IUDs as Emergency Contraception

Different types of birth control on a blue table Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Unsplash

Did you know that IUDs can be an effective form of emergency contraception — at least as effective as emergency contraception pills? While people should carefully consider all their birth control options, if you have recently had unprotected sex and are looking for a long-term contraception option, an IUD might be a good fit for you. This fact sheet explaining the use of IUDs for emergency contraception includes a chart comparing different kinds of emergency contraception and a video about using the copper IUD in this way.

Note: Since this page was published, research from the National Institutes of Health has confirmed that hormonal IUDs are just as effective as copper IUDs for emergency contraception.

“The Copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception (EC). The Copper IUD is nearly 100% effective as emergency contraception. In comparison, EC pills have been shown to be less than 90% effective. However, the majority of patients requesting EC in the US are not offered the Copper IUD as an option.”