You just placed your IUD, thinking of the less adverse effects you picked the non-hormonal Copper IUD device. You continue leading your life not worrying much about the risks of unplanned pregnancy or other complications from unprotected sex. Suddenly, you experience an irregularity in your period. Am I pregnant? Has the IUD failed?
So naturally, a question arises, Why am I experiencing Copper IUD late period?
To answer simply, non-hormonal IUDs such as copper IUDs, don’t contain any hormones. As we know, your hormones are the ones maintaining the time frame of your periods. Copper IUD has nothing to do with hormones. Yet, there are causes induced by copper IUD which can cause a late period.
We will go through a lot of details in this article. So, let’s begin!
Table of Content
How Do Copper IUDs Work?
Before heading into the causes of a late period induced by copper IUD, you need to have an idea of how it works and what effect it has on your period.
So, how does this work?
Copper IUDs, a type of non-hormonal contraceptive. To understand how it works we will need a simple introduction to how menstruation works.
Every month, there’s the discharge of the ovum from the ovaries of women in their reproductive age. The ovum migrates to the uterus under the influence of various hormones. If the ovum doesn’t get fertilized by sperms or the male counterpart, there occurs a discharge of the ovum along with the lining of the uterus. Such condition occurs every month, known as periods or menstruation.
On contrary, if the ovum gets fertilized by the sperm, there occurs the formation of the zygote, the cell that’s gonna subsequently develop into a child.
Now, how do copper IUDs fit here? Copper IUDs, after getting placed on the uterus engage the immune or protective mechanism in your body. It basically kills off the sperm before it gets a chance to fertilize the ovum, preventing pregnancy.
As such, there’s no hormonal factor working in this case. So is Copper IUD late period, just a myth?
Effect of Copper IUD on Period
From years of usage and researches, non-hormonal IUDs have been deemed quite safe for women wanting contraceptive measures. A few positive aspects of their usage include:
- No hormones are involved, hence they are a very convenient option for women who can’t take hormonal contraceptives for various medical reasons.
- Once placed, it can give protection up to a period of almost 10-12 years if you want to keep it.
- They have been proved to prevent pregnancy up to a percentage of 99%. Quite convenient, isn’t it?
Now, in the midst of such benefits, copper IUDs can also cause some unexpected occurrences. A few includes:
- Copper IUDs make your periods much heavier than normal, in simple words, they are notorious for increased bleeding.
- Increased cramping pain, well above the normal level.
- Copper IUDs can’t prevent diseases caused by sexually transmitted infections. So, even though you are using this method of contraception, use barrier methods such as condoms during sexual intercourse for protection from sexually transmitted infections
- Spotting between periods is most likely the cause behind the suspected late period myth while using copper IUD.
Copper IUD Late Period
Copper IUDs are a non-hormonal method of contraception that has no effect on the hormonal aspect of your body. As such, how is Copper IUD causing late periods?
A few probable explanations include:
Sexually Transmitted Disease
Though copper IUDs are used as a method for contraception, they cannot provide protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Now, STIs on your own cannot affect your periods. But, if the condition progresses to Pelvic inflammatory diseases, it can cause irregular bleeding and even spot between periods. Copper IUD late period! Doesn’t seem like a myth now does it?
Spotting Between Periods
Spotting between periods can be described as a condition in which, due to a change in the normal environment of your uterus, there occurs bleeding outside your usual menstrual cycles.
Such forms of bleeding are usually characteristic of hormonal IUDs as they cause hormonal imbalance in your body. However, even copper IUDs can hamper the usual environment in your body. As such, your body’s response to the IUD can trigger bleeding especially in the initial period.
Displacement of IUD
In the light of lack of consciousness or checking of the IUD thread on a regular basis, IUD may get displaced.
Displacement of IUD is a very concerning condition, one that causes symptoms as fever, shock, and even irregular menstrual bleeding.
Failure of Contraception
Lastly, we reach the very reason you placed an IUD, a foreign particle in your body in the first place. Pregnancy!
Yes, if you are unlucky enough to reach the 1% of the population who experience failure in contraception, you might experience signs as missed periods for a duration of time.
Though, copper IUDs are a proven, efficient method of contraception, under such circumstances don’t hesitate to go to your doctor or take the pregnancy test.
So, Copper IUD late Period! A condition we are trying to justify. But, from the above discussion, I think it’s pretty clear that only in extreme cases, can condition associated with Copper IUDs lead to a late period.
Copper IUDs in normal cases have no power to alter the time frame of your menstrual bleeding, though excess bleeding is a side effect.
Treatment and Remedy
Copper IUDs have an added side effect of causing excessive, heavier periods than normal and late periods only in extreme cases where it’s associated with some other complications.
Probable Remedies to such conditions include:
NSAIDs can help lower the cramping pain from bleeding. So, using it might give you a bit of relief from this unbearable pain.
As mentioned before, copper IUDs cannot prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. If the transmitted diseases progress to include the pelvis, irregular bleeding and cramping can follow.
As such, it’s best to use condoms at all times during sexual intercourse. In the light, you experience such symptoms, reach out to your doctor and get an appropriate diagnosis to get the required treatment.
Proper Counseling Before Placing IUD
Appropriate guidelines of using IUD, also how to check on the tail to avoid any displacement is of vital importance if you want to prevent any complications from your IUD.
Keep in Touch With Your Doctor
It’s commendable to consult your doctor from time to time to check up on your IUD. They are the ones who will be able to give you the perfect piece of advice.
Can Copper IUD cause irregular period?
Copper IUDs have a side-effect of forming heavier periods than normal due to increased bleeding. But, as it has no hormones in it, it cannot in theory cause any change in the time period of your bleeding though a few extreme conditions can trigger late period.
A few such instances include pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory diseases, displacement of IUD.
How can I stop the excess bleeding?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, suprofen, ibuprofen, etc have been proved to contribute to reducing menstrual bleeding and also pain caused by period cramps.
When should I visit the doctor to check on my IUD?
It’s best to take the advice from your doctor from time to time about your IUDs to prevent any complications from developing. A few signs where it’s of vital importance to visit your doctor includes:
- Excess bleeding
- Cramps way above the normal limit
- Missed period
- Spotting between periods
What’s spotting between periods?
Spotting between periods describes a condition where you experience an extra episode of bleeding in between your menstrual cycle. It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance in your body due to the use of contraceptive methods.
How much is too much bleeding when I start using IUD?
Too much bleeding can’t really be put into a formula as the normal levels of bleeding varies for different women.
However, if you experience very heavy bleeding, in which you are soaking or saturating your pad with blood every hour, that’s a lot of bleeding and it may be quite a concerning feature.
Can I get pregnant while using IUD?
Yes! Though rare there always a very narrow chance that you might get pregnant even when you are using contraceptive methods. But, this should not stop you from using them as there’s really no 100% effective contraceptive method invented as of recent.
Which one is better ? Hormonal or non-hormonal IUD ?
The answer here is a topic of debate. While hormonal IUDs are better for long term use, they do have a lot of side-effects. Non-hormonal are better for short term and they have a lot less side-effects.
Imagine getting yourself arguably, the best contraceptive device out there. You are supposed to stay relieved and enjoy life to the fullest but a dark cloud of uncertainty looms, Copper IUD late period! Is the best method really the best?
Yes, in spite of all uncertainties IUDs are one of the best methods of contraceptives. If you review all researches, you too will conclude by saying, it’s not really my IUD rather some complications arising from negligence that’s the main culprit behind Copper IUD late period.