What is a copper IUD and how does it actually work? You can read it here!

4 copper spirals

What is a copper IUD?

A copper IUD is made of plastic and copper. The frame of the copper IUD is T-shaped or horseshoe-shaped with copper wires wrapped around it. There are nylon threads on the IUD, which are needed to remove the IUD later.

The copper IUD is inserted into the uterus by a health professional. This means that you cannot forget this form of contraception. A copper IUD offers protection against pregnancy for 5 to even 10 years. How long the IUD is effective depends on the type of IUD.

copper spiral differences

How does a copper IUD work?

The IUD gradually gives off a little copper. Copper ensures that:

  • sperm cells are paralysed so that no egg can be fertilised.
  • an egg cannot implant in the uterine wall.

Immediately after insertion of a copper IUD, the coil gradually releases a little copper. This way you are immediately protected against pregnancy.

A copper IUD can be easily inserted by a general practitioner, midwife or gynaecologist. Go to for more information.

The copper IUD also works as a morning-after IUD when it is inserted within 5 days after unsafe sex. In this way, a possibly fertilised egg cell cannot implant itself in the uterine wall. A copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception.
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What types of copper IUDs are there?

There are various types and sizes of copper IUDs available in the Netherlands. The T-shaped copper IUD is the most commonly placed. The Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) prefers the T-Safe (T-shaped) and Multi-Safe (horseshoe-shaped) IUDs. 

There are also alternatives, for example for women who have not given birth before or who do not respond well to other copper IUDs. 

The Gynefix copper IUD consists of 4 copper sleeves attached to surgical thread. This IUD is often used by women who have previously lost an IUD (expulsion). The insertion of the Gynefix IUD requires a special insertion technique that only a few health care providers in the Netherlands have mastered.

Below is a brief description of the three most commonly placed copper IUDs in the Netherlands.


The T-Safe has a T-shape, made of plastic and copper. According to the NHG, the TCu380A (T-Safe) is the most reliable copper IUD. T-Safe is effective for 10 years, but can also be used between pregnancies. T-Safe is the most commonly used copper IUD in the Netherlands. 

Copper Coil T Form


The Multi-Safe IUD is a horseshoe-shaped device made of plastic and copper. The Multi-Safe is suitable for women with a uterus larger than 6 cm, the Multi-Safe short for women with a smaller uterus. The Multi-Safe (short) is effective for 5 years. 

Copper Coil Horseshoe


The Flexi-T has a T-shape with rounded corners, made of plastic and copper. There are three choices: the Flexi-T 300 for a small uterus, the Flexi-T +380 and Flexi-T +300 for a larger uterus. The Flexi-T +380 (more copper) is suitable for the most fertile age after childbirth. The Flexi-T IUDs are effective for 5 years. 

Flexi-T Copper Coil

Did you know...

  • T-Safe is the most commonly used copper IUD in the Netherlands?
  • T-Safe one highly reliable copper IUD is?
  • T-Safe meets the highest quality standards?
  • The Dutch General Practitioners Association prefers the T-shaped copper IUD?
  • T-Safe is effective for no less than 10 years?

Copper IUD T-Safe

Do you have any questions?

Take a look at the FAQ page. There you will find the most common questions and answers. Is what you are looking for not there either? Then contact us!