What Is the Copper IUD?
The copper IUD (ParaGard®
) is a hormone-free intrauterine device (IUD) used to provide long-term birth control. It is a small polyethylene (plastic) and copper device, and is approved to provide up to 10 years of highly effective birth control. Some healthcare providers allow the copper IUD to be used for up to 12 years before replacing it, as some studies have shown that it remains effective for at least that long; however, the device is only approved for up to 10 years.
Are There Side Effects?
Just like any medicine, the copper IUD may cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the contraceptive will experience problems. In fact, most women tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of the copper IUD include but are not limited to:
- Heavier, longer periods
- Spotting between periods.
(Click Copper IUD Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)