Contraception Reviews

Contraceptive gel vs Copper IUD

Contraceptive gel

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Copper IUD

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Overview

Rated 4.3

4 reviews

Before sex

Frequency

79% - 86%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.8

10 reviews

5 - 10 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Contraceptive gel ingredients

Birth control gels include spermicides and a new gel called Phexxi. These gels contain chemicals which prevent sperm from reaching an egg by affecting the sperm's motility and helping to block the cervix (opening into the womb).

Copper IUD ingredients

Copper coils are made of a T-shaped frame of polyethylene (plastic) and barium sulphate. Copper wire is wound around the vertical arm.

What Lowdown reviewers say

Mood

50% very positive

Bleeds

75% no change

Sex drive

75% increased sex drive

Weight

50% no impact

Skin

100% no impact on skin

Cycle return

100% don’t know impact

Mood

30% no impact on mood

Bleeds

60% heavier periods

Sex drive

50% no impact

Weight

80% no impact

Skin

80% no impact on skin

Cycle return

50% don’t know impact

Benefits: What this birth control can help with

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this birth control

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this birth control

Try it now

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Try it now

Want to switch birth control?

Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Contraceptive gel reviews

4 reviews

Contraceptive gel  
Used for 8+ yr
26 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Apr 24

Contraceptive gel  

Birth control implant I have had this birth control for 10 years (3 implants). It makes your period lighter and more regular, or takes it away completely; I had a birth control pill ( i'm not sure if the name) prescribed beforehand and i could not stand that one.

Read more

Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive gel  
Used for 12 - 18 mo
42 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

Phexxi gel  

I feel like I've tried every birth control out there. Pills, patches rings, IUDs - with the exception of depo, you name it, I've tried it. But Phexxi has been a game changer for me! I never felt "whole" on hormonal methods or the IUDs, but with Phexxi I don't have to deal with hormonal side effects and I only use it when I need it. Super easy to use, not messy, and I feel like myself again!


Very positive mood

1 more effect

1 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive gel  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
56 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

Phexxi gel  

Love that I can use Phexxi only when I need it. I do not like adding hormones to my body. I really love the lubricating effect, makes for even better sex!


Very positive mood

1 more effect

1 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive gel  
Used for 8+ yr
26 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Apr 24

Contraceptive gel  

Birth control implant I have had this birth control for 10 years (3 implants). It makes your period lighter and more regular, or takes it away completely; I had a birth control pill ( i'm not sure if the name) prescribed beforehand and i could not stand that one.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive gel  
Used for 12 - 18 mo
42 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

Phexxi gel  

I feel like I've tried every birth control out there. Pills, patches rings, IUDs - with the exception of depo, you name it, I've tried it. But Phexxi has been a game changer for me! I never felt "whole" on hormonal methods or the IUDs, but with Phexxi I don't have to deal with hormonal side effects and I only use it when I need it. Super easy to use, not messy, and I feel like myself again!


Very positive mood

1 more effect

1 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive gel  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
56 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

Phexxi gel  

Love that I can use Phexxi only when I need it. I do not like adding hormones to my body. I really love the lubricating effect, makes for even better sex!


Very positive mood

1 more effect

1 helpful

0 comments


Copper IUD reviews

10 reviews

Copper IUD  
Used for 5 - 8 yr
29 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  2 weeks ago

Paragard IUD  

I had Paraguard for almost 7 years. When it was first inserted (insanely painful) I was told it would last for 12 years, however it fell out recently. Only half fell out, as one arm broke off and I was recommended to have a hysteroscopy under full anesthesia to remove the missing part. Luckily it came out on its own and I didn’t require the operation but it was a terrifying experience. Throughout the past 7 years the only issues I had was very heavy periods and severe cramps (including sharp pain when going to the bathroom). Other than that, it was great for me and nice to have regular periods.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
21 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  19th Mar 24

Paragard IUD  

I've never used any forms of birth control before, so I don't know what to compare it to other than being normal and not on birth control. Insertion was uncomfortable but not very painful, and I had pain in my cervix and spotting for about a week afterward. My body adjusted very quickly and I had normally spaced periods right after. The most noticeable difference is that my period is lighter and longer. My sex drive noticeably decreased, and my emotions are dampened/numbed. I forget that I even have it 99% of the time, as I don't notice it in my daily life. If all you're looking for is plain and simple low-maintenance birth control, this is it.


Worse skin

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 1 - 3 mo
18 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Dec 23

Paragard IUD  

Cramping is significantly worse than before I had the IUD. Periods have lasted about 3 weeks when they used to only last 5-7 days. After the IUD was inserted, I ended up having 3 UTIs and cervicitis.


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 5 - 8 yr
29 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  2 weeks ago

Paragard IUD  

I had Paraguard for almost 7 years. When it was first inserted (insanely painful) I was told it would last for 12 years, however it fell out recently. Only half fell out, as one arm broke off and I was recommended to have a hysteroscopy under full anesthesia to remove the missing part. Luckily it came out on its own and I didn’t require the operation but it was a terrifying experience. Throughout the past 7 years the only issues I had was very heavy periods and severe cramps (including sharp pain when going to the bathroom). Other than that, it was great for me and nice to have regular periods.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
21 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  19th Mar 24

Paragard IUD  

I've never used any forms of birth control before, so I don't know what to compare it to other than being normal and not on birth control. Insertion was uncomfortable but not very painful, and I had pain in my cervix and spotting for about a week afterward. My body adjusted very quickly and I had normally spaced periods right after. The most noticeable difference is that my period is lighter and longer. My sex drive noticeably decreased, and my emotions are dampened/numbed. I forget that I even have it 99% of the time, as I don't notice it in my daily life. If all you're looking for is plain and simple low-maintenance birth control, this is it.


Worse skin

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 1 - 3 mo
18 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Dec 23

Paragard IUD  

Cramping is significantly worse than before I had the IUD. Periods have lasted about 3 weeks when they used to only last 5-7 days. After the IUD was inserted, I ended up having 3 UTIs and cervicitis.


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 1 - 3 mo
28 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  4th Dec 23

Paragard IUD  

I don’t know yet. It’s only been 3 weeks since I got it but I have not stopped bleeding (it started as only spotting and the blood looked brown on my pad and the amount increased to a light period then it went back to spotting.) now after the 2nd week the blood started to look red again and its still only spotting. So now I don’t know is this is my regular period or what! I have iron deficiency anemia, all this bleeding can’t be good. Is this going to be always. I have no cramps which I’m greatful for.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
24 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  10th Oct 23

Paragard IUD  

The insertion process was a bit painful, but not the worst experience in my case. I would highly recommend tanking some pain medication beforehand. After insertion I experienced some stronger cramps and my period became a bit heavier for a few months (I was coming off the pill and had lighter periods). Now for the past two months my periods have been lighter than ever with only a couple days of light bleeding at most. My cramps feel a bit worse when I get them, but that doesn’t happen too frequently to me.


Somewhat positive mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

1 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
22 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  28th Sep 23

Paragard IUD  

I experienced a lot of common side effects of the IUD, it may have been caused by the fact that it was misplaced, and I didn't find out until I went in to get it removed. While I used it, it was an effective contraceptive, even with it being misplaced. I used it for almost six months, and the negative symptoms didn't alleviate at all throughout that time. I would recommend a provider who has a lot of knowledge about IUDs and who doesn't downplay pain before considering it, but it can be a great choice


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 5 - 8 yr
30 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  26th Jul 23

Paragard IUD  

Was great for first three years, inserted 6 weeks post partum after 4th child, however 1 year in and I noticed alopecia had begun but didnt progress further than two small patches of hair loss in back of hair line. 2 years in underwent a lot of stress and lost a lot of weight. Gained it back in covid. 4 -5 years in could not shed 1kg despite everything. Resistance training, cardio, macro tracking, eating for my cycle. Begun experiencing debilitating pain in hips and groin especially during intercourse. Anxiety and symptoms of PMDD seeped in, becoming intense every month throughout luteal phase. Periods were getting heavier and heavier, datigue before and during period was so severe i was missing shifts at work and nearly lost my job. Duration started at 7-10 days then slowed to 5/6 days with spotting for 3-4 days. Started to experience menses symptoms during ovulation including spotting, cramping, swelling, cravings and mood swings. Gynecologist highly recommended removal after debilitating pain, nausea, dizziness and headaches. Possibly anaemic due to blood loss. Overall, great for first 1-3 years. Then bad, very bad. My paraguard should have been left in another 5 years. Personally my moods shifted that quick, there was no way i could do even another month of it! I believe it should have been changed regardless of my symptoms at that time frame. Gynecologist prescribed mini pill (microlut in Australia to be exact) 30mcg of levenorgestrel. Started it day 5/6 of cycle (period just finishing) so far, tiny bit of left over spotting from period, slight tenderness in breasts, slight bloating and cramping. I am mostly oestrogen dominant, with very big noticeable fluctuations in my luteal phase, hoping the small increase of progesterone will help the cravings and severe 3-5kg fluid retention at the time. Dont see dr for another 4 months. Currently needing cortisone (steroid) injections for inflammation in my hips from copper, hair slightly growing back in bald spots. I urge anyone getting this device or if you already have it in, research further. My body is a freaking mess as it begun to wreck havoc on my body. All signs and symptoms of copper toxicity, plus copper binds to oestrogen so i believe my rising fluctuating levels of oestrogen in the luteal phase were exacerbated by the iud.


Very negative mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 8+ yr
45 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  21st Jul 23

Paragard IUD  

I’m in perimenopause so it’s difficult to know if the coil has changed my periods, as they have naturally changed a lot in the last three years. I don’t think they are heavier because of the coil and have never had bad cramps while using it. Would definitely recommend


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 1 - 3 mo
23 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Jul 23

Paragard IUD  

Honestly I am very happy. I was on the pill and it did not agree with me. I gained weight, cried all the time, had huge breasts. Now I am on the IUD and I am so happy. It hurts for the first three days then nothing.


Very positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Copper IUD  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
27 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  17th Jul 23

Paragard IUD  

Personally, I didn't experience any side effects other than 2 years after getting the IUD put in, when my periods got really heavy. I then had it taken out and my periods went back to normal almost instantly. I experienced 2 days of light spotting after having it taken out.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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