From detection gates to MRI scans: what can you tell a copper IUD from?

3 July 2023By Titus Health Care

Maybe you are about to go on holiday and wonder if the airport gates will react to your IUD. And is an MRI scan actually safe if you have a copper IUD? With what techniques can you see a copper IUD or not? This blog tells you more about imaging techniques and copper IUDs.

What do the detection gates at the airport see?

With the summer holidays approaching, let's start with the detection gates at the airport. When flying, you always have to go through a few security checks at the airport. One of these checks is a detection gate you walk through. These gates find metal objects on travellers. Airports do this to prevent anyone from bringing dangerous materials on board. But do these gates also react to your copper IUD? Fortunately, the answer to this is: no! Airport security guards cannot see that you have an IUD. This is because the detection gate does not react to it. Good to know before you go on holiday!

Ultrasound: completely safe

An ultrasound is an examination to look inside your body. The ultrasound head emits and then captures sound waves. A computer then converts the captured sound waves into images. A copper coil is visible on an ultrasound. Sometimes healthcare providers therefore use a (vaginal) ultrasound to check whether your IUD is seated properly in the uterus. An ultrasound usually does not hurt and is not harmful. So an ultrasound check of an IUD is completely safe!

And an MRI scan?

An MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of the body. During the scan, the patient lies on a table that slides into a cylindrical machine. The machine contains a magnet that creates the magnetic field. Radio waves are then sent through the body, causing the body's atoms to emit signals that are captured by the machine and converted into images. MRI scans are often used to diagnose and monitor various medical conditions, including injuries, tumours and abnormalities in organs and tissues.

An IUD can be detected on an MRI scan. However, it is important to note that the presence of an IUD does not affect the quality or accuracy of the MRI scan. The IUD is made of non-magnetic materials, such as copper or plastic, which do not cause any problems during the scan. It is always advisable to inform your healthcare provider about any medical devices or implants you have before undergoing an MRI scan to ensure that proper safety precautions are taken.

Still have questions about imaging techniques and spirals? Please consult the leaflet or contact your healthcare provider.


This blog was compiled with the help of:

Detection gates and MRI scans with a copper IUD
(Last Updated On: 21 September 2023)