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Intrauterine Device (IUD)

A small, T-shaped plastic and copper device is put into the uterus.

The copper is toxic to sperm.

It also changes your cervical mucus to stop sperm reaching an egg.

It may also stop a fertilized egg implanting in the uterus.

The IUD is over 99% effective



  • Works as soon as it is put in
  • Works for 5 or 10 years, but can be removed sooner
  • Don’t have to think about contraception for as long as it lasts
  • Fertility returns immediately once it’s removed, with no long-term effects
  • Can also be fitted as a method of emergency contraception
  • Not affected by diarrhoea and vomiting, as not absorbed by the tummy


  • Periods may be heavier, longer or more painful
  • Small risk of getting an infection after it is fitted
  • Small risk of perforation
  • Some women find the insertion procedure uncomfortable, causing bad period type pains
  • No protection against STI’s


  • You are taught to check the IUS is in place
  • Not affected by other medicines
  • If fitted at or after 40, both the 5 year and 10-year IUD can stay in place as contraception until the menopause.

Further Information: