What is Copper T?
Why does the gynecologist ask the new mothers to go for Copper T when it comes to birth control?
Is Copper T procedure painful?
Are there any side effects of Copper T?
What are the precautions to be taken while going for CU-T?
Today’s post gives you answers to what Copper-T is, why it is effective, side effects if any and precautions to be taken while opting for CU-T and who shouldn’t go for CU-T.
One dilemma that every woman has is regarding the contraceptive method to be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
In spite of its popularity woman generally opt out or feel afraid/confused by the thought of intrauterine contraceptive methods. It is mostly because of the lack of knowledge of what it is and how it works or because of the frightening thought of getting something foreign inserted into your cervix.
Copper T – the intrauterine contraceptive:
Copper T/CU-T is one intrauterine contraceptive method that is inexpensive and most popular.
So those who are considering a CU-T, those who are still doubtful of whether CUT-T or not and those who are searching for an effective contraceptive method, you have landed on the right page.
21 Frequently asked questions on Copper T:
Here are 21 frequently asked questions on Copper-T answered.
#1. What is Copper-T?
It is an intra-uterine T shaped contraceptive device that is flexible, consisting of a fine wire of copper. It is inserted high in the uterus area to prevent pregnancy.
The shape of the device is designed to fit the uterine area.
#2. How does a simple copper wire prevent pregnancy?
When a copper-T is inserted in place, it releases copper ions. These copper ions get into your uterus and change the chemical structure inside the uterus making it impossible for sperms to move or thrive. So in simple words copper is toxic to sperms and restricts the movement of sperms and also destroys it.
Even if any spirited sperm finds its way up to an egg and fertilizes it, the fertilized egg will not be implanted in the uterine wall due to the presence of copper ions. Thus it prevents fertilization and implantation and thus pregnancy.
#3. For how long will the contraception by copper-T work?
CU-T devices guaranteeing contraception ranging from 3 to 10 years depending on the type of IUD are available in the market. You can choose according to your choice. So if you are planning to have no baby for the coming 5 years you can go for a CU-T for 5 years.
If you have inserted a copper T and you want to get pregnant you must get your CU-T removed.
#4. Once copper-T is removed will it affect my fertility and future pregnancy?
The action of the copper ions stops once the copper-T is removed making your uterus back to normal. So it won’t affect your fertility or interfere with your plans of getting pregnant again once it is removed.
#5. Are there other options apart from copper t contraceptive?
We can find many new contraceptive methods such as cervical cap, female condoms, spermicides, diaphragm, contraceptive sponge, hormonal IUD’s etc.
#6. Why copper-t when so many other options are available?
CU-T is believed to be the most effective and long-term reversible contraceptive for birth control.
It is available in 3 to 10 years contraceptive effects.
The failure rate is very low as it constantly releases copper ions to prevent fertilization of egg.
It is inexpensive compared to other reversible contraceptive methods.
It is easier to maintain compared to hormonal contraceptive in which one have to remember to pop pills every day.
No hormonal change in your body due to insertion of IUD.
No hassle of putting on a condom or interfering with sex for contraception once CU-T is inserted.
Copper-T is suitable for breastfeeding mom and also for those who have irregular periods.
#7. What is the best time to get the CU-T inserted?
Inserting copper-T soon after delivery is not recommended. It is good to wait at least six weeks before you get one inserted postpartum. This is to decrease the risk of expulsion.
Best period to get the copper IUD inserted is immediately after the menstrual period i.e. 4th, 5th or 6th day of your period because at this time, you are less likely to get pregnant and your cervix is softer.
#8. Any precautions to be taken when planning for CU-T?
Always go to a good trusted physician to get your copper-T inserted.
You should talk in detail with your doctor if you are opting for CU-T.
CU-T should not be inserted if you are already pregnant or suspect a pregnancy.
Also if you have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, serious pelvic infection or has unexplained vaginal bleeding you should inform your doctor before inserting a copper-T.
You should also give details of any vitamin supplements, medicines or allergy information you are having.
#9. Is the process of insertion of CU-T painful? How long does it take?
Insertion should be done by a trusted medicinal practitioner; it would take 5 minutes or even lesser to insert CU-T.
It is generally not a painful procedure; however you might panic out of feeling the instrument used to get uterus right and tie strings to fit the device correctly. This process may cause slight pain or sometimes cramping for some ladies.
#10. Is it okay to experience bleeding after getting the copper T inserted?
You might experience light bleeding or spotting for 2-3 days.
#11. Is it advisable to have intercourse after the process?
It is recommended not to have sex for at least 24 hours after getting a CU-T done.
#12. Are follow up checkups required after insertion?
It is important to make regular visits to your physician to check if the device is at right place and the thread is intact.
Generally, you’d be asked to visit one month after the insertion, as the risk of possible infections/perforation is high during the first month. Then, follow up as the expert suggests, may be every 6 months OR when you feel something going wrong/unusual.
#13. I’m concerned! Copper T might not suit my body!!
Just like we have different fingerprints, our bodies too are different. For few of us, things may not go perfect with insertion of CU-T.
To know whether it will suit your body or not you should talk with your doctor.
CU-T suits almost all body types unless you have a defective shaped uterus.
#14. Are there any side effects of Copper T?
Copper T does have some side effects. Serious and life threatening side effects are very rare and mostly occur from improper insertion and maintenance.
Commonly Known Copper T Side Effects:
- Heavier and longer periods
The most common side effect is a heavier and/or longer menstrual bleeding especially for the first few months. In most of the cases this subsided as time passes.
This is a very rare case. It is a situation when IUD gets stuck in OR perforate uterus. It might happen during insertion. Therefore, the physician should always cross check to locate if the device is correctly placed and you must make the first visit timely.
Infection mostly occurs in the first month. Your physician will check and determine if everything is right or not.
- String issues
Few men complain about feeling threads during intercourse. You can ask the physician to cut them short. Ensure that the strings don’t get too short for you to check position of IUD after periods.
- Ectopic Pregnancy
Pregnancy is very rare with CU-T already inserted. However, if conception takes place during CU-T, there is a risk of ectopic pregnancy.
#15.What if I face side effects after insertion?
Do not take the side effects lightly if they are persistent; visit your physician to figure out what went wrong.
If the complications are worse, you may also have to get it removed irrespective of its life span to save you from worsened situations.
It is best to see a gynecologist or an experienced practitioner for your problems in regards to Copper device.
#16. What all should be taken care after Copper-T is inserted?
Copper-T contraceptive doesn’t require much after-care once it is inserted. But the follow up checkups are a must as explained above.
Also you should check if the strings are at correct position after each period. Do not pull the string or try cutting it on your own. If you find the string of the device to be too long at any point get it corrected by the doctor.
Any abnormality or concerns after inserting CU-T should be addressed immediately with your doctor.
Also if you suspect an STD you should contact your doctor.
#17. I am breastfeeding. Is it safe to have copper-T inserted?
Copper-T is safe to be used in women who are breastfeeding. It won’t affect your lactation in any way.
#18. Does CU-T provide protection from AIDS and other STDs?
Inserting a copper-T doesn’t make you safe from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. You have to use a condom for that.
#19. Does inserting a CU-T cause inconvenience during sex?
Nope. Getting a CU-T inserted is not going to affect your sexual life. On the contrary you will be happier with sex as you will not be having the fear of getting pregnant.
Also it is inserted deep inside the uterine area and so won’t hurt your partner in any way while having penetrative sex.
But if you feel unusual cramping or pain or discomfort during intercourse after inserting a copper-T, please check with your gynecologist.
#20. Who shouldn’t go for a copper-T contraceptive?
There are cases when copper-T should be avoided and you may have to talk to your doctor about other contraceptive methods.
The below are some conditions in which CU-T is a no-no.
- You have Wilson’s disease
- Is having pelvic inflammatory disease
- Your uterus has an abnormal shape
- Is pregnant
- Have an intrauterine device already inserted
- Have cervical or uterine cancer
- Has a severe pelvic infection following delivery or an abortion in the past three months
- You have STD like chlamydia or gonorrhea
So it is always better to have a talk with your doctor before you go for the actual insertion of CU-T.
#21. How much does a copper-T insertion cost?
The copper-T device can cost only around 300 to 500 Indian rupees. There are more costly brands too.
The insertion is done for free in India in all Government hospitals provided you are a married woman. In private hospitals they charge fees for insertion.
Copper-T is one cost effective method of contraception with very low failure rate. It suits most of the women and serious side effects are very rare.
It is up to you and your doctor to decide if it is the contraceptive method suitable for you nor not.
Are you using Copper T? Have you used any other contraceptive methods? Which one do you find more sure and secure?
Share your experiences and copper IUD reviews.