IUC Information

Intrauterine contraceptives are the most effective, reversible contraception available to us. It has been used for many years with great success and by millions of woman around the world.

IUC is a small T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. This is a simple procedure and is done in the office by a health care professional. It only takes a few minutes to insert and is usually tolerated well without anaesthesia.
Most IUCs can stay in place for 5 years before replacement is needed.

There Are Two Types of IUD's

1.) Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD) - Containing Copper

The copper acts as a spermicide and effects sperm motility. The sperm cannot move normally thus preventing fertilization.

2.) Hormonal Intrauterine System (IUS) – containing levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone.

The amount of hormone released is less than 4% of what is found in daily oral contraceptive pills so hormonal side effects are minimal.
The hormone thickens the cervical mucous plug so that sperm cannot pass through to the uterus. It also thins the endometrial lining so that implantation is unlikely. The thinner lining explains the reduced menstrual flow or absent periods often found in woman using hormonal IUC.

Both are extremely effective in preventing pregnancy. The chances of falling pregnant with IUC is 0.2%. (2 in 1000 woman)


  • Highly effective
  • Low hormone or no hormone
  • Reversible
  • Safe
  • Long term
  • Zero effort (no pills)
  • Discreet
  • Less expensive than other methods
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • Reduced risk of endometrial cancer
  • Can be used by almost everyone
  • Can be removed any time
  • Rapid return to fertility once removed
  • Reduced menstrual flow or no flow with hormonal IUC
  • Copper IUD may be used for emergency contraception

Potential Side Effects:

  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases
  • Discomfort with placement
  • Irregular spotting after placement of hormonal IUC (temporary)
  • Upfront cost
  • Infection (rare 0.5%)
  • Expulsion (uncommon 3-5%)
  • Perforation (Very rare <1%)
  • May increase menstrual flow with copper IUD
  • Hormonal side effects - acne, mood changes, headache, breast tenderness

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