An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small contraceptive device that is inserted into the uterus (womb) to prevent a pregnancy. The two types available are the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD. The hormonal IUD (sold as Mirena) contains progestogen, which is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. Both types are very effective methods of contraception and can stay in place for at least five years.
Menstruation Differences For:
- Hormonal: After the hormonal IUD has been inserted, you may have three to five months of frequent and irregular bleeding between periods. After this time, your periods may be shorter, lighter, and less painful. About 50 per cent of women stop bleeding completely.
- Copper: After the copper IUD has been inserted, you may have a few weeks of irregular bleeding between periods. After this time, your periods may be heavier and more painful.
Cost Differences For:
- Hormonal: The hormonal IUD is covered by a healthcare card in Australia, and is therefore cheaper
- Copper: The copper IUD is not covered by a healthcare card and will therefore be more expensive
Side Effects Differences For:
- Hormonal: The hormonal IUD may cause headaches, acne, breast tenderness and an increase in appetite in the first few months of use.
- Copper: The copper IUD has no hormonal side effects.
Medical Conditions Differences For:
- Hormonal: The hormonal IUD should not be used if you have had breast cancer in the last five years.
- Copper: With rare exceptions, the copper IUD will not have any known impact on existing medical conditions
Other types of contraception
There are a number of contraceptive choices available, and we are here to assist you to understand your options. The method you choose will depend on your general health, lifestyle and relationships. It is important to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of each method, and to consider your current and future needs.