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Intrauterine Device (IUD, also known as the coil)

IUD contraceptive coil

What is the intrauterine device (IUD)?

A small soft device with a copper thread or copper cylinders that is inserted into the cavity of the womb by a trained doctor. It can be left in for 5-10 years (depending on the type).

This is also a device which sits in your womb, but does not rely on hormones. There are several types of intrauterine copper device (IUCD), which last for between three and ten years. They are made of plastic and copper and work mainly by preventing sperm from surviving in your womb and reaching an egg. A doctor or nurse will take a few minutes to put the intrauterine device into place. Like the intrauterine system, you can ask your doctor to remove the intrauterine copper device at any time, and you could quickly be able to become pregnant.

Would the intrauterine device (IUD) suit me?

The IUD provides a reliable long-term contraceptive option, if you would prefer not to think about birth control on a daily basis. It can also be used as an emergency contraceptive for up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse. A doctor or nurse will take a few minutes to put the intrauterine device into place. Like the intrauterine system (IUS), you can ask your doctor to remove the intrauterine copper device at any time, and fertility will return immediately.

The IUD may suit you if you cannot tolerate estrogens/progestins. It can also be used while breast-feeding, as it does not affect the breast milk.

The IUD can cause increased cramping and dizziness. It is not usually the method of choice for women with anaemia, as it may cause heavier and prolonged periods. This method does not protect against STIs.

What other long-term contraceptive might suit me?

There are four long-term contraceptives. Please see below the comparison chart to see which of these option may be suitable for you.

Intrauterine Methods | Intrauterine System IUS | Intrauterine Device IUD


FAILURE RATE

FAILURE RATE

FAILURE RATE

FAILURE RATE

2| 1,000WOMEN(number of pregnancies after one year of use)1
6-8| 1,000WOMEN(number of pregnancies after one year of use)1
2-60| 1,000WOMEN(number of pregnancies after one year of use)1
< 1| 1,000WOMEN(number of pregnancies after one year of use)1

ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATION

Placement in womb2
Placement in womb3
Injection in arm or buttock4
Placement under the skin of arm5

LENGTH OF PROTECTION

LENGTH OF PROTECTION

LENGTH OF PROTECTION

LENGTH OF PROTECTION

Up to 5 years1
Up to 5 to 10 years, depending on model3,6
12 weeks5
Up to 3 years1

RETURN TO FERTILITY

RETURN TO FERTILITY

RETURN TO FERTILITY

RETURN TO FERTILITY

No delay7
No delay7
Possible delay of up to 1 year following treatment cessation7
No delay7

MENSTRUAL BLEEDING

MENSTRUAL BLEEDING

MENSTRUAL BLEEDING

MENSTRUAL BLEEDING

  • Initially periods may be lighter or heavier, longer or shorter or absent.2
  • Infrequent or absent periods likely after several months.2
  • Bleeding and spotting days may increase in first few months.3
  • Bleeding may be heavier.3
  • Irregular and possibly lengthy bleeding or spotting or no bleeding at all.4
  • Periods may become more or less frequent, continuous or absent.5
  • May reduce or increase in intensity or duration.5

BODY WEIGHT

BODY WEIGHT

BODY WEIGHT

BODY WEIGHT

No effect7
No effect7
May cause weight gain of 2.3 – 3.6 kg in the first year4,7
No effect7

USE DURING BREASTFEEDING

USE DURING BREASTFEEDING

USE DURING BREASTFEEDING

USE DURING BREASTFEEDING

  • Yes2
  • 6 weeks after birth2
  • Yes3
  • 6 weeks after birth3
  • Yes4
  • 6 weeks after birth4
  • Yes5
  • 4 weeks after birth5

HEAVY PERIOD TREATMENT

HEAVY PERIOD TREATMENT

HEAVY PERIOD TREATMENT

HEAVY PERIOD TREATMENT

Yes8
No3
No4
No5

USE IN ESTROGEN THERAPY

USE IN ESTROGEN THERAPY

USE IN ESTROGEN THERAPY

USE IN ESTROGEN THERAPY

Yes – May be used in conjuction with estrogen as hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)8
No – Not recommended for use as hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)3

No – Not recommended for use as hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)4

No – Not recommended for use as hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)5

1. Trussell J. Contraceptive failure in the United States. Contraception 83 (2011) 397–404. 2. Package leaflet: information for the user. Mirena: Corporate Patient Information. Bayer Schering Pharma. January, 2011. 3. Nova T – Copper Containing Intrauterine Device. Patient Information. Bayer Schering Pharma AG, November 2008. 4. Depo-Provera patient information leaflet. Pharmacia. August 2010. 5. Nexplanon – information for the user. Patient Information. July 2010. http://www.nexplanon.co.uk 6. Paragard T380A Prescribing Information. Duramed Pharmaceuticals, INC. 2006. http://www.paragard.com 7. Long-acting reversible contraception – the effective and appropriate use of long-acting reversible contraception. National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health. Commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Clinic Excellence, October 2005. Published by RCOG Press. ISBN 1-904752-18-7. 8. Mirena: The intrauterine system. Product Monograph. Bayer Schering Pharma. 2009. ISBN 978-1-904667-09-4.