IUD (intrauterine device)

Pregnancy prevention for up to ten years, remove at any time


Home      Services      Women’s health      Intrauterine device (IUD)

An effective, long-acting and reversible family planning method

The IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is placed in a woman’s womb and provides protection from unintended pregnancies for up to ten years.

Made from plastic and copper, the IUD is a long-term method that has the advantage that, once in place, you don’t need to think about it until it needs replacing and it does not interrupt sex.


99%. If one hundred women used the IUD for a year, 99 would not fall pregnant during that time.


At the Family Health Clinic in Dili and through outreach teams in the municipalities where we work.


Free through outreach, and at a small cost at the Family Health Clinic.

Call the Family Health Clinic on 3322 841 for more information on price.

Advantages of an IUD

The IUD offers advantages as a long-acting, reversible method of family planning.

  • Easily inserted by a trained Marie Stopes provider.
  • Can last up to 10 years.
  • Easy to use – nothing to remember after insertion.
  • Can be easily removed.
  • Works as soon as it’s put in.
  • Fertility returns immediately after it’s removed.
  • Does not interrupt sex.

Things to consider

There are a few things to consider when choosing a non-hormonal IUD over other family planning methods:

  • The most common side effect of IUD is heavier, more uncomfortable or prolonged periods
  • The IUD may cause a slight increase in vaginal discharge but it does not cause a rise in infections as long as it is put in properly by a trained person
  • In very rare cases a woman’s body might reject the IUD and push it out
  • Unlike condoms, the IUD does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

If you are still unsure whether a non-hormonal IUD is right for you, take a look at our online contraception tool – Choice. The website uses a simple questionnaire to provide you with clear, tailored advice on your contraceptive options.

“The IUD is a great option for women who know they don’t want to be pregnant for a few years. Once in place, they do not need to think about it or do anything until it needs replacing or they want it removed.”

Service provider

Fitting an IUD

Inserting an IUD is a simple procedure that takes a few minutes.

A trained person inserts the IUD. The IUD sits in your womb and does not move from there. There are threads attached to the IUD which hang down into the vagina that assist with removal or if you or your provider want to check on the IUD. Do not pull on the threads as this is how the device is removed.

The IUD starts working as soon as it is put in and stops working as soon as it is taken out, at which point your normal fertility returns immediately.

IUD aftercare advice

If you have an IUD fitted, it will work straight away. When your IUD is fitted, you should plan a follow-up appointment after 6 weeks to have your IUD checked.

Once a month, after your period, gently insert a finger into your vagina during a bath or shower. The neck of your womb (cervix) feels a bit like the end of your nose, and you should be able to feel the threads of your IUD. If you can’t, please contact us or your doctor, and use condoms or abstain from sex until the presence of the IUD is confirmed.

Your partner should not be able to feel the threads during sex. If this happens, seek advice as above, as your threads might be too long.

Please contact us at any time if you have any aftercare concerns, or find out more if you’re looking to learn about removing an IUD.