Lippes Loop intrauterine contraceptive device


Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the University at Buffalo


Jack Lippes, MD, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences


Dr. Jack Lippes developed the first double-S intrauterine contraceptive device, the standard against which other IUDs came to be compared. As an obstetrician-gynecologist in the 1950s, Lippes fielded many complaints from patients dissatisfied with their limited options for birth control. The need for “something better,” as Lippes says, prompted him to research a new design for the intrauterine device. At that time in the United States, controversy surrounded IUDs’ safety and effectiveness. As Lippes embarked on his research, many discouraged him, calling it “radical” and warning him that he would be sued. And still he forged ahead, vigorously pursuing a more effective IUD design than what had been invented to that point. The result was the plastic double “S” loop—a trapezoidal-shaped IUD that closely fit the contours of the uterine cavity, thereby reducing the incidence of expulsion.


First distributed in 1962