7.3  Effectiveness of IUCDs

An IUCD is a highly effective, long-term, reversible contraception. Using an IUCD can be as effective as female surgical sterilisation in preventing pregnancy, but unlike sterilisation it is a completely reversible contraceptive method. Among women who use the Copper T 380A IUCD, less than 1% become pregnant (0.6 to 0.8 per 100 women) during the first year of use. Additionally, the cumulative risk of pregnancy over the ten-year service life of an IUCD is less than 3%. In addition, fertility returns soon after removal.

The Copper T 380A can prevent a woman from becoming pregnant for up to 12 years. However, its effect is reduced after seven years of use, after which the likelihood of becoming pregnant increases. Some countries advocate its use for up to ten years, and it should be replaced or removed no later than ten years from the date of insertion. In the case of Ethiopia, you should refer to the National Family Planning Guidelines on recommended years of use.

An important point is that a woman’s fertility returns promptly after an IUCD is removed. You should make this very clear to women having an IUCD removed, i.e. they should have another IUCD inserted immediately after removal (if desired and appropriate), or immediately start another contraceptive method unless they want to get pregnant.

7.2  How copper-bearing IUCDs work

7.4  Insertion and removal