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Copper IUD Side Effects

Common Side Effects

There is only limited information available about the potential side effects of the copper IUD. This is not uncommon for contraceptives, as studies for these products must be designed a little differently than those for most other medications. It would be unethical to use a placebo (a product that does not contain any active ingredients) for contraceptive studies, as this would result in many unintentional pregnancies.
The most common side effects of the copper IUD include longer, heavier periods and spotting between periods. This is completely normal and expected with the copper IUD, and usually improves over time. However, you may need to have the device removed if you develop heavy bleeding that does not improve.
Because the copper IUD does not contain any hormones, it does not cause any of the usual hormone-related side effects that many other birth control products tend to cause. As a result, the copper IUD is not expected to cause any change in:
  • The length of your menstrual cycle (the length of the entire cycle, not just bleeding)
  • Your weight
  • Your skin (acne, etc.)
  • Your risk for blood clots or other serious hormone-related problems.

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have problems with a medicine that you have never tried.
Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while using the copper IUD or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be related to the medication, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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