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

Two sealed Gravigard IUDs. IUD and inserter are sealed inside a sterile plastic pocket. Manufacturer information is printed on a cardboard insert which holds each IUD inside the pocket.