Can an IUD go into your uterus

Copper IUD (IUD)

The copper spiral is a soft, T-shaped rod that is wrapped with a copper wire. It is placed in the uterus and prevents a fertilized egg from implanting. The copper IUD is often referred to as "Copper-T" or "IUD" (the English abbreviation of the IUD: Intrauterine device).

The modern version of the copper spiral has been around for more than 25 years. It is a very safe form of hormone-free, permanent contraception.

How does the copper spiral work?

In addition, the copper ions change the structure of the uterine lining, which means that a fertilized egg - in the event that fertilization does occur - cannot implant. The copper wire continuously secretes small amounts of copper ions that limit the mobility of the sperm. They are stopped on their way into the fallopian tubes, which prevents fertilization.

+++ More on the topic: ovulation and fertilization +++

How safe is the copper IUD?

The copper IUD is a very effective long-term contraceptive method that can be reversed at any time. The Pearl Index is given as 0.9 to 3.

About four to twelve weeks after insertion, an ultrasound check-up should be carried out to check the correct position of the IUD.

Who is the copper spiral suitable for?

A copper IUD is suitable for all women who want to use contraception over a longer period of time and without hormones. It can be left in the uterus for 3 to 5 years. After removal, pregnancy is possible again after a short time.

Even young women who have not yet had children can use the copper IUD to provide contraception. However, ask your gynecologist whether the copper IUD is a good method of conception for you.

How do you get a spiral?

The IUD is inserted by a doctor during a pelvic exam. With the help of a thin tube, it is inserted into the uterus; when the tube is pulled out, the side arms of the spiral unfold so that it cannot slip.

Does inserting the copper IUD cause pain?

The onset takes a moment and may be accompanied by a slight pulling pain in the abdomen. In contrast, the copper chain has to be anchored in the uterine muscle, which can lead to increased pain and possibly bleeding.

However, pain can be reduced by taking an analgesic tablet about an hour before the procedure, which has a relaxing effect on the uterus.

When should the IUD be used?

The best time to insert an IUD is during menstruation, as the cervix is ​​slightly open at this point. The IUD can also be used after an abortion or childbirth.

How is the copper coil removed?

The copper coil can be removed at any time by the gynecologist and is mostly painless.

What are the advantages of the copper spiral?

In contrast to other methods, the copper IUD does not have to constantly think about contraception. This means that there can be no application errors, e.g. due to forgetting or gastrointestinal complaints.

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The copper IUD has no influence on the hormonal balance, which means that it can also be used during breastfeeding or for women who do not want to or are not allowed to use hormones for contraception.

The copper IUD is a permanent method of contraception and can be effective for up to five years.

+++ More on the topic: Chemical contraceptives +++

Disadvantages and possible side effects of the copper IUD

The copper IUD can lead to heavier and longer menstrual bleeding, and intermenstrual bleeding can also occur. It is therefore not particularly suitable for women who suffer from heavy or painful menstrual bleeding.

+++ More on the topic: menstrual cycle disorders +++

If inexplicable abdominal pain occurs, a check-up with a doctor is necessary. This can rule out a change in position ("slipping") or infection.

If you have bleeding disorders, missed menstruation (amenorrhea) or other pregnancy symptoms, such as breast tenderness or nausea, you must consult your doctor.

IUD wearers can be more prone to abdominal infections. Frequent sexual intercourse with changing sexual partners increases the risk of such an infection. In the case of acute inflammation in the cervix or in the fallopian tubes, the IUD may have to be removed on a doctor's order.

In young women or women with a small uterus, the copper coil can sometimes not or not ideally be attached.

An important note: the IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases!

+++ More on the topic: Fallopian tube inflammation +++

advantagesdisadvantage
very suremay increase menstruation
hormone freehigher susceptibility to infection
long-term contraceptive method
(3-5 years)
costs
fewer application errors 

Control appointments

The correct position of the IUD should be checked by the gynecologist at regular intervals of around six to twelve months.

+++ More on the topic: Different types of spirals +++

Summary:

  • The effect of the copper spiral is based on the release of copper ions.
  • The copper IUD is considered a very safe, hormone-free, long-term contraceptive.
  • The copper IUD must be inserted and removed by a gynecologist.
  • The copper IUD stays in the uterus for 3 to 5 years, but can be removed at any time if desired.

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Authors:
Dr. Britta Bürger (2000), Dr med. Kerstin Lehermayr (2014)
Medical review:
Dr. Gerald Hartmann

Updated on:

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