Copper as an alternative for the emergency contraceptive pill
Let's face it: contraceptive problems occur - be it improper use or forgetting. In this case, the "morning-after pill" is a well-known emergency contraception pill (ECP) that can effectively prevent an unwanted pregnancy even after unprotected sexual intercourse. What is less known is that copper-based methods as a "IUD after" are also suitable for prevention. We will briefly present both of these procedures below. Please note that of course none of the procedures protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Please also read our page on infections.
Copper as emergency contraception
When using (emergency) contraception with copper, one uses its natural effect. Irrespective of the product chosen in the individual case, copper particles are released into the uterus through the uterine lining. This reacts to the copper, which prevents an egg from nesting and limits the motility of the sperm.
Suitable copper-based contraceptives are, also for emergency cases,
All of the above contraceptives are effective up to 5 days after unprotected sexual intercourse. Suitability is particularly appropriate if unprotected sex took place at the time of ovulation (see below), the time for the "morning-after pill" has already passed or hormonal emergency contraception is not possible for medical reasons. It works then 3 to 5 years depending on the product. The disadvantage compared to the ECP are the significantly higher costs, since the copper-based methods are a long-term contraception.
Information regarding the emergency contraception Pill
In contrast to the hormone-free, copper-based long-term contraceptives, which are also suitable for emergency contraception, the "morning-after pill" aims for a single application. Accordingly, it is also cheaper in terms of price and is paid for by statutory health insurance until the age of 21.
The "morning-after pill" is, depending on the specific product, effective up to 3 or up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse. The likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy increases within this time, the longer you wait to take it. Important for understanding: the "morning-after pill" works by delaying ovulation. If this has already taken place, it will not work. Therefore, the "morning-after pill" should be taken as soon as possible.
The morning-after pill is available over the counter in pharmacies without prescription. However, due to the stronger intervention in the hormonal balance, we recommend that you consult your gynecologist promptly after usage. This is particularly useful if you want to go back to a normal, hormone-based contraceptive cycle after using the morning-after pill.