How Do IUD’s Work as an Emergency Contraceptive?

How Do IUD’s Work as an Emergency Contraceptive?

How Do IUD’s Work as an Emergency Contraceptive?

Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy if:


·         You had sex without using birth control.

·         Your birth control method failed. Maybe you forgot to take your pill or get your shot, the condom broke or came off, or your diaphragm slipped.

·         You were sexually assaulted. Even if you were using birth control, emergency contraception can help decrease your chance of getting pregnant.

·         If you had sex without birth control, there is a chance that you could get pregnant. This is true even if you have not started having periods yet or you are getting close to menopause. You could also get pregnant if you used a birth control method that is not very reliable or if you didn't use it the right way.


What Types of Emergency Contraception Can I Use?


There are two main types of emergency contraception: pills and the copper intrauterine device (IUD). Most women choose pills because they work well, don't cost a lot, and are usually easy to get. The IUD works very well, but it has to be inserted by a doctor.

·         Emergency contraception pills: Pills used for emergency contraception are sometimes called "morning-after pills." They can be used at any time up to 5 days after unprotected sex, but the sooner, the better.

·         The most common option contains a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel. Progestin is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone.

·         Another option is a medicine called ulipristal (for example, Ella) that affects the progesterone in your body.

·         Some birth control pills are also used. These often contain a combination of the hormones oestrogen and progestin. If you already take birth control pills, you may be able to use the pills you have as emergency contraception. Talk to your doctor or check the websites listed below for the correct doses.

·         IUB/ IUD: The copper IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device or spherical copper device that is inserted into your uterus. The IUD or IUB is wrapped in copper, or made thereof, which helps kill sperm. It can be placed up to 5 days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. (Note: The hormonal IUD, such as the Mirena, is not used for emergency contraception.)


How Does Copper Work as an Emergency Contraceptive?

The science behind the prevention of pregnancy by means of copper is quite simple; the copper IUD for emergency contraception may work by killing sperm, preventing fertilization, or preventing implantation.

The biggest advantage of using copper as emergency contraception is two-fold;

1)      There are no nasty side effects typically associated with the “morning after pill” such as delayed or worsened periods.

2)      Once fitted, you need not worry about birth control for another five years. Winning!




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