Questions & Answers

Here you will find all answers to frequently asked questions about the IUB™ Ballerine®.  The following information does not replace the patient information leaflet, which entails important details about what to consider when using this medical device, in what circumstances it must not be used and which side effects can occur.

Hormone free high-tech-contraception for 5 years

The IUB™ copper pearls are a birth control method that requires no hormones and is effective for up to 5 years. The IUB™ works along the same principle as other intrauterine devices and prevents pregnancy locally - within the uterus. The contraceptive effect comes mainly from the copper.

The IUB™ copper pearls consist of a special shape memory alloy, which has been successfully used in medicine for a long time, e.g. in implants and stents. Several copper pearls are strung on a uterus friendly frame, coated with polymer.

The IUB™ does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The efficacy of the IUB™ copper pearls is comparable with oral contraceptives, the pill, when used correctly. However, no birth control method is 100% effective. For detailed information about the IUB™ please download the patient information leaflet.

As soon as the IUB™ is placed in your uterus, it starts releasing small amounts of copper into your uterus to provide continuous birth control for up to 5 years.

The method of action is similar to standard copper intrauterine devices. The copper ions released probably:

  • interfere with the process of fertilization in the uterus 
  • limit the sperm mobility
  • prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg
  • prevent the egg from attaching (implanting) in the uterus

The amount of copper released from the copper pearls is minimal - the average quantity of copper ingested with a normal diet is much higher than the quantity inserted to the body through the copper pearls.

During sexual intercourse you and your partner cannot feel the IUB™ when inserted correctly. From time to time the removal strings may be considered to be disturbing - your health care provider can shorten them.

The hormone free IUB™ is placed in your uterus during an office visit after an individual consultation by your health care provider. Your health care provider first examines you to find the position of your uterus. After measuring your uterus, the IUB™ can be carefully inserted with a tube containing the IUB™ copper pearls. If women have not been pregnant yet, it can happen that the cervix needs to be stretched a little bit before inserting the IUB™ copper pearls. 

The tube is removed and the IUB™ remains inside your uterus where it finds its ideal position and becomes active immediately. The correct position of the IUB™ can be checked with ultrasound examination. Two threads extend into your vagina.

The best time for the placement is the last days of your menstruation when the cervix is open wide enough and the possibility of a pregnancy is the lowest. 4-12 weeks after the placement a check up examination should be done. After that a yearly check-up with your health care provider is recommended.

The placement of the IUB™ can be painful when the cervix is very tight. In this case a local anesthetic or the use of medicine that relax the muscles of the cervix are recommended. If you are pain sensitive, you can ask your health care provider for a local anaesthesia or a preventive pain-killing treatment.

Immediately after the insertion menstruational complaints can occur. No grounds for worry - the uterus needs time to adapt to the new situation. The pain usually subsides quickly. Should the pain continue, please consult your doctor or contact him/her immediately to clarify the situation.

After placement of the IUB™ heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods can occur - most of these side effects diminish after 2-3 months. After your uterus gets used to the IUB™ copper pearls these side effects occur less frequently. Very occasionally the placement can cause a short fainting similar like when giving blood - without any further serious complications.

Rarely, the IUB™ goes through the wall of the uterus, especially during placement. This is called perforation. If the IUB™ perforates the uterus, it should be removed. Surgery may be needed. If the IUB™ perforates the uterus, you are not protected from pregnancy. 

The IUB™ may partially or completely fall out of the uterus. This is called expulsion. Young women and women who have never been pregnant may be more likely to expel the IUB™ than women over 20 and women who have been pregnant before. If you can feel the threads outside of your vagina visit your doctor for a check-up.

If you have questions about a side effect, check with your health care provider.

If you are looking for long term, hormone free, reversible pregnancy protection please talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you are a candidate for the IUB™.

You should not use the IUB™ if you:

  • might be pregnant
  • have an abnormally shaped uterus
  • have a pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or have current behavior that puts you at high risk of PID (e.g. frequently changing sex partners)
  • have had an infection in your uterus after a pregnancy or abortion in the past 3 months
  • have cancer of the uterus or cervix
  • have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • have an infection in your cervix
  • have Wilson’s disease (a disorder in how the body handles copper)
  • are allergic to any material that is used in the IUB™
  • already have an intrauterine contraceptive in your uterus

Please refer to the patient information leaflet for additional information.

The first couple of menstruations after insertion can occur stronger than usual, the uterus needs time to adapt to the new situation. This side effect usually subsides and the IUB is expected to have limited influence on your menstruational bleeding after that.

The IUB™ can be used together with menstrual cups or vaginal tampons without problems.



Fertility should be restored immediately after removal.

No. Please contact your health care provider for removal.

The IUB is currently available in


IUB, OCON and the OCON and IUB logos are trademarks of OCON Medical Ltd.
Ballerine and Sphera are registered trademarks of OCON Medical Ltd.
OCON products are not yet approved for sale in the United States.
IUB Ballerine MAXI: CE mark pending. Copyright OCON Medical Ltd., d/b/a OCON Healthcare.