This chapter describes primarily the TCu-380A intrauterine device (for the Levonorgestrel Intrauterine Device, see Chapter 11).

Key Points for Providers and Clients
  • Long-term pregnancy protection. Shown to be very effective for 12 years, immediately reversible.
  • Inserted into the uterus by a specifically trained provider.
  • Little required of the client once the IUD is in place.
  • Bleeding changes are common. Typically, longer and heavier bleeding and more cramps or pain during monthly bleeding, especially in the first 3 to 6 months.

What Is the Copper-Bearing Intrauterine Device?

  • The copper-bearing intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, flexible plastic frame with copper sleeves or wire around it. A specifically trained health care provider inserts it into a woman’s uterus through her vagina and cervix. 
  • Almost all types of IUDs have one or two strings, or threads, tied to them. The strings hang through the cervix into the vagina. 
  • Works by causing a chemical change that damages sperm and egg before they can meet.