Updated: Mar 23, 2021
Benefits of the Copper IUD
Copper IUDs are often used by individuals who want to avoid hormone-based contraception. This includes transgender males who may be undergoing hormone therapy as well as any woman who has experienced adverse effects associated with hormone-based contraception. Studies have also suggested that the copper IUD is less likely to lead to endometrial inflammation and immune activation, meaning it is less likely to be rejected by the body than a hormonal IUD.
Disadvantages of the Copper IUD
Overall, the number of adverse effects associated with the copper IUD are low. The most common reasons for the discontinuation of this method are severe menstrual bleeding and dysmenorrhea. Studies have also found a significant relationship between copper IUDs and sexual desire. In one study, 18.3% reported a decreased interest in sex while using a copper IUD.
If you do decide to get an IUD, make sure you ask the right questions and voice all of your concerns with your doctor in advance of your appointment.
Find questions to ask your doctor here.
Find common concerns here.
Learn the difference between birth control pills and the hormones used and how to correctly take them.
For more information on birth control options, visit Women’s College Hospital’s website.
Bentsianov S, Gordon L, Goldman A, et al. Use of Copper Intrauterine Device in Transgender Male Adolescents. Contraceptionhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29490287 (2018, accessed August 18, 2020).
Boozalis, Amanda et al. “Sexual Desire and Hormonal Contraception.” Obstetrics and gynecology vol. 127,3 (2016): 563-72. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001286
Kaneshiro, Bliss, and Tod Aeby. “Long-term safety, efficacy, and patient acceptability of the intrauterine Copper T-380A contraceptive device.” International journal of women's health vol. 2 211-20. 9 Aug. 2010, doi:10.2147/ijwh.s6914
Smith-McCune, K., Thomas, R., Averbach, S. et al. Differential Effects of the Hormonal and Copper Intrauterine Device on the Endometrial Transcriptome. Sci Rep 10, 6888 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63798-8