The emergency IUD (intra-uterine device): this is the same as a regular IUD, and works by
releasing copper over time, which prevents pregnancy by thickening the cervical mucus and
thinning the uterine lining – making it harder for sperm to get to eggs. You can have the IUD
fitted up to 5 days after having unprotected sex for it to be effective. The IUD can be left in
after you’ve had it fitted for an emergency, and you can leave it in for 5-10 years (depending
on the type of IUD you have fitted) to continue being protected against unwanted pregnancies.