Read This Before Pulling The Trigger On A Copper IUD
When women are looking for birth control, the copper IUD often comes up as a safe, long-lasting option. While the copper IUD is one of the highest rated forms of birth control, there are some pros and cons. Here are 10 things to consider before pulling the trigger on getting a copper IUD.
#1: It’s more popular than the pill
In one study, the copper IUD was the highest rated form of birth control, achieving a score of 8.9/10. Women reported much higher satisfaction with IUDs than with pills. Some women prefer the copper IUD because, unlike pills, it is non-hormonal and uses copper to prevent pregnancy.
#2: Set-and-forget for 99% effectiveness
Studies have shown that copper IUDs are over 99% effective. While all forms of birth control are highly effective when used properly, many depend on the user. Copper IUDs don’t have room for user error; they have a set-and-forget nature.
#3: Pain relievers may be needed
In some women, placing the copper IUD can be painful, with cramping continuing for a few days after insertion. Usually, this pain and cramping can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. If pain persists, women should communicate with their doctor.
#4: It will change your bleeding
Though the copper IUD is a non-hormonal birth control option, it will likely cause changes in a woman’s periods. For some women, the copper IUD increases menstrual bleeding and pain, especially in the first few months. In most women, however, this irregular bleeding decreases after the first year.
#5: Prevent pregnancy for a decade
The copper IUD provides long-term, effective birth control lasting up to 10 years. This can be a good option for women who do not want to have children for many years. That said, the copper IUD can be removed at any time.
#6: It only protects against pregnancy
The copper IUD is extremely effective for protecting against pregnancy, but it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Women who are at risk for STIs, perhaps because they do not know if their partner is infected, should use condoms. Male and female condoms are the only ways to protect against HIV/AIDs and other STIs.
#7: It’s not perfect for everyone
Women who have certain health issues may not be good candidates for the copper IUD. Women who have uterine fibroids or who have abnormal vaginal bleeding will probably not benefit from a copper IUD. If a woman has any questions about her reproductive health, her doctor can help determine her best treatment options.
#8: It’s more effective than the morning-after pill
Many women don’t realize it, but the copper IUD can even be used for emergency contraception. If the copper IUD is put in within 5 days of having unprotected sex, it’s still 99% effective. This is even more effective than the morning-after pill. The copper IUD is the only IUD that can be used for emergency contraception.
#9: It’s appropriate for all ages
The copper IUD can be used in women of all ages, including teenagers and women who have already had children. Copper IUDs can be a particularly effective option in teenagers requiring birth control because teenagers have higher rates of forgetting to take birth control or using it inconsistently.
#10: You can change your mind at any time
The copper IUD can be a good option for women who are uncertain when they want to have children. Copper IUDs can be removed easily, and women can get pregnant right after their copper IUD is taken out.