91% effective when not used correctly and 99% effective when used correctly. A condom is effective up to 85% when you correctly use it. But an IUD is much more successful and reversible as well.
If you wish to get pregnant, the doctor will remove this device from the uterus. You can then get pregnant again as and when you plan for it.
6. It Can Act as an Emergency Contraceptive
This device releases copper ions into your body. It is the ions that cause a sterile inflammatory response. As a result, it breaks down sperm, making it difficult or rather impossible for the egg to get fertilized. Because of this function, a Copper ID can work as an emergency contraceptive up to 5 days when a birth control method fails or you get physically intimate without protection.
Also Read: IUD FAQs
Copper IUD Limitations
1. It has to be inserted by a Doctor
A Copper IUD cannot be personally managed. You have to consult a doctor, take a prescription, and an appointment to get the IUD placed in the uterus. So, only a healthcare provider is qualified to insert it in the uterus. Also, at the time of removal, you cannot remove the device yourself but take the help of a doctor.
The procedure of placing and removing of the non-hormonal IUD can raise the cost of this birth control. Yet, it may prove to be a cheaper option over every month’s supply of hormonal contraceptives, over the years.
2. The Device Can Slip Out of Place
Generally, the placement of Copper IUDs is effective and successful. But, for some women in the initial period of insertion, the device may slip out of place. This may happen even if the IUD is properly placed by the doctor.
Females who have at least one child are more likely to experience the device slipping out. In case you experience a slippage, visit your doctor immediately.
3. If a Pregnancy Results, it Could be Dangerous to Health
Pregnancy is rare when you are on Copper IUD. But if you do conceive, then it can be dangerous for your health. The IUD may also increase the risk of miscarriage if a pregnancy does happen. And this can then affect fertility, making it harder to get pregnant in the future.
In very rare situations, the IUD can also attach to the uterine wall or breach it. This can give rise to health issues. In such time, the only solution is the surgical removal of the Copper IUD. It may lead to perforation of the uterus and cervix sometimes.
4. It May Lead to a Serious Infection
Though a Copper IUD is safe to use and less than 1% of females may experience a problem with it. The same percentage of women may also experience a serious infection after the placement of the device. This infection is known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. The symptoms include constant pelvic discomfort and stomach pain.
If the inflammation takes place, the IUD may come out even if properly inserted. This is why females who currently have pelvic infection must not choose a form of birth control. Women who encounter pelvic infections often or have a history of certain cancers must also not use a Copper IUD.
The pros and cons of a Copper IUD reveal that it is an effective birth control method. If you want to avoid hormonal contraceptives, then the IUD is best to go with. Also, it is a long-lasting contraceptive which once inserted can last for years together.
Risks or side effects if any are very rare and only affect a few women. To get the best out of Copper IUD, you can get a physical examination done at intervals to ensure the device is in place, and it does not have any negative impact on your health.
March 21, 2020 Sam Bell