Contraception Reviews

Contraceptive gel vs Copper IUD

Contraceptive gel

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Copper IUD

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Overview

Rated 4.3

3 reviews

Before sex

Frequency

79% - 86%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.8

8 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

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

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Contraceptive gel reviews

3 reviews

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

  •  Still using

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!

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Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

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!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  11th Dec 23

  •  Stopped using

Phexxi works great — if you actually use it. Oops! My kid sister used Phexxi for about a year either by itself or along with condoms when she was ovulating. Then one time when she and her boyfriend were staying in my apartment for a family wedding, they picked me as the designated driver and the two of them had way too much to drink. They were all over each other in the car on the way home. Which was kind of cute but then when we got back to my place she wanted me to help her insert her birth control. I took her back to their bedroom and started getting her out of her clothes and I was like why don’t you just skip using it if you’re not in the middle of your cycle, and then she showed me her period tracker on her phone. Yep, not a good time to skip using protection, but still … She passed out while I was reading the instructions on the applicator, so I just was like whatever, I’m not doing this. I got off the rest of her clothes and woke her up and said I would tell her boyfriend she was ready. She didn’t even ask if I had inserted her Phexxi. The walls in my apartment are thin, so I heard the entire “discussion” when he couldn’t find their box of condoms. She was too drunk and horny to say no. She had no idea she was about to try to conceive. And yes, she became a mommy that night.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

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!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

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!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  11th Dec 23

  •  Stopped using

Phexxi works great — if you actually use it. Oops! My kid sister used Phexxi for about a year either by itself or along with condoms when she was ovulating. Then one time when she and her boyfriend were staying in my apartment for a family wedding, they picked me as the designated driver and the two of them had way too much to drink. They were all over each other in the car on the way home. Which was kind of cute but then when we got back to my place she wanted me to help her insert her birth control. I took her back to their bedroom and started getting her out of her clothes and I was like why don’t you just skip using it if you’re not in the middle of your cycle, and then she showed me her period tracker on her phone. Yep, not a good time to skip using protection, but still … She passed out while I was reading the instructions on the applicator, so I just was like whatever, I’m not doing this. I got off the rest of her clothes and woke her up and said I would tell her boyfriend she was ready. She didn’t even ask if I had inserted her Phexxi. The walls in my apartment are thin, so I heard the entire “discussion” when he couldn’t find their box of condoms. She was too drunk and horny to say no. She had no idea she was about to try to conceive. And yes, she became a mommy that night.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments


Copper IUD reviews

8 reviews

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

  •  Still using

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.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

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

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

  •  Still using

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.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

1 comments

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

  •  Still using

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.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

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

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

  •  Still using

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.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

1 comments

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

  •  Stopped using

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


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Stopped using

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.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

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

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

  •  Still using

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.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Stopped using

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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