A copper IUD is an intrauterine device made of a small plastic frame wrapped in fine copper wire. Unlike other IUDs such as the Mirena and the Kyleena, the copper IUD contains no hormones.
A copper IUD is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider using a speculum which is placed inside the vagina to see the cervix . Sterile instruments are then used to place the Copper IUD into the cavity of the uterus . Once placed, the IUD has short strings that come out of the cervix into the vagina .You can confirm the device is in place by feeling for the strings by putting your finger inside your vagina, having your partner feel for the strings or getting a doctor to check. When it's time to remove your IUD , a healthcare provider pulls on the strings with sterile instruments.
In Canada, there are several copper IUD brands, including Mona Lisa, Liberte, Nova-T, and Flexi-T. Depending on the brand chosen, copper IUDs may be used for 3,5 or 10 years. At The IUD Women’s Clinic we only insert Mona Lisa 5 or Liberte UT 380 copper IUDs which are effective for 5 years.
It is important to note that copper IUDs tend to increase menstrual bleeding by 20-50%. For women with heavy periods, a hormonal IUD such as Mirena may be a better option.
The copper in the IUD releases copper ions, which makes the uterus and fallopian tubes inhospitable to sperm. The copper IUD also induces an inflammatory response which makes sperm slower and less likely to reach the egg, and also makes the egg less likely to be fertilized.