IUCD (Intra Uterine Copper Device)

IUCD (Intra Uterine Copper Device)

The IUCD is sometimes called the 'coil'

How do they work?

  • The main way is to stop sperm reaching an egg. An IUCD does this by preventing sperm from surviving in the cervix, womb or fallopian tube.
  • It may also work by stopping a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb.

How long do they last?

  • There are different types, which are effective for five to ten years, depending on type.

How effective is it?

  • It's about 99 per cent effective, depending on which IUD is used.
  • This means, using this method, on average fewer than one to two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

How is it fitted?

  • A trained doctor or nurse will fit the IUCD by inserting it into your womb via an internal examination. It usually takes about 20 minutes. It can be uncomfortable at the time but you can have a local anaesthetic or painkillers to help with this. You may have some discomfort and light bleeding for a few days afterwards. The person who fits your IUCD will advise you.

How is it removed?

  • A trained doctor or nurse will remove the IUCD by pulling gently on the small threads attached to it so that it comes out through the cervix and out of your body.

Benefits

  • It works as soon as it is put in.
  • Your normal fertility returns as soon as the IUCD is removed.
  • It's easy to remove
  • It's not affected by other medicine

Possible drawbacks

  • Your periods may be longer, heavier or more painful - this may improve after a few months.
  • Insertion must be done carefully by an experienced doctor or nurse as there can be some very rare complications - the clinic will discuss these when you attend.

 

Image of female reproductive system with IUCD in place

The IUCD is a plastic and copper device that is put into the womb

 

Listen to an experience of having an IUCD:

> Contraception: Which LARC?

LARCs prevent pregnancy.
Condom use is essential to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

 

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Public Health Wales