Note: Information provided on this page is for general education only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt
An intrauterine device (IUD or coil) is a small contraceptive device, often 'T'-shaped, containing either copper or levonorgestrel, which is inserted into the uterus. They are one form of long-acting reversible contraception which is the most effective types of reversible birth control. Failure rates with the copper IUD is about 0.8% while the levonorgestrel IUD is 0.2% in the first year of use. Among types of birth control, they along with birth control implants result in the greatest satisfaction among users. IUDs are the most widely used form of reversible contraception, with more than 180 million users worldwide.
Evidence supports effectiveness and safety in adolescents and those who have and have not previously had children. IUDs do not affect breastfeeding and can be inserted immediately after delivery. They may also be used immediately after an abortion. Once removed, even after long term use, fertility returns to normal immediately.
While copper IUDs may increase menstrual bleeding and result in more painful cramps hormonal IUDs may reduce menstrual bleeding or stop menstruation altogether. Other potential complications include expulsion (2–5%) and rarely perforation of the uterus (less than 0.7%).