Copper IUD causing acne?

Charlottesville, VA

#21 Mar 19, 2009
OMG!! I am 32 and have had the IUD for a year. Everything was normal for me, and I was so excited about not taking any hormones because they make me CRAZY! But, here lately I brake out on my back, shoulders and chin..It is so embarrassing. The bumps are big and they hurt like hell. I am going to call my obgyn and see what she says. Plus stressing about the zits is not helping clear my face up one bit. I am glad I am not the only one having these problems. Any one out there that had it taken out has your face cleared up?
Raquel wrote:
I have had bad breakouts with the copper iud, it did not start right away. Finally I went to a dermatologist and besides antibiotics and oinments
I started taking Zinc. I am going to be 31 this month so i am planning to take it out unless there
is a real turn around with my skin and go back on the pill. I was so excited to not be on hormones but Dr's are not honest and I am feeling like the copper is worse than hormones and I am not about to have acne at this age. I am disgusted not to mention the 7 day+ Hemorrhage style periods after 7 months.
Latarsha Flowers

Raleigh, NC

#22 Apr 2, 2009
Oh my goodness... I thought I was the only one experiencing this. I have the Paraguard for two months now and my face is going crazy. Breakouts all the time and not to mention my cycle on for at less 10 days. I have went to the dermatologist and from taking a water pill to topical cream to a cleanser nothing is working. However, I don want to take it out because I am not sure if I want to have more kids. I am 32 years old and some days my husband and do want more and some days we dont. HELP!!!

Easthampton, MA

#23 Apr 6, 2009
I have had the copper IUD for almost four months, and my face,back,neck,chest,and hair line are broken out really i went to my gyno to get it removed and they refused to remove it and they argued with me saying that is not the reason i'm having now i have to find someone to remove it.thats not legal is it?

South Africa

#25 Apr 16, 2009
I had the copper IUD put in five months ago and have noticed my skin has stubborn acne now. I notice that some of you have the same story. I am wondering, however, whether the breakouts some people are having are from having gone off the pill (or some other hormonal contraception) immediately before putting in the copper IUD.
If you go off the pill and are prone to acne, your skin WILL explode in 2-3 months because it is no longer getting the hormones it is used to! I have had this happen a number of times when I went off the pill. I cleared my skin by megadosing on B5. It really works though I am not sure about long term side effects. At the moment, though, nothing much seems to help with this acne I have on my chin. I was not on the pill before the copper IUD so I can't blame it on coming off the pill. I read that copper amplifies prostaglandin pge2 which is linked to hormonal acne (pge2 is pro-inflammatory and pro-spasmodic in the uterus, and maybe elsewhere?). This may be why copper can lead to acne.
I am thinking about having my IUD out soon. ie. tomorrow!
samantha wrote:
I've had the Paraguard for about 6 months or so and I'm experiencing the worst acne i've ever had in my life. I'm going to see a derm this week about accutane and then i'm getting the iud removed. it's a shame because otherwise i like having it and i hated taking the pill, but i can't stand the constant onslaught of acne day in and day out. i'm glad other people are experiencing this too - for awhile i wasn't sure it was the iud but now i'm certain.

Albuquerque, NM

#26 Apr 21, 2009
I have been reading and reading all these posts by women who have bad acne problems with their Copper IUD. Forehead, jawline, hairline, neck, back. We are not crazy here if we are all experiencing the same acne!
However, there doesn't seem to be any breakthrough or treatment that fixes this. The only option seems to be to take the thing out.
I have been taking zinc supplements to balance the copper. But I have been doing that for 3 months and nothing has changed. I can't take hormonal birth control because I have clot problems. This is my only option besides condoms and abstinence! Totally sucks!
And of course my OBGYN said - Oh, there doesn't seem to be anything about acne in the literature. So no help there.
Acne sucks. But blood clots suck even more. So I guess I am stuck looking like a pimply teenager.

New Delhi, India

#27 Apr 27, 2009
Ladies, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I'm in my late 30s & have never had menstrual cramping or skin problems. I got an IUD a few months back and hated it from the moment it was inserted... constant cramping, inexplicable bleeding every couple of weeks, etc. etc.

I was undecided about what to do but my Gyn kept telling me "discomfort" early on was normal & encouraged me to "hang in there". Then one night, a ProActive commercial came on TV. And I finally had my "AHA! moment"... I started counting back to when my skin problems started and sure enough - it was the same time I got the IUD inserted. Between the bad skin and the pain, I knew it was time to start doing some more research.

And that's when I Googled the words "IUD acne" and came across this website. That was a Friday night. I had the IUD removed 3 days later, on Monday. A week later now... and my skin has DRASTICALLY improved. All the bumps are completely gone. And I haven't had a single cramp since it was taken out.

There may not have been any clinical trials linking IUDs with skin problems, but all you ladies gave me the courage to ignore the "lack of evidence" & listen to my body. So a BIG thank you to everyone who posted!

PS: I won't lie, removal was painful... but oh so worth it!

Virginia Beach, VA

#28 Apr 29, 2009
I have been fighting this "adult acne" for 7 years since I went off the pill. Never had an acne problem before the iud. I'm 44 now and have had the copper iud in place since then. I CANNOT believe that all these years of suffering w/ acne may have been the results of having the iud in place. I have tried every acne remedy and medication. I've been to dermatologists, had facials, changed my diet, perused every acne article written for a cure. Nothing, nothing has worked. I am planning to have this copper thing extracted from my body at the end of May. I'll let you know if things improve. I'm so glad I found this site!

Canton, MI

#29 May 5, 2009
I've had the iud for 3 months now. I am 22 and have never had acne, even as a teenager. I first start gettin huge painfull pimples on my chest that left horrible marks. And then my face. I tried facials, washing 3-4 times per day. Nothing is working. I called my primary care physician to get a referal for a dermatologist. This is rediculus. I have also been bleeding nonstop for 3 months. And not just spoting, I have to wear a tampon and panty liner. I can't really use birthcontrol pills without horrible side effects. my husband wont get a vasectomy either. I don't know what the heck to do.

Warwick, NY

#30 May 6, 2009
I'm 26 and seriously considering the IUD. I can't take BCPs anymore and have a latex allergy so.. here we are. My chime in here comes from a gal who has been battling adult cystic acne for the past 4-5 years. I had picture-perfect skin until around 21, and finally at 22 I went to the dermatologist wondering what the hell was wrong. He goes, "it's acne, stupid". Term of enderement, I knew him well. Well, since then it's been a soul- and liver-crushing battle and after epic fail from 3 rounds of Accutane (with PERMINANT effects) I just have to chime in and say, it absolutely seems like the copper is an acne trigger but don't rule out unfortuante fate.

In 4 years I've ruled in and ruled out everything under the sun when it comes to the acne. Foods, detergents, dyes, artifical flavors, fabrics, perfumes, you name it. The fact is, I STILL have acne. You can attribute acne to anything, and most of the time you are correct (ie, your copper IUD is triggering it). Sometimes it really is that you're walking around with an unfortunate set hormones.

Easthampton, MA

#31 May 8, 2009
I had my IUD removed May 2. I feel alittle different meaning acne and weight. I feel 5lbs lighter. I will post back in a couple of weeks if I see more changes.
irked to the max

Trinidad and Tobago

#32 May 12, 2009
ok guys thats enough for me. i didnt even continue to scroll down and read the others comments im thoroughly convined that my once envied skin is ful of acne b/c of this copper iud. i dont know what to do i have 4 kids my husband loves sex(what guy doesnt)and having an iud was making my life soo much better i thought . i didnt have the fear of being pregnant now im totally lost b/c i dont want hormones in my body and tying my tubes are too expensive. im just going to cry !!!!!!!!!!aaaaaaaaaaaahhh!

South Africa

#33 May 18, 2009
dear all.
this thread began a while back but i just want to add my story. the copper iud CAN definitely cause acne, no matter what your doctor tells you. i had awful acne from it. had it taken out three weeks back and my skin is already clearing, there is a HUGE improvement. in fact i have NO new pimples, only the old ones which were caused by excess copper and are taking a long time to heal. yup, one of the problems is that copper is an antagonist to zinc and thus too much copper leads to slow wound healing. excess copper acts as an oxidant (rather than an anti-oxidant), it can disrupt hormones, delay wound healing, and cause inflammatory break outs of the skin if you have a sensitivity to excess copper (too much copper has also been linked to other, more serious conditions, such as the growth of tumours). i am trying to keep to a low copper diet while the excess copper is being eliminated from my body (which will apparently take about two months). am also taking very high doses of zinc (2x15mg 3 times a day with vitamin C), which is helping a lot. be careful that your vitamin supplement does not contain copper.
the moral of the story is that if you think your acne is from your copper iud, it probably is. don't listen to medical professionals who will tell you otherwise. have it taken out, unless, of course you can put up with the acne!
Meg wrote:
Ever since I had a the copper IUD (Paragard) put in 10 months ago I have acne like I've never experienced. I now get huge, painful zits on my chest and back (I have never in my life had any problems with this kind of acne) and my face is constantly broken-out. From what little reading I've done on the internet it sounds like this could be a side-effect of having perhaps too much copper in my system from the IUD, since copper negatively affects Zinc levels and Zinc has been shown to have a positive effect on acne. Has anyone else experienced this with the copper IUD?

South Africa

#34 May 18, 2009
For birth control. Try the pill called Yasmin, I had good results for skin etc on that. And it actually improved my mood, though maybe not like that for everyone. am considering going on it again. there is something a bit unnatural about BCP, but it does have some benefits eg. bigger boobs! and it protects against osteoporosis and some cancers. Otherwise try the calender method (avoid sex without condoms during your fertile days). Alternatively, tell your husband to get a vasectomy. Seriously, there is this great T-shirt that says "Don't like abortion? Have a vasectomy."
Courtney wrote:
I've had the iud for 3 months now. I am 22 and have never had acne, even as a teenager. I first start gettin huge painfull pimples on my chest that left horrible marks. And then my face. I tried facials, washing 3-4 times per day. Nothing is working. I called my primary care physician to get a referal for a dermatologist. This is rediculus. I have also been bleeding nonstop for 3 months. And not just spoting, I have to wear a tampon and panty liner. I can't really use birthcontrol pills without horrible side effects. my husband wont get a vasectomy either. I don't know what the heck to do.

San Nicolás De Los Garza, Mexico

#35 May 22, 2009
I knew it!!! I had the NOVA T (contains copper and silver) put in about four years ago and very soon after I starting getting acne - on my face, chest, and my back!

Since then, I've tried everything: facials, products, dermatologists, meds, etc. Antibiotics did help, but you can't take them forever as you build up tolerance.

I am seriously considering Accutane, but don't want to because of the side effects, so I'm just going to get this thing taken out and see if that helps first.

I'll update in a month or so...

Oxford, UK

#36 Jun 7, 2009
OMG i have also started developing acne all around my chin and jaw line since having the copper coil fitted!
i am going to have it removed tomorrow!

Spring, TX

#37 Jul 3, 2009
I'm glad I read this, I have the Mirena and even though I have light periods my acne is horrible. I'm getting it out today after six months. The doctor told me to try acne meds. but it has been useless. I'll probably let my body rest a little and then go back to the Ortho Evra patch.

Westbury, UK

#38 Jul 5, 2009
hello again

i had the copper coil removed 4weeks ago and my skin has slowly improved i am back to using condoms now but at least i do not have the skin of a teenager!!

Kalmar, Sweden

#39 Jul 22, 2009
take out the mirena! if you're already getting acne symptoms right when you get it in, they will only get worse (at least that is my experience). i just had mine removed and am going to try the copper IUD (despite all the negative comments), and will take a zinc vitamin daily with it. here's hoping...

San Nicolás De Los Garza, Mexico

#40 Jul 22, 2009
Okay, so it's been nearly two months since I got it taken out and there has been a HUGE improvement...

After the first week, the acne on my back and chest started to clear up and it's gone now. I can wear summer shirts and dresses that show my back again! My face also slowly got better.

I had to wait about three weeks after for my period to come so that I could start Yasmin, a birth control pill, and after being on that for a month my face is really cleared up - no new acne!

Now all I'm worried about is clearing up the red marks left over on my face - I'm using a cleanser and facial cream with high level of glycolic acid and it's working.

In summary, I'm SO GLAD I had it taken out. As soon as the red marks fade away I'll have the same skin I did four years ago before the cooper IUD. I can't wait!!!

Listen to your body and not the doctors who say the IUD can't possibly cause acne. FYI: The doctor who removed mine said that there IS an "indirect link between the IUD and acne in some women". Tell me about it!!!

P.S. If you have any questions, feel free to write them to me here - this board sends an email to me when someone posts - and I'll answer you here.

Montgomery, AL

#41 Jul 28, 2009
Wow! I searched copper IUD and acne and got to this site...the reason I searched those words is becuase that's what happened to me almost 10 years ago when I got my copper IUD. It was awful, I went 10 mos with severe acne before having it removed. Took about another 6 mos to go back to normal. Now here I am almost 10 years later and for some reason my new insurance won't cover Nuvaring which is what I've been using since 2002 :( So, I started to think maybe all that acne was due to natural hormonal changes (going into my 30's then) vs. the IUD and that maybe I'd try again but not after reading all your stories - so sorry girls!

FYI - I had the Mirena before I go the copper IUD and had lots of pain and almost constant period for 6 mos :( Basically anytime I had sex I got my period and normal periods were longer with some "spotting" (significantly more than spotting IMO) inbetween...sigh! So much for IUD convenience!!!!

Also, supplementing zinc didn't help my acne while on the copper IUD.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Birth Control Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
After effects of Mirena Removed (Feb '10) 19 hr Latoya p 1,717
can`t find iud threads (Sep '06) Wed Jessica 212
copper iud weight gain (Aug '07) Tue Donna 3,646
HELP! weight gain after IUD removed....and more... (Feb '08) Dec 7 Yomama 58
copper iud (Jul '06) Dec 6 Me --copper iud 660
Someone please help me. Birth Control Question Dec 6 Rebecca1223 1
Got nexplanon on 11/21, had unprotected sex on ... Dec 4 Happily true 1
More from around the web