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Women's Health Topics..

You are here : home > Women's Health > A Guide to Contraception > Copper T

Copper T

Copper T

Copper T

Copper T is a very effective method of contraception. Its success rate in preventing pregnancy is high. It is inserted high in the uterus by a physician,and is effective for about 10 years. It does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Read here to know all about Copper T.

If you are wondering what contraception to opt for, perhaps you should consider the Copper T. Read on to find out if this would be suitable for you. 

(This article is intended to provide general information, and should not serve as a substitute for a physician's advice.)

The Copper T 380A intrauterine device (IUD) is one of the most effective, long-acting reversible contraceptives available. It is inserted high in the uterus by a physician, and provides enhanced contraceptive protection for up to ten years.

Copper IUDs actually prevent fertilization by reducing the number and viability of sperm reaching the egg, and by impeding the number and movement of eggs into the uterus. It is believed that the continuous release of copper from the coils and sleeves of the Copper T 380A into the uterine cavity enhances the contraceptive effect of the IUD.


The annual pregnancy rate of users of the Copper T 380A is well below 1%. In actual use during the first year, the Copper T 380A IUD is more effective than most other IUDs, oral contraceptives, condoms and barrier methods. The effectiveness of the Copper T 380A 
IUD is related to age, with pregnancy rates decreasing for older women.

Duration of Effectiveness

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved the Copper T 380A for a duration of four years. In 1989, the FDA extended the period of efficacy to six years. On the basis of further data, in 1991 the US FDA approved use of the Copper T 380A for eight years and in 1994, the period of use was extended to ten years! 

Shelf Life

The shelf life of the Copper T 380A IUD is seven years. If the date on the individual IUD sterilized packaging has expired, the device and its inserter should be discarded.

Tarnishing of Copper

Copper-bearing IUDs may show discoloration in their sterile packaging, but this should not cause alarm. The copper tarnishes because air passes through the sterile IUD package, causing a film to form on the surface. If the package is not damaged, and the expiration date on the package has not passed, the IUD will be sterile even if the copper on the device is tarnished. 

Prevalence of Use

Worldwide, the IUD is the most widely used reversible contraceptive
IUD use varies from country to country, reflecting differences in culture, availability, and choice of contraceptives, attitudes and training of providers, and fertility goals of women. In Scandinavia, 20 to 40 percent of contraceptive users have IUDs, while about 60 million Chinese women use IUDs.

Return of Fertility

The contraceptive effect offered by the Copper T 380A IUD is reversed when the device is removed. Conception rates following removal for planned pregnancy are normal, with rates of successful planned pregnancy unaffected by duration of IUD use.

Ideal Candidates for Copper T380A IUDs

The Copper T 380A IUD is recommended for women who:

  • have had at least one child;
  • are in mutually monogamous relationships; (IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases)
  • have no history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID);
  • choose not to use hormonal contraceptives.

Women Who Should NOT Use Copper T380A IUDs

The Copper T 380A IUD should not be inserted in a woman who:

  • is pregnant or is suspected to be pregnant;
  • still retains a previously inserted IUD;
  • has a suspected malignancy or abnormality of the genital tract
  • had postpartum or post-abortion infection in the past three months;
  • has Wilson's disease or a known allergy to copper;
  • has genital actinomycosis.
  • has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) including a lower genital tract infection, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia;
  • is at a high risk for STDs because she or her partner has multiple sexual partners;
  • has acute pelvic inflammatory disease or a history of pelvic inflammatory disease;
  • has conditions associated with increased susceptibility to infections with microorganisms. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, leukemia, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and intravenous drug abuse.

If a woman cannot predict whether she or her partner will be in a monogamous relationship, she should adopt another contraceptive. A woman at risk for a sexually transmitted disease may also be at risk for transmission of the HIV virus; she should have her partner use a condom, since an IUD does not protect against AIDS.

Side Effects and Complications

Most women have some bleeding following insertion of an IUD, and menstrual cramps may worsen. Cramping is more severe in the first few months after insertion and usually diminishes over time. Menstrual bleeding may be heavier and longer than usual, and bleeding between menstrual periods can occur during the first two or three months after insertion. These side effects decrease over time. Copper IUD use may also induce iron deficiency in some women; this condition may be treated with iron supplements.

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.3 years ago
Good information. Very useful article. It would be good if you add adverse effects on health, precautions to take and do’s and dont’s of Copper T so that there won't be any doubts using it. Thank you for posting.
swe.6 years ago
hi,i am decide to put copper t.many of the comments are negative.can u give me a good suggestion....that is my history of report was good...can i use r doubt is how many years we can really affects the vagina...after putting this it causes pregnancy...any other side effects r causes back increases weight....pls clarify my doubt as soon...
Rad12.6 years ago
The doctors are talking about quality of Copper T and one says that they use Imported one for 5 yrs it costs 5-6thounsands and some say that even 1400can get you best quality one... We are confused as what to choose.. secondly whether that requires expert or experienced gynaeconligist even any doctor can do it...Please send me your comments at the earliest...
sunny.7 years ago
My luver has used copper t for more than 13 yrs and nw she says she has some wounds inside her vagina so any body can plz help me out any crean or any tablet or anythngbi cn help her out i really luv her nd i cnt c her in pain
mia.7 years ago
Is copper T safe to use??
.7 years ago
What are the side-effects of Copper-T
Bhaama.9 years ago
My sister has been using this copper t since 2 years but recently she had irregular period with continous bleeding and also bad abdominal pain, due to which she consulted a doctor and came to a conclusion that she is pregnant. The doctor has diagnosed it as tubular/ectopic pregnancy. Is this an adverse effect of using copper t?
Shruti.9 years ago
no answers only questions i really want to know what to do go for copper T or not i am very confused so plz some one give me answer
.10 years ago
hi everyone,am on the ct for almost a year now and i am getting period 2 times in each month i would like to know the reason for that,because am thinking about removing it
Nysa.10 years ago
very well written.
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