IUDs as Emergency Contraception

Different types of birth control on a blue table Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Unsplash

Did you know that IUDs can be an effective form of emergency contraception — at least as effective as emergency contraception pills? While people should carefully consider all their birth control options, if you have recently had unprotected sex and are looking for a long-term contraception option, an IUD might be a good fit for you. This fact sheet explaining the use of IUDs for emergency contraception includes a chart comparing different kinds of emergency contraception and a video about using the copper IUD in this way.

“The Copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception (EC). The Copper IUD is nearly 100% effective as emergency contraception. In comparison, EC pills have been shown to be less than 90% effective. However, the majority of patients requesting EC in the US are not offered the Copper IUD as an option.”

Note: Since this page was published, research from the National Institutes of Health has confirmed that hormonal IUDs are just as effective as copper IUDs for emergency contraception.