The intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that is inserted into your uterus by a doctor or nurse.
Copper IUDs are the most effective form of emergency contraception. Unlike the morning-after pill, they can prevent pregnancy both before and after ovulation.
They work by either a) preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg or b) preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. You can choose to leave the IUD in as an ongoing birth control method.
The IUD should not be inserted if there is a chance that you may already be pregnant. Side effects are rare but can include pain, spotting, infection, uterine damage, IUD expulsion through the vagina, and heavier, longer, or more painful periods if you continue to use it as your birth control method.
⚠️ Please note that hormonal IUDs, which differ from copper ones, do not work as emergency contraception ⚠️
Talk to your OBGYN or primary care provider for more information about your options and how to make emergency contraception as effective and safe as possible.
If you want to learn more about identifying the fertile window in your cycle, check my free webinar “Fertility Awareness Methods and how they can help me understand my cycle“.