Intrauterine Device (IUD)

What is it?

The IUD is a T-shaped device with copper wire around it that is inserted into the uterus by a health-care provider in an office or clinic.

How does it work?

The IUD causes changes in the chemistry of the lining of the uterus (womb) to decrease the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. It also decreases the sperm’s ability to get through the cervical mucus. The IUD contains no hormones.

Does it prevent sexually transmitted infections?

Remember that most birth control or contraceptive methods will not protect a person from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  To reduce the risk of STIs, including HIV, use a condom with another method of contraception. This is referred to as dual protection.

To be effective, birth control must be used correctly and consistently. If you want to prevent pregnancy, choose a method that you and your partner will use every time you have intercourse.

Talk to your health-care provider or visit a sexual health clinic to find out what might work best for you and your partner.

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Last updated: 2023-07-25