IUDs to get some competition - meet the IUB
By Ben Coxworth
July 31, 2012
If a woman wishes to avoid pregnancy for the time being, but thinks she might want to get pregnant at some point in the future, then using an intrauterine device (IUD) is often a good course of action – the simple devices are now the world’s most common form of birth control, as used by women. However, while IUDs are generally fairly safe and reliable, complications can occur. Now, Israel’s OCON Medical has announced the forthcoming availability of something that it claims is considerably safer and more effective – the Intra Uterine Ball, or IUB.
Most IUDs are two-dimensional T- or U-shaped devices. They are inserted into the uterus, where they can stay for up to ten years, preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg – they also make it difficult for fertilized eggs to adhere to the wall of the uterus, should any sperm slip past them. When the user decides to try for a baby, the IUD can simply be removed.
In some cases, however, the device can perforate the wall of the uterus, causing vaginal bleeding. It can also sometimes not position itself correctly upon insertion, or be expelled by the uterus.
The IUB is made from a shape memory alloy, threaded through a series of copper spheres. This alloy takes the form of a straight wire as it’s contained within its applicator, but curls into a three-dimensional ball (sort of) once inserted. This rounded shape results in no protruding points that could pierce the surrounding tissue, while reportedly also allowing it to sit more securely within the uterus. That ball is also capable of being compressed and then reverting to its previous shape, which OCON claims should allow it to be more adaptable within the body than conventional IUDs.
In clinical trials so far, ten European women have been fitted with the IUB, and they are said to have reported “high satisfaction” with the device. A trial involving another ten subjects is planned, with the company hoping to be able to initiate sales by the middle of next year.
The video below illustrates how the device works.
Source: OCON Medical