Copper IUDs Pros And Cons – ReliableMedRx

Copper IUDs

Birth control options for women can range from condoms, vaginal rings, cervical caps, spermicides, injections, pills, implants, and intrauterine devices. Pills offer shorter periods of protection and need to be consumed for three-fourths of a month. Chances of human-error such as missing a dose can easily arise and the protective effects can get dampened. Birth control injections need to be taken every 3 months and require on-point time coordination. Whereas, opting for barrier protection can bail on people in moments where sexual indulgence is a spontaneous choice. For reasons as each, women who frequently indulge in sexual activity have opted for long-lasting methods of contraception, such as the insertion of an Copper IUDs(Intrauterine device).

These IUDs can either be hormonal or non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs portray protective effects against pregnancy for 3 to 5 years, based on whether you opt for Liletta, Skyla, Mirena or Kyleena. Whereas, non-hormonal IUDs, also known as Copper IUD or Paragard, will provide safeguarding effects against pregnancy for a period of 10 years. 

Now, there are pros and cons to installing a Copper IUD. Keep reading to learn more about the same:

Pros:

  • The WHO (World Health Organization) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has declared this IUD as the only form of a birth control solution that does not use any artificially made hormones. All other birth control devices when inserted, contribute to the release of some amount of progestin that helps make necessary bodily changes to keep pregnancy incidents at bay.
  • 10 years of protection against pregnancy? 10 years of freedom to have unplanned and unprotected sex with safe partners? This is almost 100 times more stress-free and convenient for a person who indulges in sexual intercourse at least once or twice a month. A hormonal IUD provides safety for 3 to 6 years.
  • Reversibility. This is a vital attribute of Copper IUDs. For example – if a female is 20 years old and is exploring her sexual desires frequently, she may decide to opt for a more long-term and less monitored mode of birth control. For this reason, she would get a copper IUD implant and enjoy the next 10 to 12 years without the need for any pills, injections, pregnancy scares, and frequent pregnancy-related doctor visits. When she would turn 30 and decide to get married and start a family, she can simply head to a doctor and get the copper IUD extracted.
  • There are people who cannot use hormonal IUDs. The estrogen hormone can lead to adverse effects and cause harm to the breast milk of women who are breastfeeding their babies. People who have blood pressure issues, heart problems, liver disease, artery disease, greater risk of blood clots can easily opt for Copper IUDs due to the absence of estrogen.
  • Cost-wise, Copper IUDs are 10 times cheaper than birth control pills in the long run. To prove it you mathematically, keep reading. If you opt for safe branded birth control pills then the monthly costs can be 80-90 dollars. Consuming these pills for a period of 12 years (how long a Copper IUD lasts) would sum up to a total of 10,000 to 12,500 dollars. Whereas, getting a copper IUD fixed requires a one time visit to the doctor and very few follow-ups, if needed. This whole copper IUD affair including the insertion of the device and multiple visits can come up to a maximum of 1000 to 1200 dollars. Now you tell me as a woman, why would you not opt for Paragard despite the proven effectiveness, cheaper cost and long-term protection it offers?
  • In case you have had unprotected sex and are facing a pregnancy scare then a copper IUD can save you instantly. The insertion of a copper IUD gives you a major chance of getting saved from being the mother of a child due to its ‘emergency contraception’ label. Esteemed health organizations have claimed that if you install a copper IUD 5 days after initial birth control failure, the device will kill any sperms that are lingering in the cervical tract or the uterus head.

Cons:

  • Any individual, at any point in their lives, can get allergies to copper elements or can catch Wilson’s disease. This can lead to fatal infections in the vagina if the device has already been installed. The odds of attaining Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) increases and if diagnosed, can lead to persistent stomach pain and excessive pelvic discomfort. Also, swelling can lead to IUD falling out.
  • The displacement of a Copper IUD can occur after insertion. This takes place after days, weeks, months or even years of insertion and completely depends on bad luck. It is a very rare situation and occurs in every 1 of 2000 women. When the copper IUD is unnaturally shifted from its original spot, the overall effectiveness is reduced and it becomes unsafe to indulge in sexual intercourse. For this reason, the doctor will have to completely remove it and then reinsert it for a 100 percent guarantee against pregnancy.
  • Copper IUDs just like other hormonal IUDs have no defense mechanism against Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases (STIs/STDs). They do protect a female from pregnancy for 1 decade and can also put an absolute stop to periods, but they in no manner can safeguard an individual from STIs.
  • Frequent cramping episodes may continue for a prolonged period of 6 to 8 months. This cramping occurs because the insides of the vagina are adapting to the insertion of a new device and are also adapting to the release of toxic copper ions. Menstrual cycles can be accompanied by pain due to these cramping incidents. Also, the periods can become substantially and noticeably heavier than what they originally were. Copper IUDs contribute to a 30 to 40 percent increase in the flow of blood during periods (although only for the first year). This abnormally heavy period flow can be controlled by the administration of Ibuprofen.

The positives that Copper IUD contains no artificially made hormones are neutralized by the negatives. Such as risks of uterine infections. Keep in mind, that if you use barrier contraception methods such as condoms, vaginal rings, and cervical caps, then even the possibility of STDs can be completely eradicated. Although you may think that knowing about the pros and cons seems like sufficient knowledge to help you decide whether a Copper IUD suits your requirements or not, it is best to visit a medical professional. 

These medical professionals will take into consideration your health history. Check whether you have any form of allergy from copper materials, let you know the upsides and downsides of the device being in your body and only then will do go ahead with the installation process.