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How do copper IUDs work?

Copper IUDs (intrauterine devices) work in two ways. The copper in the IUD makes it difficult for sperm to move and to implant in an egg. In addition, having an IUD in place can cause inflammation in the uterus making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant.
Randolph P. Martin, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are two types of IUD. The first is a plastic version that releases hormones (known as Mirena) and lasts about five years, while the second variety is a copper model that lasts for about 10 years.  The copper containing IUD actually increases menstruation, while the hormone containing plastic reduces menstrual flow.  An IUD is a good choice; however I would not encourage a woman to choose an IUD if she's never had children.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.