Birth control methods have been used for planned parenthood, among married couples with varying degrees of convenience and effectiveness. Among the different types of contraception available, implants and IUDs are regarded as the safest and convenient options. Copper IUDs, acronym for intrauterine devices offer an effective and convenient birth control option for married couples. It is different from certain other forms of contraception that require use every single time when couples indulge in sex. Inserted once in the uterus, the IUD will offer protection for as long as ten years. Here is a good look at the device, and possible copper iud side effects to help couples follow the right procedures.
Overview of Copper IUD
As outlined above, IUDs are long term contraceptive methods, and dispenses with the need for contraception during each intercourse. It is suitable for all pre-menopausal women, and comes with distinct advantages over other forms of birth control methods. The device can be removed any time when desired, making it different from other procedures that are permanent in nature. The device will not cause any effects on nursing mothers, and is free from other effects associated with hormonal birth control methods. For instance, blood clots and other effects are typically experienced with hormonal birth control methods.
While it is generally regarded as a preventive measure, for unprotected sex after insertion, it can also be useful as a form of emergency contraception after sex. For instance, IUDs can also be used as emergency contraception up to five days after sex; though the success rate may depend on various factors. The implant is a spermicide which comprises a T-shaped plastic frame which is placed into the uterus at a healthcare facility. The device contains coiled copper wire which delivers the desired spermicidal action. The copper wire creates an inflammatory action that has a toxic effect on sperms, which in turn prevents pregnancy. The device contains strings that help in placement and removal. The device is generally around 36 millimeters in length with the strings measuring around 10 centimeters each. The strings may be snipped short after insertion depending on specific implant conditions and requirements.
The procedure does not take long, but is only carried out by a trained medical care provider in the right settings. The use of specialized instruments is required for aligning the cervical canal and the uterine cavity; hence the degree of sanitization and expertise needs to be of the right standard. The device is placed in a folded down position in an applicator tube and the tube is then inserted. Before the alignment of the cervical canal, a speculum is typically used to clean the cervix, vagina with a special formulation. This is primarily for the purpose of delivering an antiseptic action. The inserted tube helps to place the IUD precisely in the uterus, following which the applicator tube is gently removed. The IUD will then remain in place and depending on the size, strings on the device are trimmed as required.
Unsuitability of the procedure in certain instances
While the procedure is safe and effective, it may be unsuitable in certain instances as compiled here. For instance, women with large fibroids, known as uterine abnormalities are advised against opting for the procedure. The condition may prevent placing of the device in the desired location, and in some instances, holding the device in place may be a problem, which may cause complications in addition to the possibility of ending up ineffective. Similarly, women with pelvic infections, inflammatory conditions are also considered unsuitable for the procedure. It may be necessary to wait for complete healing of the inflammation and seek medical advice before opting for implant of the device.
Women with cervical cancer or uterine cancer are advised against opting for the procedure. Other conditions include vaginal bleeding that is either heavy or when the cause has not been identified and treated. A condition known as Wilson’s diseases causes accumulation of copper in the liver, and other organs, including the brain. Women with this condition are also advised opting for the procedure. Finally, allergic reactions to any material in the device will also make women unsuitable for the procedure. As the device will remain implanted till removal, allergies may cause undesirable effects among women with a history of allergies.
Possible experience during the procedure
During the implant procedure, women are likely to experience the following. Blood pressure levels may dip for some women, while others are known to have a reduction in heart beat rate. A significant percentage of recipients of the device/procedure have reported experiencing fainting, nausea and possible dizziness during the procedure. In most situations, this is allowed to clear before continuing with the procedure. All of these experiences are short-lived in nature and typically resolve in a few minutes. There is a possibility of the device perforating the cervix in a very small section of users. In such situations, the condition needs to be managed effectively, after a proper assessment.
Recorded effectiveness and proven benefits
One of the reasons for the preference for the procedure is its highly effective nature. It comes with a documented high success rate, where the possibility of failure is as low as an average of 0.8 percent. The rate of failure also depends on the length of usage. For instance, when it is used for a long time, there is a possibility of the device having a lower success rate. Studies have revealed that the failure rate may spike to 2.1% if used in the tenth year after insertion. Comparatively, IUDs fare better than other than other forms of birth control. For instance, the failure rate of pills is 7% while the failure rate of emergency contraceptives such as condoms can be as high as 13%. This proves beyond doubt that regardless of the duration of use, the device offers a better success rate.
A highlight of this planned birth control method is its effectiveness in also working as an emergency birth control option, mentioned earlier. It actually offers as much as 99.9 percent effectiveness in preventing unwanted pregnancies, for women who may have indulged in unprotected sex, when implanted within five days of sex.
Possibility of failure
The success or effectiveness of the device depends entirely on its position and retention. If it is either not placed properly, or if it is not held in place, then contraception may not occur. There is the possibility of the device getting dislodged due to one of many reasons. It is necessary to check that the device is in place by checking out the strings that are attached to the plastic. Women who are unable to feel the strings are advised to seek assistance from a trained healthcare provider. During this period, it may be necessary for other options to be considered for birth control, as reliance on the device may not be the safest option at that point of time.
Types of protection that the device cannot offer
While it is an effective option, IUDs cannot offer protection from certain conditions. For instance, the device cannot prevent sexually transmitted diseases. If either of the partner has a sexually transmitted infection, the device will be ineffective, as it is not a barrier method of contraception. The best methods to prevent any sexually transmitted disease are condoms and other barriers including dental dams for oral sex.
Standout benefits of the device
There are distinct standout benefits associated with the device, apart from the benefits mentioned earlier. For instance, the removal of the device will not have any impact on the fertility of the recipient. By virtue of the device being a non-hormonal form of birth control, the possibility of hormone related effects is eliminated, offering greater safety. Usage instructions associated with other forms of birth control need not be followed, which makes this an ultra-convenient option, subject to minimal precautions. In addition to offering long term protection, the device also has the highest rate of effectiveness, making it a good choice.
Commonly reported copper iud side effects
There is a possibility of certain undesirable effects of the device. For instance, women are known to report heavy bleeding post-implant. Bleeding may also be irregular in nature among a small section of users. It is necessary to note that this is only a compilation of the possibility of side effects. It may not affect all users, but may affect a small percentage of users. Woman are known to experience heavier periods when the device is implanted, and one of the reasons for its removal among users is the bleeding.
Women may experience more pain during periods when the device is implanted, when compared with the pain experienced before the implant. The possibility of copper iud side effects or he intensity of possible side effects is lower among women who have given birth, when compared with women who have not given birth. Other effects include pain during the implant procedure, and in the period immediately after the insertion. For instance, women may feel backache or cramps for a few days after the procedure. Most of the conditions reported by women are know to resolve naturally in a short period. However, women who experience side effects for a longer period are advised to seek medical opinion and an assessment to determine if discontinuation is necessary.
Risks associated with the device
Apart from possible copper iud side effects outline above, there are certain risks, which include dislodging of the device. A serious risk is the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, a condition wherein the egg is implanted outside of the uterus, which may have an impact on other organs, in addition to causing possible loss of blood.