Copper T is a small device that is placed in the uterus. The uterus is where the baby develops if you become pregnant. There is some copper in the arms of the copper IUD. The copper IUD slowly allows copper into the uterus, which helps prevent pregnancy. It does this in two ways. First, it stops the sperm from making their way up through the uterus into the tubes. Second, if sperms do reach the egg, it makes it harder for the sperm to fertilize the egg. However, if an egg does become fertilized, copper would also stop the fertilized egg from successfully implanting in the lining of the uterus. Copper IUDs (intra uterine devices) provide protection for eight to ten years, or until they are removed.
Advantages of the Copper T
- It is effective for at least 10 years.
- Only 2 out of 100 women using a Copper T for 10 years will become pregnant.
- The Copper T IUD prevents ectopic pregnancies.
- It is far more readily reversible than tubular sterilization or vasectomy.
- The Copper T is very cost–effective over time.
- It is convenient, safe and private. All you have to do is check for the strings each month.
- The Copper T IUD may be used by women who cannot use birth control pills which have estrogen.
- It may be used by breast–feeding women.
- The Copper T may be inserted immediately following the delivery of a baby or immediately after an abortion.
- There may be cramping, pain or spotting after insertion.
- The number of bleeding days is slightly higher than normal and menstrual cramping may increase. If your bleeding pattern is bothersome to you, contact your clinician. There are medications which may give you a more acceptable pattern of bleeding and cramping.
- The Copper T IUD provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections. Use condoms if you are at risk for transmitted infections.
- The initial cost of insertion is high.
- The Copper T must be inserted by a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or physician's assistant.
- A small percentage of women are allergic to copper.
Diaphragm is a rubber cup, which is placed into the woman’s vagina. It blocks the opening to the uterus so that the man‘s semen cannot enter the uterus and reach the egg. Some sperm may get around the diaphragm, so it should always be used with a spermicide that is placed on the diaphragm to kill sperm.
Advantages of using a diaphragm
The diaphragm is fairly effective and gives the woman control. When used correctly, only 6 couples in 100 become pregnant the first year using a diaphragm.
The diaphragm can be put in several hours before initiation of sexual activity.
Your partner can put it in as part of love–making.
The diaphragm is safe and contains no hormones. Thus, there are no hormonal side effects. The penis can remain inside the vagina after ejaculation. Intercourse during a woman's period is less messy with a diaphragm because the diaphragm holds back menstrual blood.
Disadvantages of Diaphragm
- You must be fitted for a diaphragm by a clinician.
- Insertion of the diaphragm may interrupt sex.
- You must remember to take your diaphragm with you on vacations or trips.
- Use of the diaphragm increases your risk for urinary tract infections.
- Some women find the diaphragm unattractive.
- If you do not like touching your vagina, the diaphragm may not be a good method for you.
- It is difficult for some women to insert a diaphragm correctly.
- If left in for too long, the diaphragm slightly increases your risk for a very serious infection called toxic shock syndrome. Don’t leave your diaphragm in for more than 48 hours.
- The diaphragm may slip out of place during sex. If you change positions, you may want to check to see that the diaphragm is still covering the cervix.
- After putting it in, you have to check to be sure the diaphragm is covering the cervix.
- A new fitting may be necessary after having a baby, abortion, miscarriage, or gaining 15 pounds.
- The diaphragm must be left in place 6 hours after the last act of intercourse.
Tubular Sterilization is a surgical procedure which blocks the fallopian tubes. Eggs are released in the ovaries, then travel through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. After this operation your eggs will have no way to get to your uterus. And the man’s sperm will have no way to get to your egg. This prevents pregnancy.
Advantages of Tubule Sterilization
- It is a fairly simple operation which is safe and permanent.
- Nothing must to be taken daily or used at the time of sexual intercourse.
- Tubule sterilization does not affect sex drive or ability to enjoy sex.
- It is cost–effective in the long run.
- Tubule sterilization requires minor surgery.
- There may be some pain or discomfort for several days after the operation.
- There is no easy way to check after tubule sterilization to see if the procedure has taken effect
- Tubule sterilization is very effective but not fully. The failure rate is 1–5% during the first 10 years after the operation. If you think that you are pregnant after having a tubule sterilization, return to the clinic immediately. Should a pregnancy occur, there is an increased chance that the pregnancy will be outside your uterus (an ectopic pregnancy).
- It is difficult to reverse this operation if you want to become pregnant at a later time.
- The operation to reverse tubule sterilization is highly technical, expensive and the results cannot be guaranteed.
- Sterilization will not protect you from HIV or other infections. Use a condom if you or your partner are at risk.