IUD
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Copper IUD

The Copper-T IUD, which is often sold under the name 'Multiload' is a non-hormonal birth control device that sits in your uterus or womb. It’s a t-shaped piece of plastic wrapped with a coil of copper-wire. That's why some people call it the 'coil'.

Two little strings are attached at the end. This make it easy for a doctor to remove it or check it's in the right position. It can be placed for up to 10-12 years.

There are other copper IUDs as well, but the Multiload is the most effective and the most common. However, check with your doctor which Copper T-IUD is best for you and ask about its specific characteristics.

The Copper-T IUD is a reversible form of contraception. Once you take it out you can aim to get pregnant.

 

  • Typical use: 0.8%
  • Perfect use: 0.6%

The copper in the IUD works as a natural spermicide- it kills the sperm that come into the vagina. That way, eggs in the fallopian tubes won't get fertilized and you can't get pregnant.

What happens to my period while I use an IUD?

When using the Copper-T IUD, many women have heavier periods and more cramps than they did before. This is usually not a problem, unless you were anemic even before starting to use the Copper-T.

For many women, their periods go back to the way they were within 3 to 6 months. Other women will always have heavier periods while on an IUD.

Period changes are normal, but if you are worried, talk to your healthcare provider about it.

 

What are the side-effects of the copper-T IUD?

  • Spotting, frequent bleeding
  • Heavier periods, and resulting from that: anemia
  • Cramps
  • Vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina)
  • Vaginal discharge

Who shouldn't use the Copper-T IUD?

  • Women with severe anemia
  • Pregnant women
  • Women at high risk of STDs, unless they also use condoms with all sex partners.
  • Women at high risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Women who have had PID in the past can still use the Copper-T
  • Women with undiagnosed, abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Women with uterine or cervical cancer
  • Women with copper allergies

Most women with HIV/AIDS and ovarian cancer can use an IUD, but need to check with a doctor first.

Does the Copper-T work as emergency contraception?

Yes. In fact, the Copper-T IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception. It works even better than emergency pills. Even if it's inserted five days after intercourse, it's still 99.9% effective.

 

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