Many women use a copper IUD as a form of birth control. And without question is can be very effective in preventing a woman from becoming pregnant. While one can also choose to get an IUD that uses hormones, for many women the thought of a copper IUD sounds like it would cause less problems. The way it helps to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant is that the copper is spermicidal.

This device needs to be inserted by an experienced healthcare provider. A gynecologist will commonly insert an IUD, and once inserted, it can continue functioning for many years. Although an IUD can be inserted at any time, the best time to do this is after menstruation. The reason for this is because during this time the cervix is the softest.

Although the IUD with hormones does have some risks, there are also some risks associated with the copper IUD. Some of the more common side effects are an increase in menstrual bleeding, as well as cramps. But sometimes more severe problems can occur, such as perforation of the uterus. Even though this rarely happens, sometimes it does happen upon insertion of the IUD. There is also the possibility of the woman having a pelvic infection with a copper IUD. Expulsion of the IUD is another risk, although once again this is rare.

The Thyroid Gland Is Very Sensitive To Copper

One of the biggest long term problems of having a copper IUD is that it can affect the copper metabolism, and eventually cause a copper toxicity issue. It might take years for this to happen, but it’s something that every woman with a copper IUD needs to be aware of. Having a copper toxicity problem can affect the thyroid gland, and according to Dr. Larry Wilson, who is an expert when it comes to nutritional balancing, a copper toxicity problem can be one of the primary problems when it comes to Graves’ Disease.

So does this mean that everyone with a copper IUD will develop an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Graves’ Disease? Of course not, as many women have a copper IUD and seem to do fine. Some do experience one or more of the side effects I listed above, but of course not every woman with a copper IUD is at risk of developing Graves’ Disease or any other autoimmune condition. However, if a woman has a genetic marker for Graves’ Disease, then it is possible that a copper toxicity problem which is caused by the copper IUD can trigger the autoimmune response. Of course other factors can do this too, but I think any woman with a copper IUD should take a few precautions.

Steps You Should Take If You Have A Copper IUD

First of all, it’s a good idea to get your copper levels tested regularly. While it’s fine to get these levels tested through the blood, I also would recommend a hair mineral analysis. The reason is because this looks at the minerals on a cellular level, and can usually detect problems before they become apparent on the blood test. The downside is that such a test can be confusing to read, and one can’t just look at the levels of copper alone on this test to determine if one has a copper toxicity problem, as some of the other minerals need to be looked at. For example, if someone has high copper levels, they almost always will have low zinc levels. There can be other indicators on the hair mineral analysis as well.

Anyone who has a copper IUD needs to make sure their adrenals are working properly. The reason for this is because the adrenal glands are important when it comes to copper metabolism, and so if someone has a copper IUD and weak adrenal glands, then this will increase the chances of developing a copper toxicity problem. Many people have compromised adrenal glands, and a lot of this is due to eating too many refined foods and sugars, dealing with a good amount of stress on a daily basis, and/or not getting sufficient sleep. There are other factors which can lead to problems with the adrenal glands, but these are perhaps the three main factors.

It’s also a good idea for any woman who has a copper IUD to make sure they are getting enough zinc through the foods they eat. And they might even want to take a zinc supplement, although you do need to be careful, as taking high dosages of zinc (or any other mineral) for a long period of time can cause imbalances of the other minerals. This is yet another reason why testing on a regular basis is a good idea.

Finally, any woman who has a copper IUD will want to be careful about not eating too many copper based foods. Some of these foods include beans, avocados, nuts and seeds, and chocolate. I’m not suggesting that you need to avoid these foods on a permanent basis, but you definitely want to be careful and try not eating too many of these foods. If you are taking any nutritional supplements you also want to be careful and make sure there aren’t high amounts of copper in any of them.

For any woman with a copper IUD, I hope this article has given you some valuable information to help prevent a copper toxicity problem from happening, and perhaps will reduce the chances of developing Graves’ Disease, or any other autoimmune condition. If you already have Graves’ Disease and also have a copper IUD, then you might want to consider removing it after reading this information. If not, then at the very least I would recommend getting tested to see if you have a copper toxicity problem, and if so, make sure you do some of the other things I mentioned, such as focusing on your adrenal health and perhaps supplementing with zinc.

Can Having A Copper IUD Cause Graves Disease? by Dr. Eric Osansky