family planning

All about IUD - Usage, Benefits, and Copper T Side Effects

  • 4.7   (10 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 26 Jul 2018 - Written by Dr. Anupama Rao - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

IUD is one of the most effective family planning methods. IUD types include Mirena IUD and Copper T IUD. IUD benefits are most effective, solves heavy bleeding, prevents endometrial cancer, lack of weight gain. Copper T side effects are uncomfortable during sex, menstrual cramps.

Worldwide research on IUD reports around 40% of the women preferring IUD to any other birth control contraception. IUD is a small device that is inserted inside the uterus of a woman, which helps in preventing pregnancy. It is a small and flexible T shaped plastic device that is attached with a plastic string at the end for effective placement and removal. This plastic string hangs down through the cervix to the vagina. However, it can’t be felt by any of the partners and is completely harmless.

Types of IUD

  • Hormonal IUD- Three common brands available in the market are Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla.
  • Copper IUD- Paraguard is one of the profusely used brand of copper IUD or copper t in general.

How does IUD work: mechanism behind IUD?

IUDs work primarily by preventing the sperm from fertilizing the egg released from ovaries. Both of the IUD types kill or damage the sperm trying to reach the egg. The hormonal IUD prevents fertilization by killing the sperm by producing thick mucus in the cervix. It also makes the uterus lining or endometrium very thin which hampers a fertilized egg to implant and grow.

On the other hand, the copper IUD such as copper-t releases toxic materials and make the uterus and fallopian tubes producing a toxic fluid, which kills sperm. This fluid is composed of white blood cells, prostaglandins, copper ions and enzymes.

Things you need to know before IUD insertion

  • If you experience a painful period, IUD is a strict no-no.
  • You should not be anaemic
  • You should not have any pelvic infection/s.
  • If your uterus has certain issues such as fibroids, PCOS etc, then please avoid IUD.
  • If you have previous problems with IUD insertion, then don't try it again.

How IUD is inserted?

IUD can be inserted at any time with the help of a medical professional given the condition that you are not pregnant and that you are not facing any pelvic infections. The IUD is inserted in the uterus and the procedure lasts for up to three hours depending upon your health conditions. Sometimes, some women need local anesthesia near the cervix to get it inserted, however, it is not a necessary condition for IUD insertion.

IUD, Birth control

Things to expect after IUD insertion

  • Spotting of blood or cramps in abdominal.
  • Avoiding vaginal sex or use of any sex toys or sanitary pads, tampons etc. as it creates suffocation in the vagina affecting cervix.
  • Regular checkup for six weeks with at least a visit per week.

How to remove?

IUD depending on its type lasts upto 5-7 years. However, in case you are planning a baby before this period, you can get it removed earlier. However, you should not try to remove IUD at home and need to take help of medical professional who will remove the IUD with certain medical device for your safety.

Cost of IUD around the Globe

In developing countries, most of the IUD such as copper t comes free with an insertion as part of Government initiatives. However, the cost of an IUD varies between US $100 to US $1000 based on the country you belong to. Off course the other channels are the health insurances and mediclaims that can make your IUD free of cost however they need a lot of paperwork to be done. In India, copper t can be purchased for less than INR 500 however still based on longevity there are IUD brands costing upwards of INR 5000.

Benefits/ effectiveness of IUD

  • Highly effective in preventing pregnancy with a 99% success rate.
  • IUDs start working immediately once inserted.
  • They are reversible and one can keep it as long as they want with a maximum period of 10 years.
  • IUDs do not impact your fertility. You can return immediately and start conceiving (TTC) after IUD removal.
  • IUD reduces the problem of heavy bleeding for some women who experience such high episodes during menstruation.
  • IUD prevents endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial cancer
  • Ectopic pregnancy can be avoided with IUDs
  • IUD does not cause weight gain

Side effects

1- Menstrual cramp

IUDs may introduce you to the risk of menstrual cramps or spotting from time to time if care is not taken properly.

IUD, Birth Control

2- Risk of perforation

IUDs pose the risk of perforation where the IUD gets stuck in the uterus, which can severely abuse uterus lining and overall uterus health.

3- Risk of expulsion

Many women report - pushing out of IUD just after insertion. However, it has been seen that such things happen when IUDs have not been inserted properly.

4- IUD leads to uncomfortable sex

There are cases where men complain about uneasiness during sex with a woman using an IUD.

5- Risks of hormonal IUDs

Hormonal IUDs at times can lead to growth of ovarian cysts, breast tenderness, mood swings, tenderness/numbness in breasts, acne etc.

6- Risks of Copper IUDs

In some cases, it has been found that Copper IUDs such as copper t may lead to many infections in the uterus like swelling of the ovaries, irregular period, accidental spotting, severe menstrual cramps etc.

Recommended Reads:

Diaphragm Contraceptive - Uses, Benefits And Side Effects

Uses and Side effects of Oral Contraceptive Pills and I-Pill

Birth Control Implants Nexplanon and Implanon know how

Teen Sex and Birth Control Usage

What are the early Signs of Pregnancy while on Birth Control?


Hope you like the information we have provided above.  Please follow ELA Woman blogs for more updates on birth control methods and their effectiveness.

Dr. Anupama Rao

Written by

Obstetrician, Gynecologic Surgeon

Dr. Anupama Rao is a consultant Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Infertility specialist with over 2 decades of experience. She is highly experienced in treating infertility cases. The doctor is currently pursuing her expertise at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital located in Mumbai and Fortis Hospitals located in Mulund west, Mumbai. She holds expertise in Hysterectomy (Abdominal/Vaginal), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD) etc. She got comprehensive training in IVF from the highly experienced IVF experts. Dr. Anupama has also been an Associate Medical Director of Hope infertility clinic in Bangalore. For more information and contact details visit





Niyati Jaykar

My experience with IUD was worse. My ovary swelled up and the pain was unbearable. I had to remove it and switch to contraceptive pills to avoid pregnancy.

Oct. 11, 2018, 2:34 p.m. 4.5


Apoorva Nagpal

A proper examination is necessary before inserting IUD inside a woman. She might have an allergy with the copper T.

Sept. 11, 2018, 8:31 p.m. 4.5


Rajesh Kapoor

It is safe to remove IUD after conceiving. The child might have an infection from the copper inside the vagina of women.

Feb. 25, 2018, 3:28 p.m. 4.5



Did my IUD about 2wks ago , it's the Mirena brand that was inserted. I felt the pain while my gynecologist was inserting it and I had to use Advil to relieve me of the pain after it was done. The first day of my period was yesterday and all I saw was spotting and today no spotting at all.

Jan. 31, 2018, 7:53 p.m. 4.5


Jessica Roller

I love my copper IUD. Unpleasant to have inserted, but tolerable and quick. Very ouchy cramps for the first couple of days, but absolute good now that I have it. Highly recommended.

Jan. 30, 2018, 12:53 a.m. 5.0


Shashi Dagar

I have heavy cramps during my cycles, Is it safe to have IUD for me?? Or should I go for any other family planning method?

Dec. 12, 2017, 9:25 p.m. 4.5



I had my IUD in for 4 years and had it removed two months ago. I never had any type of issue with the paragard. I loved the fact that I was able to get it removed with ease even at a health department. Most doctors know what they are doing and that makes it a bit more comforting!

Aug. 31, 2017, 4:27 p.m. 5.0


Ashwini Prabhakar

Very informative article based on IUD. Every couple looking for this family planning method should go through this article. I will love to share this!

Aug. 13, 2017, 6:13 p.m. 5.0



I'm having it done next friday , so scared! Hope it's a guaranteed birth control.

Aug. 3, 2017, 7:08 p.m. 4.5



Can I have intercouse while having IUD inside me?

Aug. 1, 2017, 9:59 p.m. 5.0

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