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Harvard Commentaries
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Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Emergency Contraception: Copper IUD Use


October 22, 2013

Birth Control
23436
Reversible Methods
Emergency Contraception: Copper IUD Use
Emergency Contraception: Copper IUD Use
htmEmergencyContra2
A good alternative to hormonal methods of emergency contraception is a copper IUD. This IUD may be inserted in the uterus within five days after intercourse.
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InteliHealth
2010-10-01
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2013-10-08

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Emergency Contraception: Copper IUD Use

A good alternative to hormonal methods of emergency contraception is a copper IUD. This IUD may be inserted in the uterus within five days after intercourse. The copper IUD alters the environment inside the uterus, preventing a fertilized egg from implanting.

Advantages

  • It is very effective, with failure rates as low as 0.1 percent.
  • The copper IUD is a good alternative for women who cannot use estrogen for emergency contraception.
  • It can remain inside the uterus for up to 10 years once it's positioned to provide ongoing contraception.
  • Fertility returns as soon as the IUD is removed.

Disadvantages

  • The device must be inserted by a health-care provider.
  • This method is not suitable for women who are at risk of or currently infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

 

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