Allergy to copper IUD

Discussion in 'IUDs' started by biochemical, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. biochemical

    biochemical Member

    I had my first fitted (bad mood due to bcp nearly ruined my relationship) about a month ago.

    All though the insertion was very painful and it took me nearly 2 weeks to recover and get comfortable with it I was very happy to finally use contraceptive that wouldn't affect my already bad temper.
    About two and a half weeks after I had it fitted I started having strange symptoms that at first seamed like a bladder infection: very frequent and urgent need to go to the toilet without really having anything in my bladder plus very unpleasant itch-like sensation afterwards. I started taking medicine against cystitis but after two days with no improvement I realized that the symptoms are the same as with my allergy to latex. Improvement after taking antihistamine tablet confirmed my suspicions but help only for few days. When I got my period "itching" got really bad and to stop it I had to take very strong allergy pills that can be normally taken only in emergencies.
    Later on I managed to find on internet short note about similar case in 1981 (read it below) why the symptoms become more severe during menstruation.

    Anyways I had my copper IUD removed today and having little choice (with bad tolerance to bcp and allergy to latex) I got mirena IUD instead.

    I really hope this will work for me coz if not I am afraid my boyfriend will have to get a "snip".

    The reason I am writing this here is that there is hardly any info about possible side effects and intolerance for the users of copper IUD and I would like to share my bad experience as something to be aware of.

    If you ever had allergy to metals (itchy ears after wearing metal earrings??) get yourself tested. It's easier, cheaper and could save you form lot of trouble.

    I would love to hear form anyone who had similar story as I would like to do something about it even if it means only putting a note about possible allergic reactions on IUD box or information note.

    PIP: The article documents a clinical case involving allergy to the copper IUD. A 28-eight year old woman, with a normal family medical history, received a copper-medicated IUD (MLCu250) in March 1985, that initially was well tolerated both gynecologically and psychologically. After approximately 2 months, palpebral and perioral edema occurred that regressed following antihistamine treatment. After 5-6 months, erythema and an intense itching along with pruriginous symptoms spreading all over her body occurred at menstruation time. These symptoms responded to antihistamine and cortisone, but reappeared after discontinued treatment. The patient received the patch test revealing a pronounced positivity to copper sulphate. Other clinical tests revealed that cupremia during the acute phases was 110g/100 ml. (fully within the normal limits). A direct allergic, but nontoxic connection to the presence of IUD was established. Numerous studies have revealed that the copper contained in IUD is liberated in the uterine cavity in the form of ions and it is hypothesized during menstruation released into the blood stream, which is supported by the fact that allergic episodes were verified during menstrual bleeding. However, skin complications could also be the result of absorption and diffusion of plasmatic proteins in the blood stream whose molecular configurations are altered in the endometrium as a result of the copper ions, thus causing allergic reactions. Allergies should be considered a possibility with the IUD, but it is not advised to perform allergometric tests in all patients who receive one.

  2. biochemical

    biochemical Member

    Here is another short note about allergy to copper IUD and link to the website where you can find it:

    PIP: 2 cases of urinary inconstancy in women 21 and 31 years of age are reported. Both women had used copper IUDs for ca. 2 years, and were admitted to the hospital with suspected cystitis. The symptoms of "irritable bladder" disappeared after the IUDs were removed, all else having been normal. In one case, an allergy to copper was suspected.

  3. SupaKat

    SupaKat Member

    I broke out in hives following my copper IUD insertion. It was horrendous. I would also highly advise people to get tested for a copper allergy before getting the IUD.

  4. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    One more possibility: Centchroman . Check out both the threads on it if you haven't already (the other one is featured at the top of the page, and was closed because of its length). Wouldn't cause mood problems, and it has been working out well for several of us who take it but couldn't tolerate hormonal methods.

    On another note, this makes at least three posters on Aphrodite with allergic reactions to copper that interfered with using an IUD: the two of you and Frogs. I agree that the copper allergy information needs to be out there. If any or all of you want to compile the info--like reailia and SupaKat have both set out to do, I know--and perhaps put it in this thread, or make its own thread--I'll make it a feature topic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013

  5. pauli

    pauli New Member

    i'm hoping the copper iud will work for me!

    not to be pessimistic, i doubt the mirena will be much different for you compared to the bcp. have you given any thought to the lady comp and the bunch?

  6. Frogs

    Frogs New Member


    As GreenTea mentiona above, I was the third forum member to have an allergic reaction to copper. I had already made my appointment for a copper IUD when I read SupaKat's story and decided to wear a copper bracelet for a week just to make sure. Lo and behold, my wrist was a mass of hives and redness only 24 hours later!

    While I understand that doing an allergy test before each IUD insertion would be prohibitaively expensive, I'm of the opinion that docs should tell women to wear a copper bracelet for a week, and even pass them out at the consulation appointments. Silly OB/GYNS, you'd think they could figure it out!

    Anyway, here's the link to the bracelet I used. Best $5 I ever spent- it saved my uterus from a most unforunate fate...

    I have decided to start Centchroman (as GreenTea suggested above) since I am also intolerant of hormonal BCPs. If that doesn't work for some reason, I'll go with the LadyComp (as pauli suggested above)

    You still have more options before you need to think about "snipping" your poor bf! :p

  7. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    I've gone ahead and featured this thread. If anyone wants to put more copper allergy information on here--perhaps copy/paste from other threads--feel free to do so.

    If you came to this thread because you're considering a copper IUD, understand that allergies to copper are the exception, not the rule. This topic is featured, not to scare people away from IUD's, but to keep important information from getting lost in the shuffle. Because this board is so active, topics that don't receive frequent posts rapidly move several pages back.

  8. aim

    aim New Member

    Has anyone noticed hair loss with their Copper IUD? If so, how long did it take to stop? I had my paragard removed 1 week ago and I still have some continuing hair loss?

  9. SupaKat

    SupaKat Member

  10. calbarnes

    calbarnes New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I have had the copper IUD for about 8 months now. I had my first allergic episode that landed me in the hospital about two months after my IUD insertion. I was diagnosed with IC by two doctors about four months after I got the IUD. I was so convinced I did not have IC that I went to a third doctor. He performed the second cyctoscopy (bladder surgery) on me and he diagnosed me with chronic cystitis instead of IC. When I went to the allergist after my first major allergic reaction, the tests showed I was allergic to about 40 out of 55 things. I had a suspicion that I may have been allergic to the copper, but all the doctors I asked were convinced of otherwise.
    I really appreciate finding this website. I am at my wit's end. I just went to play tennis with my husband and broke down. I told him I am so frustrated with not knowing what is wrong with me that I was going to get the IUD removed just to see if it may make things better. When I got home I jumped on the internet and that is where I found this internet thread full of women having similar complications as I am having. I just cannot figure out why no doctor was even willing to give my allergy idea a try. I am surprised the most because IUDs have been around for so long. I'm sure that if I can come up with the notion that I could be allergic to copper, they should have been able to imagine the same. But they didn't. They preferred to diagnose me with IC that has no cure. I hope this information helps someone just as the information within this thread has helped me.
    I am convinced I am allergic to copper and I am going to have the IUD removed this week. I will keep you all posted. Thank you again for posting such useful information! My break down is over and I finally have some hope. Thank you.

  11. Dolores

    Dolores New Member

    I had an allergy to the copper IUD too but my doctor said that the Mirena would be too risky because of the allergy to the copper IUD in the past. Have you had any problems since having the Mirena?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013

  12. SupaKat

    SupaKat Member

    Mirena is hormonal...if you've had problems with hormones, you will likely have problems with Mirena...

  13. Sueberry

    Sueberry New Member

    I had the copper IUD inserted 9 months ago. After the first 4 months of almost daily pain, my body seemed to accept the IUD. Eventhough pain still exists during my period and for a short while after, I am happy with the "no hormone" contraception. Six months after placement of the IUD, I have developed ACNE! I had acne as a teen and took acutane 8 years ago to combat it. The acutane cleared my skin to a flawless state and i thought I was clear for life. I do not know if the copper IUD is responsible for my acne but I do know someone else with the same reaction to it. i am going to set up an appointment with a dermatologist. The acne has gotten progressively worse and I have no idea what it could be. (maybe the IUD?)

  14. Frogs

    Frogs New Member

    Hey Sueberry,

    Acne isn't listed as a side effect... but neither are irritable bladder (see realia's 2nd post on this thread) or hair loss (see aim's post on this thread and

    Note that some people believe that food allergies are a source of acne (do a Google search), though many doctors pooh pooh this. Your dermatologist will probably tell you it's unrelated, but I think that the only way you'll know for sure is to take it out...

  15. SCP

    SCP New Member

    is IC interstitial cystitis?
    One of my friends has a mirena and thinks she has this!
    (though she picked up the initial bladder infection from a texas hotspring, so who knows?)

  16. sylf4

    sylf4 New Member

    This thread scared me quite a bit but I am glad I came across it. I am allergic to nickel and was concerned about copper after reading this thread. I asked my OB about it and she said she had not come across it. I called Paragard and they said that it does happen sometime. They suggested I go to an allergist to be tested. I called all of the allergist in my area...there was no test for a copper allergy! So..I went to home depot, got a copper tube and wore it like a ring for 3 days. No reaction. I have had it for almost a month now with no issues. Hope this helps someone.

  17. gbrunette

    gbrunette New Member

    Hmmm, I am allergic to metals but that's not why I got mine out. That's weird that I didn't have itching, it gave me an infection after a year of having it.

  18. gracielu

    gracielu New Member


  19. yary

    yary New Member

    i had a copper iud inserted last month, everything was fine until i reached 28 days and period comes, there i started having hives all over, went to dr he said he never had a case of allergy (hives) due to the iud, i took it out and back on the pill.
    any idea when would hives completley go away?

  20. Jazmina

    Jazmina New Member

    hey everyone

    just thought I'd mention that some of us can get a metal sensitivity to copper in our iud's. ZINC counter's the extra copper in your system so if you take a good women's once a day multi like ("nu-life"-ultimate one -active- for women-) this is what I take it doesn't have any extra copper in it like some other multi's but a good amount of ZINC 15mg. If you are already having issues to the copper than try taking some ZINC mineral tablets of a higher dose about 28mg, just go to your local natural pharmacy and they should be able to help you. I'm sorry to hear about some of your issues and hope this info will help.


    PS. You can get some homopathy HIVE medicine that works wonders and doesn't have ANY side effects. GOOD LUCK!


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