The copper IUD, marketed in the United States as Copper T 380A (ParaGuard), is approved for a duration of 10 years. It is the only highly effective non-hormonal contraceptive method, with a perfect and typical use failure rate of less 1%. A variety of different Cupper IUD types are available in other countries; for example in Canada, there are IUD Mona Lisa N, Mona Lisa 5 and Mona Lisa 10, approved for 3, 5 or 10 years respectively.
The Copper T 380A is a T-shaped device, with thin copper wire wound around the stem and each arm. It is inserted inside the uterine cavity, through the cervix using a speculum and indicated instruments. This is a simple office procedure in most instances. STI screening should always be performed before or at time of IUD insertion. Its mechanisms of action include: local intra-uterine inflammatory reaction, which create an environment toxic to sperm and ova, causing decreased sperm motility and viability, and preventing fertilization and implantation of the embryo. (8) Common side effects are irregular breakthrough bleeding, heavier periods (up to 50%), and dysmenorrhea; all of which should improve with time. The primary benefit is providing a reliable but rapidly reversible birth control method. The main risks are uterine perforation (1/1,000) (23) expulsion (5%) and increased risk of pelvic infection limited to the first 20 days after placement of IUD. Cupper IUD is approved for and shown safe in adolescents.