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Copper IUD

When and How to Use This Contraceptive

Some general considerations to keep in mind with the copper IUD include the following:
  • Your healthcare will carefully insert the copper IUD. It can be inserted anytime during your cycle, as long as your healthcare provider can be reasonably certain that you are not pregnant.
  • The copper IUD is inserted using a small tube. Sometimes an anesthetic is used, but this is not necessary.
  • Although the copper IUD can be left in place for a decade or so, your healthcare provider can remove it any time before that. After the specified time has run out (10 or 12 years, depending on your healthcare provider's recommendation), your healthcare provider can remove the old the copper IUD and replace it with a new one.
  • You will not feel the device in your body; it will be placed safely in your uterus. However, you will be able to feel the removal threads at your cervix (the top of your vagina). Do not pull on the threads, as this could displace the device.
  • Every so often (perhaps once a cycle), it is a good idea to make sure the copper IUD is still in place. After washing your hands, feel to make sure the threads are still there. Make sure you don't feel any other part of the device. If you can't feel the threads, or if you feel other parts of the device, let your healthcare provider know right away and use a backup method of birth control (such as condoms) until your healthcare provider gives you further instructions.

Dosing Information for the Copper IUD

There is only one standard way to dose the copper IUD, regardless of your age, weight, or medical conditions. However, there is some variability in how long your healthcare provider may recommend that you leave the IUD in place. As always, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Copper IUD Dosage for more information.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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