My five years is up - but when does it really "stop working?"
I've had my UT-380 short copper IUD for almost exactly five years - this is like a "mini paragaurd," an IUD specifically made smaller so that they're less likely to expel (my first paragaurd expelled after 6 weeks). I was fortunate enough to get that IUD inserted in France, since they weren't available in the states at the time (I'm from the US, but have spent over 4 years living in Europe). This IUD is good for five years, instead of the 10 years of baby-free-time that the paragaurd gives you.
Now that my five years are up, I'm ready for my next IUD. It is absolutely the right birth control for me, so I have no hesitations getting a new one. The question is... do you think I should be extra careful when having sex in these days? I have a screening appointment for my next IUD in two weeks, and hopefully I can have the new IUD put in at my following period (about 6 weeks from now, if all goes well). But where do you think this "five years" or "ten years" thing comes from? Has anyone here ever gotten pregnant because they left their IUD in too long and the effectiveness wore out?
I've tried to do some research about this, but I'm not really coming up with any answers. If I became pregnant it wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing in the world to have a baby right now, but I really don't want to become pregnant while I still have an IUD in place.
I'm currently living in Amsterdam (Netherlands) so I won't have any troubles with cost or insurance. My only question/concern is if a similar mini-copper-iud is available in this country. I'm assuming it is.