Which Intrauterine Device is Right for You? Hormonal vs. Copper IUDs

The percentage of women on birth control who use Intrauterine devices globally is about 15%. This number varies greatly by geography. Asia (27%) and Europe (17%) are the two largest IUD markets, yet use varies country per country. 

Such variation depends on many factors including: family planning policy, insurance coverage, trained clinicians, availability of clinics and of course women’s preferences. Regarding insurance coverage for instance, while in some countries both IUDs are covered, in some only Copper IUDs are and in some IUDs are not covered at all.

But what are some general considerations?

Copper IUDs (non-hormonal)

  • Can’t use hormonal birth control for medical, breastfeeding, and other reasons.
  • Do not want to use hormonal birth control.
  • Need emergency contraception as it works immediately.
  • Looking to prevent pregnancy for at least 10 years.
  • Do not want to see changes in menstrual periods. 

Hormonal IUDs

  • Want to regulate menstrual periods.
  • Want to decrease menstrual cramps.
  • Suffer from heavy periods and want make periods lighter.
  • Are at risk for certain cancers, particularly ovarian cancer.
  • Want to avoid side effects associated with pills such as weight gain and nausea.

Hormonal and Copper IUD Trends

  • Millennials, according to a study in Europe, are switching to Copper IUDs as the best alternative to birth control without hormones.
  • Study from 10 European countries show hormonal IUD use as low as of about 15% (Spain) to as high as of about 73% (Austria).
  • In United States, more women than ever are using IUD; the usage is matching other developed nations. Today, IUD choice is predominantly hormonal, more than 75%.
  • In China, the largest IUD market, there is very limited access to hormonal IUD, there the majority of IUDs are copper with dozens of options that women can choose from. 

Despite the type of IUD, one thing is sure, there are many IUD options available so women can choose the one that works best for them.


  1. World Contraceptive Use 2011
  2. LARCs Across the Pond: IUD Trends in Europe
  3. Worldwide Use of Intrauterine Contraception: A Review
  4. Contraceptive Use by Method 2019
  5. Which is the best IUD for me?
  6. Popularity Disparity: Attitudes About the IUD in Europe and the United States
  7. Are women turning their back on the pill?
  8. Historical record-setting trends in IUD use in the United States

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