There are many different forms of birth control, and you can choose which one will best suit your needs and lifestyle. One of the most effective forms of birth control is the copper IUD. Here's how you know if the copper IUD is the right choice for your birth control needs.
Are you looking for an option that is hormone-free?
Many women use birth control pills, which alter your hormones to make it more challenging to get pregnant. Most other forms of birth control, including rings and shots, also use hormones. Copper IUDs do not have hormones. You might wonder how they work to prevent pregnancy.
They actually have a few features that make them effective. First of all, the T shape of the IUD creates a physical barrier inside the uterus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. They also release copper ions into the uterine environment, which makes it toxic to sperm. Finally, the copper causes mild irritation of the uterine lining, which makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant there.
Do you have manageable periods?
Some women might not be able to have a copper IUD, depending on how severe their menstrual cycle is. Because the copper IUD can cause mild inflammation in the uterus, some women find their periods can be heavier as a result, with more pronounced cramping. If you already have heavy or long periods, you might talk to your OBGYN about other birth control options.
Do you want to have flexible pregnancy options?
One reason why a copper IUD is appealing to some women is that it is easy to put in and to remove. If you want excellent protection against pregnancy, the IUD is immediately effective, but you can also get pregnant as soon as you remove it. Some methods, like the pill, take several days to become effective, and it takes time for your body to adjust after you stop taking them.
How long do you want your birth control to last?
Finally, the copper IUD is the longest-lasting birth control method. Placed properly, it provides great protection against pregnancy for up to 10 years. This means that over time, the copper IUD is one of the most cost-effective forms of birth control.
There are a few other factors that influence whether or not the copper IUD is a good fit for you. Your OBGYN can check your medical history and do an exam to make sure this birth control will fit your needs.