Set it & Forget it - Copper IUDs and Why You Should Get One

Set it & Forget it - Copper IUDs and Why You Should Get One

I recently got the copper IUD put in & it's probably been the best decision I ever made. Full disclosure: I'm NOT a doctor, I'm just writing this Take based on the things my gynecologist told me. I felt it kinda necessary because it's a sad truth that a lot of girls don't know their options when it comes to their own body. So let's start.

Copper IUDs. What are they?

The copper IUD (intrauterine device) is a tiny plastic device about the length of your pinkie finger, with copper wire wrapped around its stem, also known as a Coil and 'The Copper T'. It is famously known as one of the most effective forms of birth control (more than 99% effective!) and as a form of emergency contraception if inserted up to 7 days after unprotected sex or contraception failure. The coil is placed inside your uterus and can keep you protected for up to 12 years.

Set it & Forget it - Copper IUDs and Why You Should Get One

• How do they work? •

Think of copper as nature's very own spermicide*. When inside the body, it increases the levels of copper ions, white blood cells and prostaglandin, a hormone used to induce miscarriage. Essentially, these bad boys join together to hulk smash sperm before implantation can occur.

The copper IUD is one of the only forms of hormone-free birth control so it's ideal for people who want a natural contraceptive. There are also hormonal IUDs that are handy in regulating periods, easing menstrual cramps and even clearing up acne, however the effectiveness of both options are pretty much the same.

* spermicide - a substance that destroys sperm, commonly used as a gel or cream but some condoms contain it too.

• Pros & Cons •

Let's be fair, nothing is without its risks, and there are a few. But in my honest opinion, they are benign compared to hormonal pills (for me, the increased potential for blood clots in my brain is just not worth it). Here are a few disadvantages to the copper IUD:

Pregnancy - like with any contraceptive (except for maybe getting your tubes tied), there's always a chance to get pregnant. So either you're the most fertile person in the world, or the most unlucky.

Irregular, heavier periods - the IUD increases blood flow by up to 50%. Sometimes this clears up past the 6 month mark after insertion, sometimes it doesn't. If you're anemic or you're already cursed with monster periods, maybe you'd be better off with a hormonal IUD like Mirena or Skyla.

Pelvic inflammatory disease - this one's kinda shitty, but it seems to only be a problem if you have preexisting STIs before having the IUD inserted. Your gynecologist should always check you for sexually transmitted infections before the procedure.

Cramping - your cervix is being dilated so obviously you'll experience some pain and cramping can persist for up to two weeks after insertion.

Price - IUDs can be a bit pricey, ranging from $60 - $700 USD without insurance, with a $50-$60 insertion fee. However most insurance companies are obligated to cover the cost of birth control.

Expulsion - sometimes your uterus can push the IUD out the vagina. You'll need a gynecologist to reinsert it to keep being protected against pregnancy.

Perforation - probably the scariest one on this list. Very rarely the IUD can puncture the walls of the uterus, potentially causing damage to surrounding organs. Surgery is the only way to fix this. Don't worry though, the chances are really low - 1 in 1,000 or less.

Now for the pros:

Effectiveness - as said before, the IUD is over 99% effective, with a failure rate of 0.06%.

Long protection time - it'll keep you protected for up to 12 years.

Completely reversible - if you decide to have kids, your fertility will return immediately after removal.

You can set it and forget it - there's no need to worry about using it right like condoms, or forgetting to take it like pills. Just put it in and move on with your life.

No hormones - it's completely natural so you don't need to stress about it conflicting with medication you're already taking. You also don't have to worry about it causing weight gain or acne, which is a plus.

Emergency contraceptive - if you insert it up to 7 days after unprotected sex or contraception failure, it's 99% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies, compared to Plan B or Ella One, which only have a 95% effectiveness rate.

That's it folks. Remember, if you have any questions, ask your gyno. That's what they went to school for 8 years for. ✌

- E

Set it & Forget it - Copper IUDs and Why You Should Get One
0 1

Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions

What's Your Opinion? Sign Up Now!

What Girls & Guys Said

0 1
  • Hello dear,
    you have an interesting "MyTake" indeed. I like it, most of the technical information you have mentioned, I was not aware of. Thank you.
    I remember at school, when I was about 16 years old, in biology class the teacher showed us contraceptive available methods. One of them was the Copper IUD. As matter of fact she said it was the best contraceptive method, but, it would always be necessary for the man to wear a condom for the maximum percentage of protection.
    Honestly, condoms numb a bit the "Male" feeling, we don't like it much, but we should always be safe regardless the feelings!
    I guess if a woman/girl does not have any problem, and is not in any way allergic, then it would most probably be the best way for a good contraception regardless of the cons, of course, with the male having a condom always on in my opinion.
    The "Pros & Cons" section is indeed really good, long story short.
    We should always remember to check out with a doctor, male and female, and always get tested to prevent any problem with our own bodies.

    Thank you dear for this wonderful take :-)

    • thanks!! I appreciate you taking the time to read it and comment. indeed, condoms are always a necessity for preventing STDs and STIs.

    • No need to mention. My pleasure as always to share an honest opinion. I enjoy reading and writing. Your article grabbed my attention, it is useful :-)