Copper Iud And Yeast Infections: What You Need To Know

Contraception choices Family Planning NSW
Contraception choices Family Planning NSW from

The Rise in Copper IUD Usage

In recent years, the popularity of copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) as a highly effective and long-lasting form of contraception has been on the rise. Copper IUDs are known for their ability to prevent pregnancy by releasing copper ions that are toxic to sperm, thereby impairing their ability to fertilize an egg. While these devices are generally safe and well-tolerated by most women, there have been reports of an association between copper IUD usage and an increased risk of yeast infections.

Understanding Yeast Infections

Yeast infections, also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis, are caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus that naturally resides in the vagina. Common symptoms include itching, burning, redness, and a thick, white discharge. Although yeast infections can affect women of all ages, certain factors such as hormonal changes, weakened immune system, and the use of certain medications can increase the risk.

The Link Between Copper IUDs and Yeast Infections

While the exact mechanism behind the association between copper IUDs and yeast infections is not fully understood, it is believed to be related to the antimicrobial properties of copper. Copper ions have been shown to disrupt the delicate balance of the vaginal microbiome, potentially leading to an overgrowth of Candida. Additionally, the presence of a foreign body like an IUD can create an environment that is more conducive to the growth of yeast.

Research Findings

A number of studies have investigated the relationship between copper IUD usage and yeast infections. One study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who used copper IUDs had a higher incidence of recurrent yeast infections compared to those who used other forms of contraception. However, it is important to note that not all studies have found a significant association, and more research is needed to fully understand the extent of the link.

Minimizing the Risk

If you are considering getting a copper IUD or already have one and are concerned about the potential risk of yeast infections, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood:

1. Maintain Good Hygiene

Keeping the genital area clean and dry can help prevent the overgrowth of yeast. Avoid using harsh soaps or douches, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.

2. Wear Breathable Underwear

Opt for cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing, as they can create a warm and moist environment that promotes the growth of yeast.

3. Probiotics

Adding probiotic-rich foods like yogurt to your diet can help promote a healthy vaginal microbiome and reduce the risk of yeast infections.

4. Consult with Your Healthcare Provider

If you are experiencing recurrent yeast infections or have concerns about your copper IUD, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice and recommend appropriate treatment options.


While there may be a potential link between copper IUD usage and yeast infections, it is important to remember that every woman’s experience is unique. If you are considering a copper IUD, weigh the benefits against the potential risks and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. By staying informed and taking preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of yeast infections and enjoy the long-lasting contraceptive benefits of a copper IUD.