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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The IUD is a long lasting method of birth control that is inserted into the uterus (womb). It is a T-shaped plastic frame that is surrounded by a thin copper wire. At the bottom of the IUD there is a string.

How does it work?

  • Makes the lining of the uterus not ideal for a pregnancy.
  • Copper in the IUD causes changes in the uterus which destroys sperm.


  • Can remain in the uterus for three to ten years depending on which IUD is put in.
  • No daily routine required.
  • Does not contain hormones.
  • Is okay for breastfeeding women to use.
  • Can be used as a form of emergency birth control if it is put in within 5 days of unprotected sex.
  • Does not interfere with sex.


  • May have irregular bleeding and spotting after insertion.
  • Cramping and menstrual period flow may increase.
  • Small number of users will have their IUD come out on its own.
  • A monthly string check is recommended after menstrul period.

How to use an IUD

The IUD must be put in and taken out by a trained health care professional.

Typical success rate

99% effective.

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection

The IUD does not protect against STIs. Use a latex condom, dental dam, or glove every time you have sex. 1


Contact Us

For more information, please contact The Clinic at 519-663-5317.

Date of creation: July 1, 2011
Last modified on: May 20, 2022




1The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2009). Choosing a contraceptive that is right for u. Retrieved from