7.1  Types of IUCD

There are three different types of IUCD. These are:

  • copper-bearing IUCDs, which are made of plastic with copper sleeves and/or copper wire on the plastic, such as TCu-380A and MLCu-375 (see Figures 7.1 and 7.2).
  • hormone-releasing IUCDs, which are made of plastic and steadily release small amounts of progesterone or other progestin hormones, such as LNG-20 and Progestasert.
  • inert or unmedicated IUCDs, which are made of plastic or stainless steel only, such as Lippes Loop and Chinese stainless steel rings.

Copper T 380A is one of the three which is most commonly available and widely used in many countries, including Ethiopia. In this study session, you will learn about the Copper T IUCD in detail.

Copper T 380A

The Copper T 380A IUCD is a T-shaped device made of polyethylene (plastic) and filled with barium sulfate so that it is visible on an X-ray. It is 3.6 cm in length and 3.2 cm in width (see Figures 7.1 and 7.2). There are small copper bands on each horizontal arm of the T, which is placed high in the fundus or highest point of the uterus. The vertical stem is also wound with copper wire, and a thin polyethylene string or thread is attached to the bottom of the stem for easy removal.

A copper T IUCD.
Figure 7.1  Copper T IUCD (TCu-380A). (Source: Family Planning, A Global Handbook for Providers, WHO, 2007, p.133)
A copper-bearing IUCDs.
Figure 7.2  Copper-bearing IUCDs (left) TCu-380A, (right) MLCu-375.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 7

7.2  How copper-bearing IUCDs work