Medicine & USMLE

Copper IUDs

Reproductive Pharm
  1. Leuprolide
  2. Anastrozole
  3. Estrogens
  4. Clomiphene
  5. Progestins
  6. Mifepristone
  7. Copper IUDs
  8. Danazol
  9. Terbutaline, Ritodrine
  10. Minoxidil
  11. Androgens (Testosterone, Methyltestosterone)
  12. Flutamide
  13. PDE-5 Inhibitors (Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Tadalafil)
  14. Finasteride


Copper IUDs are a device used for female contraception. They act by releasing copper ions into the uterus, which create a local inflammatory reaction that impairs sperm movement, preventing fertilization and implantation. For this reason, Copper IUDs are extremely effective for contraception. A major side effect of having Copper IUDs implanted is heavy vaginal bleeding.

Key Points

  • Copper IUDs
    • Mechanism  
      • Cause a local inflammatory reaction within the uterus
        • Released copper ions cause an inflammatory reaction, which kills sperm and ova → preventing fertilization and implantation
    • Indications
      • Female contraception
        • Most effective contraceptive
          • Long-acting, reversible (removable), and non-hormonal
        • Also used as effective emergency contraception
          • Used within 5 days of unprotected intercourse
    • Adverse Effects
      • Heavy menses/bleeding (menorrhagia)
        • Due to local inflammation and damage to uterine lining
        • Contraindicated in patients with menorrhagia
        • May be painful (dysmenorrhea) due to local inflammation in the uterus causing damage
      • Pelvic inflammatory disease
        • Low risk of IUDs causing active PID
      • Risk of uterine perforation
        • If inserted incorrectly