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IUDs to get some competition - meet the IUB

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July 31, 2012

The Intra Uterine Ball, or IUB, is said to offer advantages over traditional intrauterine ...

The Intra Uterine Ball, or IUB, is said to offer advantages over traditional intrauterine devices

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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 Intra Uterine Ball, as it sits within the uterus

The Intra Uterine Ball, as it sits within 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

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
3 Comments

Very nice....

This is still an IUD.. "Intra-Uterine Device"

Call it by any other name you like, it is Just a slightly different form factor to the hundreds of IUD's already in existence.... So are they going to patent this, oops already have.... (in the story, use of the word 'most' implies not all.... indicating that the story is just some cheap advertising for some organisation, who had twigged the form factor a little.)

And how is "memory alloy" any safer than (essentially) "Memory plastic" as is currently used in many IUD's.

If that little ball on the end of the "Memory wire" comes off there is a sharp end which may cause damage.... It may never have happened but the TEN clinical trial(ist)s is hardly an extensive trial......

Same stuff different bucket.... (likely it also works in exactly the same manner as various existing devices.)

MD
31st July, 2012 @ 11:23 pm PDT

I'm curious, why copper?

Billy Brooks
1st August, 2012 @ 10:18 pm PDT

Billy- Copper kills the sperm much like it kills most organisims it comes into contact with even bacteria.

AKreader
2nd August, 2012 @ 08:08 am PDT
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