8. COPPER PEARLS
Also known as intrauterine balls (IUB), these are fairly new in South Africa. IUBs work in the same way as the copper T, but are shaped in a way that minimises the chance of uterine perforation.
Need to know: Several copper pearls are strung on a uterus-friendly polymer frame. The pearls release copper ions into the uterus, which (just like the copper T) inhibit progress of sperm into the uterus and thin the uterus wall to discourage an egg implanting.
Cost: Your GP or gynae can order the copper pearls online for R1 800 to R2 100 from Copperpearls.co.za.
• Lower chance of perforation
• No hormones
• Long-term (five years)
• Effective from the moment of insertion, and fertility returns immediately after removal
• Reduces period pain and heaviness
• Possible increased bleeding that can last up to five months while the body adjusts to the device
• Not for women who experience frequent pelvic infections or have an existing STD
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