Everything you need to know about Ballerine IUB

Move over IUD - there’s a new sheriff in town!

Ballerine IUB is the flashy new form of contraception that has recently found itself the hot topic on the lips of everyone we know – and it seems that people just can’t stop talking about the little spherical bundle of joy.
We’ve had so many questions on this exciting new product that we wanted to take the time to answer all of your burning questions, so here’s everything you need to know about The Ballerine IUB, and more! 

What is the Ballerine IUB?

ballerine iub contraception
The Ballerine IUB is a hormone-free IUB that’s inserted into your uterus. It has a unique design consisting of 17 copper pearls which form a spherical shape  – and it’s half the size of the traditional intrauterine devices (15mm in diameter) (you know what they say about the best things coming in the smallest packages).

The frame is coated with polyethylene terephthalate and because of the material used, it allows it to find its ideal position and fit cosily in your uterus to minimize risk of damage and irritation.

How does the Ballerine IUB work?

The IUB works by releasing small amounts of copper to provide birth control for up to 5 years with a protection rate of 99%. It follows similar methods to standard copper IUDs, which achieve their contraceptive effect by interfering with sperm motility and egg fertilization. Tragic, these millennial sperms can’t even handle 15mm of metal. 

How is the Ballerine IUB inserted?

Before you can get IUB fitted, you must attend an individual consolation with your healthcare provider in which they must examine you to find the position of your uterus (we normally prefer a coffee and a cake on a first meeting, but anything for science). Once that’s out the way, the IUB can be inserted through a small tube, which is then removed and the IUB stays inside your uterus and is active immediately after insertion. 

Two threads made of Polypropylene are attached to the end of the frame which extend into your vagina but will be trimmed by your healthcare provider for maximum comfort. It is recommended that the best time to get your IUB inserted is the last 2 days of your menstruation when the cervix is naturally more open, and chance of pregnancy is low. 

Some things that might be good to know when considering this as an option is that if your cervix is especially tight, the insertion of the IUB may be painful. If you’re really not good with pain, no need to worry as local anaesthetic or other prevention pain-reducing treatments should be available during placement. 

Side effects immediately or a few minutes after insertion may be: cramping, menstrual type bleeding, feeling faint, nausea and dizziness but these should subside quickly. 

How is the Ballerine IUB removed?

The intricate design supports two removal strings that allow the nurse to pull it out of the vagina. The IUB should only be removed by a healthcare professional and is done by pulling the removal threads. 

Ballerine IUB VS T-shaped Copper Coil

Now it is all well and good listing what this fancy new IUB can do, but the creators of the Ballerine IUB wanted to come through with the receipts.  To demonstrate how the IUB differs from traditional IUD’s they conducted a study that presented a comparison between IUB Ballerine and the T-shaped Copper Coil, in which they measured both performance and quality. Other measures included bleeding period, bleeding intensity, pain and cramps and general description of menstruation.

The results found that there were no big differences in expulsion or pregnancy rate between the IUB and IUD, as well as no major differences in the bleeding period, bleeding intensity and description of menstruation. However, the significant advantage for IUB was that participants found both period pain and cramps had lessened by 10% after being on IUB. 

Pros and Cons of the Ballerine IUB

Pros

  • Does not affect libido
  • Is a non hormonal coil
  • Has no influence on weight gain 
  • Has no influence on Ovulation
  • Offers high efficacy 
  • Is an alternative to permeant sterilization
  • Suitable for young women that have not yet been pregnant  

Cons

  • Heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods can occur – normally for up to 2-3 months
  • In some instances the IUB can go through the wall of the uterus meaning you are no longer protected from pregnancy
  • Expulsion: the IUB may partially or completely fall out of the uterus
  • Sometimes difficult removals can occur
  • Could cause pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Does not protect against HIV or STI’s

Why Should I use the IUB?

You might choose the IUB if you’re looking for:  

  • Birth control that is very effective
  • Birth control that stops working when you stop using it
  • Birth control that is easy to use
  • To avoid using synthetic hormones for contraception

Why shouldn’t I use 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 behaviour that puts you at high risk of PID (for example, because you or your partner are having sexual intercourse with multiple 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 bleeding from your vagina
  • Have an infection in your cervix
  • Have Wilson’s disease (a disorder in how the body handles copper)
  • Are allergic to any of the IUB™’s materials. (copper, nickel, titanium, PET, polypropylene) 
  • Already have an intrauterine contraceptive in your uterus.

Where can I get the IUB?

IUB Ballerine was officially approved by the NHS on 1st September 2019, and is available in UK, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Israel, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. 

In the UK, only very few surgeries are currently offering it as a form of contraception. We’ve compiled a list of all the surgeries offering it to make finding this out easy.

The makers of the IUB were working hard on spreading the word and training the medical community with the goal of it soon being an option as a form of contraception in every GPs surgery across the country. The IUB was on course to be properly rolled out in January of this year, but unfortunately, the spread of Covid19 has grounded everything to a halt and we are unsure of when this IUB will be accessible to us all. Sorry guys! 
For our friends across the pond, there have been some developments about the US market recently and it looks like it’ll be available there in the next four years.

Now that you all know the ins and the outs (sorry we couldn’t resist) of The Ballerine IUB you might be thinking this is the perfect option for you, but if the thought of it is giving you shivers, there are plenty more options around including the Natural Cycles app and hormonal coil.

When it comes to choosing contraception, it’s about finding the perfect one for you, which can sometimes mean having to try a few options before you find one that gets the thumbs up, but trust us when we say – it’s worth the wait!

This guide was brought to you by The Lowdown. We are the world’s first contraception review platform, providing real-life experiences from thousands of reviews collected from our community of men and women.

Why not leave us a review of your contraceptive experience? Whether you’ve got good things to say about the Mirena coil or had trouble with implant removal, we want to hear about it! Tell us about your experience and help people around the world find the right method for them.