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Is the Copper IUD Safe?
By Cynthia Flynn, CNM, Ph.D.

Cynthia FlynnQ. I'm trying to figure out what kind of birth control I should use. I don't want another pregnancy for about 5 years. I can't bear hormones, and I have a family history of hormone sensitivity. I'm not big on barriers because my sex life is so sporadic, I can't plan ahead. So that leaves the copper IUD (not the plastic one that releases hormones!)

Is the copper IUD safe? What are the risks? Advantages? Your overall opinion? I've read up on them, but I'm just not convinced. I know they're effective and don't mess with my hormones, but the thought of a foreign body in my uterus bothers me.

Also, my next birth will be an VBA2C. Can an IUD affect my chances?

A. The copper IUD should not affect your chances for a VBAC.

My clients love theirs. It's a really good choice for many women. Most can't even feel it (I couldn't!). And it is very reversible--usually takes about two months to get pregnant if you're fertile. They go in quick and easy for most women.

The information brochure reads like it's written by attorneys (it was), but it includes every rare complication that has ever happened.

In most cases where I have removed them, they didn't fit right (uterus too big or too small) or the woman had continued trouble with spotting or cramping. If that happened to you, you'd be back to Plan A. But why not give it a try? You might love it!

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