How the Copper Got On The IUD

Many women are successfully contracepting with the copper IUD. The fact that long term contraception can be provided without hormones is the safest and most effective for these patients. GräfenbergThe IUD may have been found in antiquity, but it was really developed by Grafenberg in 1928, which was a metal ring, really a coil in the shape of a ring. Easy to insert, effective, safe, but no strings and a bit difficult to remove. He had struggled with design and substance of the device. Then there was an explosion of shapes and sizes and the novel idea to connect to a string, of which the strongest of it's time was the braided string of the ill fated Dalkon shield. Gynos now don't have the many shapes and sizes and types of IUDs that women were offered in the 60s and 70s. One of the most popular IUD then, without any hormones as well, was called a Lippes Loop. The old Lippes loop was made of plastic, came in various sizes and it technically had no formal expiration date. The Lippes Loop was meant to be kept as long as you wanted to still wear an IUD. But then the design changed and someone named Jaime Zipper of Chile.Dr. Grafenberg's ring had 'German silver' and only a bit of copper, not realizing that copper has contraceptive action on the lining of the uterus. Zipper held a position at the World Health Organization in Geneva and began some animal experiments that revealed the contraceptive properties of copper. And when he met Dr. Howard Tatum, who designed the T shaped plastic device, easy to insert, an effective design that was comfortable and enhanced retention, but too high a pregnancy rate as an only plastic device Their collaboration led to the original copper-T IUD, named TCu200. Now women can benefit from the work of these brilliant pioneers and in the USA get a ParaGard IUD.


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