Historical information

Copper intrauterine devices (IUDs), first marketed in the early 1970s, represent an important contraceptive option for 150 million women worldwide. The method is safe, rapidly reversible, inexpensive, highly effective, long-acting (up to 20 years for some products [1]), and non-hormonal; these attributes make it unique and desirable for many users. However, increased bleeding and pain cause up to 15% of users to have the device removed within the first year [2]; still higher percentages tolerate some level of these side effects yet retain use of the method. In one study, 67% of women using the TCu380A complained about menstrual side effects within the first year of use [3]. (Hubacher et al, 'Side effects from the copper IUD: do they decrease over time?', 2009)


This is one of a collection of items received from the practice of Dr Lachlan Hardy-Wilson, FRCOG, Launceston, Tasmania.

Physical description

Sealed Gravigard IUD in original box. IUD and inserter are sealed inside a sterile plastic pocket. The box is made of cardboard and has an orange top panel with white sides. Text printed on the front of the box reads '1 Sterile Pack/Gravigard*/contraceptive/copper/contraceptive/FRAGILE/Do not bend or crush/SEARLE'. Text printed on side of box reads 'Made in England Supplied by Searle Laboratories, Division of Searle Australia Pty. Ltd., Sydney, Australia'.