The copper coil (IUD) is the most effective method of emergency contraception, with a failure rate of less than 1%.
It is a small rubber and copper device that is fitted into the uterus. It can be fitted up to 120 hours after sex (5 days), and up to 5 days after the earliest time you produce an egg. The devices that are used are able to be used for contraception for either 5 or 10 years, so it can be kept for ongoing contraception, but you don’t have to.
- Highly effective as emergency contraception and for ongoing contraception
- It does not contain any hormones
- Suitable for most people (you do not need to have had a baby, or be a certain age for this option)
- It requires a trained doctor or nurse to fit the coil so can only be fitted in certain Unity clinics
- The procedure can be uncomfortable
- The IUD make periods heavier and longer
- It does not protect against STIs
If you are referred for a copper IUD, you should be offered an oral tablet in case you change your mind or it is not possible to fit the device. You may be asked to complete a form and bring this with you to your appointment.