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Intra Uterine Device

 Quick Facts

  • IUD (Intra uterine device) is one of the contraceptive methods that result in the greatest satisfaction among users.
  • They are effective and safe for adolescents and those who are yet to have children.
  • Even after prolonged use, fertility will rapidly return to normal once an IUD is removed.


When inserted correctly, the IUD is more than 99% effective. During one year, out of 100 couples who use an IUD as the only contraceptive method, less than one woman will become pregnant.

IUD 99%

Key Benefits 

  • Highly effective
  • Long-acting but quickly reversible
  • Safe with breastfeeding.

What is a (IUCD) intrauterine contraceptive device?

An  (IUCD) intrauterine contraceptive device is a small T-shaped device made from copper and plastic that is placed inside the uterus (womb). It is also called “the coil.” The two threads attached to the IUCD pass out through the uterus’s neck to lie in the vagina. An IUCD is roughly the size of a matchstick and neatly fits inside the womb. It is mainly of two types:

  • The copper IUD is a tiny plastic device with its stem enveloped with copper.
  • The progestogen IUD is a similar T-shape device with a hormone-containing cylinder enveloping its stem.

IUDs can prevent a pregnancy from occurring by multiple mechanisms:

  • Inside the uterus, it can affect the movement and survival of sperm.
  • IUDs can also change the lining of the uterus, preventing implantation.
  • The hormone from progestogen IUD can thicken the fluid at the opening to the uterus. It stops sperm movement towards the egg.
  • It can bring changes to ovulation by affecting the hormones that cause the release of ovum each month.
Intrauterine device with copper
Intrauterine device

How is it inserted?

If you’re not pregnant, you can get an IUD  fitted anytime during your menstrual cycle. It will prevent pregnancy right away. Before insertion, a doctor or nurse will examine inside your vagina to see your uterus’s size and position. She will also check for any infections and treat them. The appointment takes about half an hour. The actual procedure of insertion usually takes less than 5 minutes. The vagina is kept open, and the IUD is put through the cervix into the uterus.

Some women may feel the procedure uncomfortable and painful. In that case, it can be fitted under a local anesthetic. You may talk with a healthcare provider about it if you feel apprehensive. Sometimes, you may experience cramps and minor bleeding.  Painkillers can help to relieve these. Your doctor or nurse will check on you after 3 to 6 weeks to be sure it fits correctly and is in place. Call your doctor if you feel pain in your lower abdomen, high temperature, or have a smelly discharge.



  • It doesn’t affect your sex drives
  • There is no need to worry if you are on the other medications. The IUD will work as it is.
  • If you suffer from heavy, painful periods, IUD reduces the pain in your heavy periods.
  • Being reversible, you have the choice to discontinue the IUD contraceptive.
  • IUDs require less maintenance.
  • You need not interrupt your sex as for condom insertion.
  • It provides you long-term protection from pregnancy for up to 5 or 10 years (depending on the type used ), but you can get removed any time
  • There is a quick reversal of fertility after removal.
  • You may use it as emergency contraception: get it inserted within five days of unprotected sex.
  • You may use it even if you are breastfeeding.


  • In the initial months, periods may be heavy. But soon, it will get improved by light periods.
  • You need to contact a trained healthcare worker or correct insertion and removal.
  • There may be cramps and/or irregular bleeding in some cases.
  • There may be heavy flow in the initial months.
  • Common side effects include headache, tenderness, and acne.
  • There is a risk of infection at insertion and of expulsion.
  • They can not protect you from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV.

Essential Tips

  • Get a cervical screening test to rule out any pelvic infections before getting an IUD placed.
  • Be sure that you are not pregnant.
  • Get the Intra uterine device inserted immediately after your period, or use another contraceptive method until it is fitted during the menstrual cycle.
  • Check if your IUD is in place by feeling for threads in your vagina a few times during the first month and then after each period.
  • If you cannot feel the IUD threads, Consult a doctor or nurse immediately. The device may have moved, and you may not be protected against pregnancy.
  • During sex, your partner will not feel your IUD. If he can, consult a healthcare provider.

Recommended to use if

  • You do not wish to take the Pill.
  • You wish to avoid contraceptives with a daily, weekly, or monthly regimen.

Not Recommended if

  • There is a long-term risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • There is undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
  • You suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • You can’t use a copper IUD if you are allergic to copper or have Wilson’s disease.

In Short

IUD, as birth control, is a very safe and effective option. Moreover, it is a long-term contraceptive that can be removed anytime. There is an immediate return of fertility.    It is a good option during breastfeeding.

  1. N H S
    Your contraception guide
  2. Medline Plus
  3. Health Direct Australia
    contraceptive device
  4. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    Committee on Adolescent Health Care Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Working Group




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