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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 986439, 6 pages
Review Article

Practical Advice for Emergency IUD Contraception in Young Women

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa
2Gynecological Outpatient Clinic and IUD Training Center, Rooseveltlaan 43/44, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Received 1 June 2015; Accepted 14 July 2015

Academic Editor: John R. Van Nagell

Copyright © 2015 Norman D. Goldstuck and Dirk Wildemeersch. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Too few women are aware of the very high efficacy of intrauterine copper devices (IUDs) to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. Women who frequently engage in unprotected intercourse or seek emergency contraception (EC) are at high risk of unplanned pregnancy and possible abortion. It is therefore important that these women receive precise and accurate information about intrauterine devices as they may benefit from using an IUD for EC as continuing contraception. Copper IUDs should be used as first choice options given their rapid onset of action and their long-term contraceptive action which require minimal thought or intervention on the part of the user. In the United States, there is only one copper IUD presently available which limits treatment options. There are numerous copper IUDs available for use in EC, however, their designs and size are not always optimal for use in nulliparous women or women with smaller or narrower uteruses. Utilization of frameless IUDs which do not require a larger transverse arm for uterine retention may have distinct advantages, particularly in young women, as they will be suitable for use in all women irrespective of uterine size. This paper provides practical information on EC use with emphasis on the use of the frameless IUD.