The IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted inside of a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. ParaGard, which is the brand name for the copper IUD in the United States, can only be obtained and inserted by a medical doctor or certified family planning practitioner.
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How Does a Copper IUD Work?
A copper IUD is inserted through a woman's cervix into her uterus, usually during her menstrual period, by a health care professional.
The T-shaped device contains copper, which inhibits the growth of uterine tissue required for pregnancy to occur, and also blocks sperm from entering the Fallopian tubes during or after sex to prevent pregnancy.
How Effective is the Copper IUD?
The copper IUD is more than 99 per cent effective when used properly. The copper IUD, which has a brand name called ParaGard, is slightly more effective than birth control pills, patches or injections, yet it contains no hormones.
How Much Does a Copper IUD Cost?
In general, the cost for a copper IUD and insertion varies, usually between £487 and £975. However, most insurance plans cover some of the cost.
Most state Medicaid plans cover the cost of a copper IUD completely. Check with your insurance company to see if your insurance covers the IUD procedure.
What Are the Side Effects of a Copper IUD?
Because the copper IUD does not utilise hormones to prevent pregnancy, it presents a slightly lower risk of side effects than do other methods.
Common side effects of copper IUDs include heavier bleeding during the menstrual period, excess cramping, spotting between periods (which usually subsides after your body gets used to the IUD) and an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a condition that aggravates the reproductive organs and causes discomfort.
Women who have a history of PID or who are at risk of developing PID should not utilise a copper IUD.
What Happens if I Should Get Pregnant While I Have a Copper IUD?
If you should become pregnant while on the copper IUD, it is important to notify your doctor immediately. Pregnancy while an IUD is inserted is dangerous both to the woman and the foetus. There is also an increased risk of tubal pregnancy, which can result in death if left untreated.
If you should experience a positive pregnancy test once your IUD is in place, call your doctor immediately.
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