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How Does a Copper IUD Work?

The copper IUD (ParaGard®) is prescribed to prevent pregnancy. This intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into the uterus and can remain in place for up to 10 to 12 years. But how does a copper IUD work?
Because the copper IUD does not contain any hormones, it is different from many other birth control methods. It is not exactly clear how the copper IUD works to prevent pregnancy. It is thought that it may interfere with the sperm's ability to reach the egg, block fertilization of the egg, or prevent implantation of an embryo.
(For more details, click Copper IUD. This resource takes a closer look at how this device is inserted, potential side effects, and safety issues to review.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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