Traditional copper IUDs consist of a plastic base which can be of various shapes, and of a copper wire coiled around the stem of the plastic base. They are implanted into the uterine cavity by a physician and can be used for 3-5 years depending on the model. The contraceptive safety of copper IUDs is very high or high (the Pearl Index is 0.5-3.0 for normal use). The contraceptive effect is based on the general reaction of the womb to foreign bodies, and on the special effect of copper released in small quantities on an on-going basis. On the whole, they reduce the mobility and fertility of sperms, so eggs are not even fertilized in most cases. Should fertilization occur, the device inhibits eggs from nidation. Side effects include heavier bleeding and / or lower abdominal pain during menstruation, particularly in the first few months. Traditional copper IUDs are especially suitable for women who would like to have non-hormonal contraception, have already given birth and their menses is accompanied by moderate bleeding and less pain.
The safety of noble metal and copper IUDs is very high, approaching the efficiency of sterilization (the Pearl Index is 0.5-1.0 for typical use). The device consists of a flexible T-shaped plastic base with a wire coiled around its stem, where the wire consists of an alloy of gold, silver and copper. It is available in various designs with certain properties optimized, and almost all designs are provided in three different sizes. Noble metal and copper IUDs are placed into the uterine cavity by a physician. They have a threefold effect: fertilization and nidation are prevented by the foreign body reaction, the release of copper and micro-galvanic cells. Side effects include heavier bleeding and / or lower abdominal pain during menstruation, but this occurs rarely and only in the first few months. As the alloy is protected against corrosion, the release of noble metal particles prevents infection development; in addition, a device of the appropriate size can be applied for everyone and noble metal and copper IUDs are particularly harmless for the organism. This is also shown by particularly high rates of user satisfaction (86-88% of users persist in the method even after one year). At the same time, the use of noble metal and copper IUDs is one of the most cost-effective methods because of the prolonged duration of application. It is suitable for all women who would like to be protected by non-hormonal, safe, comfortable, long-term and reversible contraception.
The so-called mechanical methods of contraception (condom plus diaphragm/pessary) exert their effect by physically preventing the encounter of sperms and eggs. A benefit of these methods is that they can be applied as necessary, and they do not usually have any side effects apart from allergic reactions to the given material. In addition, condoms represent the only effective method of protection against the HIV virus and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, due to lower levels of safety due to cumbersome use and errors of application (the Pearl Index is 15.0-21.0 for typical use), mechanical methods of contraception can only be used as transitional or supplementary solutions. The “calculation” or calendar method – where women’s days of fertility are calculated by measuring bodily temperature or hormonal levels – is at a relatively low level of contraception safety (the Pearl Index is 25.0 for typical use); in addition, it is only suitable for women who know their own body very well and are ready to adjust their life patterns to this method of contraception. Chemical contraceptives with a spermicide effect – intended to prevent the penetration of sperms into the cervix – must be introduced to the vagina in the form of a foam or gel before sexual intercourse. These are not the most suitable methods is applied individually, but the can be combined with mechanical contraception methods.