Over three years ago, when I was still living in the UK, I had an IUD (inter-uterine device or "copper coil") fitted. For those of you who are not English: Health care by the National Health Service is free at the point of service and this includes contraception. Hence I paid nothing for my IUD. Now it makes intuitive sense that the IUD won't be good forever and I was actually given a piece of paper stating that it will have to be replaced after 10 years - which I figured was fair game.
When I moved back to Germany, I suddenly hear that an IUD (also copper ones) supposedly have to be replaced after 3 to 5 years. Now, you have to know that contraception is usually not covered by German insurance. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.
I still did a bit of research and what I found is even more interesting:
- Official, WHO-based recommendation is that copper IUDs can be worn for up to 10 years, depending on their copper content, and hormonal IUDs for 3 to 5 years
- According to the WHO, the type I have is actually WHO effective for up to 12 years
- However, there are actually studies that copper IUDs are effective for up to 20 years
Trussell J. Contraceptive failure in the United States. Contraception. 2011;83(5):397-404