Copper IUD as Emergency Contraceptive Method

Emergency contraceptives are used as a form of birth control method to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse.

Most women are familiar with emergency contraceptive pills, but you can also consider the copper IUD as emergency contraception.

WHO recommends that a copper IUD, when used as an emergency contraceptive method, should be inserted within 5 days of unprotected intercourse.

How does it work?

Copper IUD is the most effective type of emergency birth control. Less than 1% of women who use this method get pregnant.

It works by inhibiting sperm from reaching the ovum and preventing implantation in the uterus.

This method is specifically a good choice for women who would like to start using a highly effective, long-acting and reversible contraceptive method.

How effective is this?

When it is inserted within 120 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse, a copper IUD is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy which makes it the most effective form of emergency contraception available.

How can this be used?

In order for this device to work as emergency contraception, a healthcare practitioner should insert it within 5 days after your unprotected intercourse.

You can reach out to your doctor as soon as you realize you need emergency contraception.

What are the side effects of IUD?

Although side effects or serious problems are rare with an IUD, a few things can take place.

During insertion, you might experience nausea, dizziness, or low blood pressure which could be due to anxiety mainly. These symptoms should resolve within a few hours after insertion. 

Moderate pain and cramping a few days after insertion can happen.

Heavy menstruation and period pain are some of the common symptoms you can expect. However, it can be treated with some medications over the counter.

Risk of an IUD

Although IUDs are safe, they do have some risks and complications after insertion.

Pelvic infection:
If you have STD or suspect having the infection, don’t use the IUD until it is treated as this can lead to infertility and pelvic infection.

Uterine Perforation:
During insertion, there are possibilities for the device to get stuck or slightly tear the uterus. This happens in 1 out of 1,0000 women.

It is possible for an IUD to come out from the vagina. That’s likely to occur a few months after insertion. This can happen to about 2-10% of women.

Women and girls who are at risk of unintended pregnancy should consider emergency & long-term contraception to prevent pregnancy.

It also prevents pregnancy-related health risks, especially in younger age groups when they are not prepared for pregnancy.

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