The copper t-IUD is marketed as ParaGard T 380A by FEI Women's Health LLa. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984 and became available for use in 1988. The device consists of A T-shaped polyethylene frame that is wound with copper wire around the vertical stem and has copper bands on the lateral arms. The ParaGard T 380C is approved for up to 10 years of use, although limited data support its effectiveness for at least 12 years.
Some new types of copper t-IUD are not approved for use in the United States, but are used and approved in many countries, including their countries of origin. Copper t-IUD description of some kinds is:
GyneFix is a frameless IUD. It consists of six 5-millimeter copper sleeves threaded onto a length of semi-rigid suture materials. The upper and the lower copper sleeves are crimped onto the structure thread to prevent slippage.
CuSafe is a T-shaped copper IUD with flexible and uniquely shaped arms. Both ends of the device's transverse arms curve inward to reduce uterine tissue irritation. It has been approved in Europe since 1996. The monofilament tail is welded into the shaft to reduce ectocervical abrasion. according to its German developer, the device's flexible design facilitates easier and less painful insertion and removal, and the curved, "fundus-seeking" arms resist expulsion.
Fincoid350 was developed in Finland. The plastic skeleton comprises two parts: curved horizontal arms and a copper-coated vertical arm. The horizontal arms lock into a grove on the vertical stem. This makes a movable joint that easily constricts and expands with uterine constrictions.
Such intrauterine devices can be used as emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sexual intercourse, or sexual intercourse during which the primary contraception is believed to have failed (e.g. a condom was used, but it broke). Insertion of a copper t-IUD as emergency contraception is more than 99% effective, making it more effective than Emergency contraceptive pills.
Developers and manufacturers report fewer expulsions, higher continuation rates, lower failure rates and easy insertion-removal as main advantages of all of these types of copper t-IUD. It is a good contraceptive with a bad reputation in some countries. The copper-T intrauterine device is safe and reversible, requires little effort on the part of the user once inserted, and may be safely inserted at 4 or more weeks postpartum.
However, in some countries family planning clients are reluctant to use IUDs, health workers are reluctant to provide them or programs do not have the supplies or trained staff needed to offer them. Fears about side effects, concerns about infection and infertility, lack of technical training for providers, and the time and costs involved in providing services combine to discourage use of IUDs in some countries.
Copper t-IUD prices vary, but the combined cost of the device and the charge of the medical visit needed for insertion is usually between $150 and $300. Just about the same price as a really good pair of shoes.