Women Coil Insertion

The contraceptive coil can be one of the most reliable and convenient forms of contraception. It can be a good choice if you want a long term form of contraception that you won’t have to think about on a day to day basis.


What is a Contraceptive Coil?

The contraceptive coil is a small T-shaped implant that can be placed into your womb to prevent you getting pregnant. Two different types of coil are available:

  1. Intrauterine Device (IUD): the copper coil, which prevents eggs and sperm from surviving in the fallopian tubes and womb.
  2. Intrauterine System (IUS): the hormonal coil, which works in a similar way to the pill by releasing progestogen.

Why Choose the Contraceptive Coil?

Both types of coil are fitted in the same way and have the same advantages:

  • You won’t need to remember to take a pill or think about your contraception every day
  • You won’t need to pause before sex to use a condom, unless you want to protect yourself against STIs
  • The contraceptive coil is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy
  • The effects will last for 5-10 years, after which a new coil can be fitted

What to Expect

The contraceptive coil needs to be fitted by a gynaecologist.

Before the coil is fitted:

  • The doctor will perform an internal pelvic exam to check the size and position of your uterus so that the coil can be fitted correctly
  • You may need to be tested and treated for any STIs before the coil insertion, to reduce the risk of complications

You will then be ready for the coil insertion:

  • A speculum will be used to hold open the vagina
  • The coil will be inserted through the cervix and into the uterus
  • The doctor will then check that the coil is in the correct place by feeling for the two strings that should be hanging down from the womb
  • The coil insertion can be slightly uncomfortable, but painkillers can help
  • The procedure will only take about 15 minutes
  • The coil will need to be checked again in about three to six weeks

What Happens Next

The contraceptive coil is a long term form of contraception that is very easy to use. Once it has been fitted:

  • If you’ve had a copper coil or IUD fitted, your periods could become heavier or more irregular for a few months, but they should soon return to normal
  • If you’ve had a hormonal coil or IUS fitted, your periods could get lighter. You might even stop having periods altogether.
  • The copper coil protects you against pregnancy as soon as it is fitted.
  • The hormonal coil will protect you straight away if it is fitted in the first week of your menstrual cycle. Otherwise it will take a week to start working.
  • The coil will need to be replaced in 5-10 years when it stops working. Your gynaecologist can take it out for you.
  • You can have the coil removed by your gynaecologist at any time and your fertility will return to normal.

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