A Copper IUD works by making it difficult for the sperm to swim and get to the egg. The copper wrapped around the device releases teeny tiny copper ions into your uterus. These copper ions change the environment of your uterus, and the sperm don’t like it.
The copper ions that are released from the device create a sticky mucus in your uterus. The mucus acts like a barrier to stop the sperm from swimming through the opening of your uterus, the tunnel to get to the egg. If the sperm can’t reach the egg, then you can’t get pregnant.
No sperm, no pregnancy.The Copper IUD also changes the way the sperm swim. The copper ions essentially repel the sperm – they turn around and swim the other way. If the sperm can’t meet the egg, you can’t get pregnant. No meeting, no pregnancy.
Getting a Copper IUD is simple. The process is similar to getting a smear test. A speculum is gently inserted into your vagina, and just like that your IUD is fitted.
The arms of the device are folded downwards as the IUD passes through the opening of your uterus. It is like a stick. Once the IUD is inside your uterus the inserting device is released, and the arms fold upwards to create the ‘T’ like shape.
Interesting fact: The arms of the device only open as wide as your uterus. The strings of your IUD are cut so that they are only a few cm long. The strings curl up inside your vagina, so you don’t have to worry about them hanging out.
All up, your appointment should take no longer than 15 minutes, the insertion only takes a few minutes.
Prior to arriving at your appointment, it is a great idea to take some ibuprofen and/or paracetamol to ease any discomfort you may feel during or after your Copper IUD has been fitted.
The moment the Copper IUD is inserted, you may feel a strong sharp period-like cramp. This is the device going through the opening of your uterus and the arms of the device opening. During these few seconds, take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Within minutes the discomfort will settle.
Once your copper IUD has been fitted, you may feel a little crampy for the rest of the day – Just like period cramps. You can continue about your normal day or use it as an excuse to take some time for yourself, curl up on the couch with your favourite book, or binge-watch Netflix.
For the next couple of days, you may have mild cramps and light spotting as your Copper IUD settles into place. This is normal. Some ibuprofen or paracetamol will help ease your discomfort. Within a few days, you won’t even realise that the Copper IUD is there.
You can have sex as soon as you feel ready after getting your Copper IUD fitted. A Copper IUD protects you from getting pregnant from the moment it is put in.
A Copper IUD is an amazing form of contraception, but keep in mind that it doesn’t protect you from STIs. Condoms are the only contraception that stop STIs.
Sex will be the same. Your Copper IUD won’t cause you to experience pain, and your partner won’t be able to feel it or the strings.
Your Copper IUD has two thin nylon strings attached to it. The end of these strings hide deep inside your vagina. They are also an easy way for you to check your Copper IUD is in place. If you are worried your Copper IUD may have come out, you can always have a feel for the strings. Keep in mind the strings can be buried quite deep. So, if you try using a mirror, you won’t be able to see them.
The rod is an amazing form of contraception, but it doesn’t protect you from STIs. Condoms are the only way to protect yourself from STIs.The strings on your Copper IUD are there for the same purpose as a string on a tampon “pull to remove”. When you no longer want your Copper IUD, for whichever reason that may be, it can easily be removed. As tempting as it may be to pull the strings, it is best left to one of our nurses or doctors.
The process is even easier than getting your Copper IUD fitted. A speculum is gently inserted into your vagina, the strings are pulled, and just like that your Copper IUD is out. When the strings are pulled, the arms of the Copper IUD fold up, and the device becomes like a stick so that it can easily pass through the opening of your uterus to be removed. All up, your appointment should take no longer than 15 minutes.
The removal only takes a few minutes. Once your Copper IUD has been removed, your fertility returns to normal. You will be able to get pregnant straight away.
The rod is an amazing form of contraception, but it doesn’t protect you from STIs. Condoms are the only way to protect yourself from STIs.Once your Copper IUD is removed, your body and uterus will return to normal almost immediately. You will be in sync with your normal cycle, so your next period should arrive on time.
A Copper IUD does not affect your fertility or chances of getting pregnant once it is removed.