Copper IUD and menstruation: menstrual flow and bleeding

Among all the contraceptive methods available today, the IUD has a major advantage: it is not very restrictive. But each woman reacts differently depending on the method of contraception she chooses... How does the copper IUD affect her period? We tell you all about it in this article.


What is a copper IUD?

A copper IUD is a T-shaped contraceptive device that is placed in theuterus by a general practitioner, gynecologist or midwife. It is made of polyethylene and is surrounded by a copper wire. A wire protruding one centimeter outside the uterus is used for removal. Women with IUDs can feel this wire, but normally the partner does not feel it. If they do, then the doctor can cut the wire shorter. Depending on the model, it can be worn for 3 to 5 years. The copper IUD is a non-hormonal method of contraception, with 99% effectiveness. Copper will actually block fertilization by preventing sperm from reaching the egg and making it impossible for the egg to attach to the uterus.

This intrauterine device can be used by all women, including those who have never been pregnant. It is not dangerous for health, contrary to what one might think. Different sizes of IUDs exist. It is a hormone-free contraceptive that maintains the natural cycle. Moreover, the IUD has no impact on fertility!

The copper IUD is available at a price of 30.50€, reimbursed at 65% by social security.

What are the effects of the copper IUD on menstruation?

Like many contraceptive methods, the IUD and menstruation are linked. To act, the IUD causes chronic inflammation of the endometrium. Menstruation under IUD is therefore different.

The arrival of heavy and sometimes painful periods after insertion

The first periods after insertion of a copper IUD are heavier, longer and sometimes more painful. This is normal and should eventually stabilize after several cycles (about 6 months).

On the other hand, if you continue to have very heavy periods or even bleeding, causing pain, fatigue, dizziness and anemia, consult your doctor. This contraceptive method may not be suitable for you.

Normal periods after a period of adaptation

Finally, after a period of adjustment, menstruation usually stabilizes. However, they may remain a little heavier than before the insertion. For women with a naturally short and very light flow, the difference will be minimal. The copper IUD may also cause brown bleeding one or two days before the period. The duration of menstruation is then prolonged with this contraceptive method.

Bleeding outside the menstrual flow

Several months after an IUD is inserted, it is possible to have blood loss outside of the period, which is called spotting. This is not a cause for concern; you just need to give your body time to adapt to this new method of contraception.
Blood loss after the insertion of a copper IUD can also occur. Finally, it is also possible (but less common) to bleed during insertion. You can use a menstrual panty to help you cope with this.

When is it not advisable to wear a copper IUD?

The IUD can be worn by all women, whether or not they have had children.
However, women with certain health concerns should not choose this method of contraception:

  • a malformation of the uterus or, more generally, an abnormality of the uterine cavity, which would make it impossible to insert an IUD
  • a genital infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes, whether ongoing, recurrent or less than 3 months old
  • cervical cancer
  • genital tuberculosis
  • a risk of pregnancy or a pregnancy
  • a recent delivery (you must wait 4 weeks after delivery)
  • an abortion less than 3 months old
  • copper sensitivity
  • a high risk of STI
  • an STI less than 3 months old
  • unexplained vaginal discharge (which could mean a serious pathology)


What are the advantages of a copper IUD compared to a hormonal device?

It has several advantages over a hormonal intrauterine device:

  • The first is that it does not contain hormones. Very interesting for women with contraindications to hormonal treatments
  • Secondly, the copper IUD remains in place for 3 to 5 years, which frees up a mental burden that can be complicated to live with when taking the pill for example.


Copper IUD and menstruation FAQs

When do I get my period after a copper IUD has been inserted?

The first menstrual period after the insertion of a copper IUD is not delayed and usually arrives on the date originally planned. For 6 months after insertion, periods may be heavier and more painful. Immediately after insertion, you may also experience some bleeding.

How can I avoid having my period with a copper IUD?

As this method is a natural contraception without hormones, it does not suppress the different menstrual phases as the hormonal IUD, the implant or certain pills can do.

What are the disadvantages of a copper IUD?

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