How to Use the IUD as Emergency Contraception

By OBOS Birth Control Contributors | October 15, 2011
Last Revised on Apr 4, 2014

The Copper-T IUD, also known as the ParaGard, is very effective at preventing pregnancy if inserted within five days after unprotected intercourse. The IUD works as an emergency contraceptive by rendering sperm unable to swim, changing the unfertilized egg, or preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.

Once inserted into the uterus, the Copper-T can be left in place and used as your regular method of birth control for up to 12 years.


Using the Copper-T IUD within five days of unprotected intercourse reduces the risk of pregnancy by 100 percent.

Where to Get the Copper-T IUD

The IUD must be inserted by a healthcare provider.


Women who cannot use the IUD for birth control should not use it for emergency contraception, either. The IUD is not recommended if you have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or an active gonorrhea or chlamydia infection. However, it is considered safe to have an IUD inserted if you have an asymptomatic gonorrhea or chlamydia infection. For more information, see the Emergency Contraception website.