One of the most widely used forms of contraception worldwide is the intrauterine contraceptive devices, IUCD for short, also known as the intrauterine device (IUD) and more often known as the coil. With pregnancy rates of below 1%, it is one of the most efficient contraceptive methods now available.

There are primarily two categories of intrauterine contraceptive Devices:

  • Non-hormonal Metallic type – E.g. Copper T380
  • Hormonal type, E.g. Mirena

More About Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD)

An Intrauterine Contraceptive Device is a little T-shaped plastic and copper or progesterone devices that a doctor or nurse inserts into your womb (uterus).

It releases copper or progesterone based hormone  to prevent conception and the hormonal type protects against pregnancy for 3-5 years while the copper based IUCD prevents pregnancy for 5 to 10 years. I’m

If it is quite certain the woman is not pregnant, the IUCD can be implanted whenever it is convenient.

It can be removed at any moment by a doctor or nurse. It is thus feasible to become pregnant immediately.

In the first 3 to 6 months after getting an IUCD, your periods may be heavier, longer, or more painful. You may experience spotting or bleeding between periods.

There is a little risk of infection once it has been installed.

There is a slight chance that your body will force the Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices out or displace it.

After IUCD insertion, no extra contraceptive protection is required.

Is The Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices Right For You?

  • Before you choose this type of contraception, ensure you don’t
  • Have an untreated STI or pelvic infection; 
  • Have issues with your womb or cervix; 
  • Suspect pregnancy; 
  • Have unexplained bleeding between cycles or after sex;
  • Before getting an IUD fitted, people with prosthetic heart valves or ectopic pregnancies must speak with their doctor.

Intrauterine Contraceptive Device Insertion

  • A GP or nurse will examine the position and size of your womb within your vagina before inserting your IUCD. 
  • You may be checked for any existing illnesses, such as STIs, and medications may be prescribed.
  • The session lasts around 20 to 30 minutes, and the IUD should be fitted in no more than 5 minutes.
  • The IUCD is inserted via the cervix and into the womb.
  • Having an IUCD inserted can be difficult and painful for some individuals, but a local anaesthetic can help. 
  • You may get period cramps afterward, although pain relievers can help. 
  • You may also bleed for a few days after an IUCD is placed.
  • If you experience any pain or discomfort while having your IUCD fitted, notify the doctor or nurse doing so.
  • You can also take pain relievers after having an IUCD fitted if necessary.
Intrauterine Contraceptive Device
IUCD

How Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices Work

  • The IUCD releases copper or progesterone which thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to pass through the cervix, and thins the uterine lining, making an egg less likely to embed itself.
  • It can also prevent some women from releasing an egg each month (ovulation), although most people continue to ovulate.
  • If you are 45 or older when the IUCD is implanted, it can be retained in place until you hit menopause or no longer require contraception.

How To Ensure The Intrauterine Contraceptive Device is Well Placed

  • The top of your vagina is connected to an IUCD by two tiny threads that extend a short distance from your womb.
  • You will learn how to feel for these threads and confirm that your IUD is still in place from the doctor or nurse who fitted it.
  • A few times in the first month, then after each period or at regular intervals, make sure your IUD is in place.
  • Although it is extremely improbable that your IUD will come out, you could not be protected against pregnancy if you cannot feel the threads or believe it has moved.
  • Use additional contraception, such as condoms, until your IUD has been examined. 
  • Consult a doctor or nurse right away.

Intrauterine Contraceptive Device Removal

  • Use supplementary contraception, such as condoms, for 7 days prior to having the IUD removed if you are not having another IUD placed and do not wish to become pregnant.
  • After the IUD is removed, it is possible to become pregnant shortly.
  • A qualified doctor or nurse has the ability to remove your IUCD at any moment.

You Can Use The Intrauterine Contraceptive Device After Delivery

Typically, four weeks after giving birth, an IUCD can be fitted (vaginal or caesarean). 

From three weeks (21 days) following the birth until the IUCD is implanted, you must utilize another method of contraception.

Within 48 hours of giving delivery, an IUD may be fitted in some circumstances. IUD use while nursing is safe and has no impact on milk production.

You Can Commence Intrauterine Contraceptive Device Use Immediately After A Miscarriage

After an abortion or miscarriage, an IUD can be fitted by a skilled doctor or nurse. You’ll have immediate pregnancy protection.

Where To Get IUCD and Other Contraceptives-

It is important to know to where to get the right Intrauterine contraceptive devices and other contraceptives, thus, they could be obtained from –

  • The Government Hospitals 
  • Private Hospital
  • Reproductive Clinics

Advantages

  • Copper T380 does not have any negative systemic consequences. 
  • Overall, ectopic pregnancies are decreased;
  • The Mirena reduces menstrual cramp and menstrual blood loss. 
  • The Mirena causes amenorrhea in 20% of female patients. 
  • Women using IUCDs had a lower incidence of pelvic inflammatory illness than patients using no form of contraception. 
  • Patients who use IUCDs see a reduction in endometrial and ovarian cancer risks. 
  • IUCD complications are uncommon.
  • There are no adverse hormonal consequences with the use of Copper T380, such as headaches, breast soreness, or acne.
  • Sex is not disrupted.
  • Using an IUCD while breastfeeding is safe.
  • As soon as the IUCD is taken out, you can start trying to conceive.
  • Other medications have no effect on it.

Disadvantage

  • When an IUD is inserted, there is a risk of uterine perforation. 
  • Using the Copper IUCD may cause increased menstrual pain and blood loss during the first few cycles.
  • Sexually transmitted infections are not prevented by the intrauterine device, therefore you might also need to use condoms.
  • If an infection develops after having an IUCD fitted, it could become a pelvic infection if untreated.
  • Vaginal bleeding and pain are the most prevalent reasons for IUCD discontinuation, albeit they are not always present. 
  • Rarely, inserting an IUCD might result in a hole being created in the womb. Even if there aren’t always signs, this could be uncomfortable.
  • There is also a higher chance of an ectopic pregnancy if the IUD fails and you get pregnant.

Success rate

Non-hormonal Metallic type – is known to have as high as 99.4% success, and the Hormonal IUCD is even better with 99.9% efficacy.

Reference

CDC – Intrauterine Contraception – US SPR – Reproductive Health

Contraception: Practice Essentials, Overview, Periodic Abstinence (medscape.com)

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/iud-coil/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/iud-coil/