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Copper IUD Pros and Cons List

A big question today among many women is ‘why should I use a Copper IUD? There are, in fact, some things that women should know about them. A copper IUD is a small anti-pregnancy device shaped like a “T”, that a health care provider will insert into your uterus.

The Process

To get one you must have a prescription from a physician who does a pelvic exam to check for infections. With your prescription you can purchase one at a local drug store for somewhere between $65 and $170. A few sexual health clinics carry them too for between $50 and $175.

After you buy your Copper IUD you go back to the clinic and have it inserted, usually during your period. A copper IUD will be wrapped in copper wire and contains NO hormones. What the copper does is change the chemistry within the uterus, making it harder for the sperm to travel to fertilize an egg. It also decreases the sperm’s ability to move within the uterus toward an egg.

They are 99% effective there is a very low chance of it being expelled from the body or moving out of place within its first year after insertion. Expulsion of an IUD is most common during the first six weeks after insertion. If you are considering getting one of these copper IUDs here is a look at some of the top pros and cons to remember when making your decision.

List of Pros of Copper IUD

1. It is a bit expensive upfront but can be cheaper in the long run.

2. It stays in place 5 years.

3. Nothing needs to be done before or after having sex.

4. It carries no packaging to expose your method of birth control which respects your privacy.

List of Cons of Copper IUD

1. It does require a prescription.

2. It will NOT protect you against STIs.

3. The insertion can be uncomfortable.

4. It has be both inserted and removed by a qualified health care provider.

5. You have a small chance of your body expelling it within the first 6 weeks.

6. You also have a small chance it will break through your uterus wall during insertion (less than 1 out of a 1000). The uterus should heal normally if it happens.

7. There can be side effects.

Side Effects

Using a copper IUD can cause some people to experience heavier periods. Menstrual cramps can be more uncomfortable. Anyone who has an STI or any other type of infection with their IUD inserted, or who experiences and STI within the first 3 weeks of insertion, will be at a higher risk of developing PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). After 3 weeks the risk is not significantly more than for those without an IUD.