Intrauterine devices

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2002 Apr;16(2):155-68. doi: 10.1053/beog.2002.0267.


The aim of this chapter is to review the worldwide use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) for contraception and the long-term contraceptive efficacy and safety of copper-bearing IUDs. The TCu380A and Multiload Cu375 have a very low failure rate (0.2-0.5%) over 10 years. The main concerns of the use of IUDs are risk of pelvic inflammatory diseases and increased menstrual blood loss and irregular bleeding. Factors associated with an increase in risk of pelvic inflammatory diseases are discussed. Preventive measures can be taken with careful screening of eligible IUD users, technical training and adequate service facilities for provision of IUDs. Levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs have the benefit of reducing menstrual blood loss in addition to high contraceptive efficacy. The copper IUD is the most effective method for emergency contraception. It can prevent over 95% of unwanted pregnancies within 5 days of unprotected intercourse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraceptives, Postcoital / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper / adverse effects
  • Intrauterine Devices, Copper / statistics & numerical data*
  • Menorrhagia / etiology
  • Oligomenorrhea / etiology
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / etiology
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / prevention & control
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Contraceptives, Postcoital