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How the coil prevents pregnancy

The two types of contraceptive coil are the intrauterine device (IUD) and intrauterine system (IUS).

The IUD coil is made from copper and it works as a contraceptive because it releases copper which prevents sperm from surviving.

The IUS is known as the Mirena hormone coil. This coil works as it releases a hormone called progesterone which acts by preventing eggs from being released. As women are naturally different, there are many kinds and sizes of both IUS and IUD coils.

Your IPSA Medical coil consultation

A female IPSA Medical practitioner will see you straight away for your coil consultation. Working holistically in a person-centred way, she will give you your full-length consultation, discussing the different forms of possible contraception with you, and she will encourage you to ask any questions that you might have concerning contraception, before a decision is made in consultation with you on the most suitable contraception mode that will suit your particular circumstances. Your female IPSA Medical professional is an expert at family planning, and she understands that both privacy and a conducive respectful setting are important to make your contraception consultation calm and stress-free for you.

Your IPSA Medical clinician will give you a pregnancy test in order to rule out this contraindication for contraception, and if the coil is chosen as your contraception, you will then be booked in to have it fitted at a date/time that is convenient for you. You will also be offered a 6-week post-coil insertion review by your IPSA Medical physician.

Depending on the kind of coil that is inserted, it can stay in your womb for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. If you are over 40 when your IPSA Medical physician fits your coil, it can remain in place until you enter your menopause (or until you no longer need contraception).

Having your coil fitted at your IPSA Medical clinic

If you are not pregnant, then your coil can be fitted at any point in your menstrual cycle and it will protect you against pregnancy straight away.

Before fitting your coil at your IPSA Medical clinic, both the size and position of your womb has to be determined. This involves an internal examination, which will then ensure that your coil can be inserted correctly. This is when your IPSA Medical clinician might test you for any infections (e.g. sexually transmitted infections or STIs), as it is best to treat these before fitting your coil. You might then be prescribed an antibiotic course when you have your coil fitted.

Your coil insertion takes around 15–20 minutes, and just like cervical smear tests, your vagina needs to be held open with your coil being inserted through your cervix and into your womb.

Because fitting your coil is slightly uncomfortable, your IPSA Medical practitioner may offer you a local anaesthetic or painkillers before fitting your coil. After having your coil fitted, you might experience some cramps.

3–6 weeks after your coil has been put in, your IPSA Medical physician will need to check it.

After your coil has been fitted, if you have any of the symptoms listed below, then visit your IPSA Medical physician as soon as possible, because these symptoms might be indicative of an infection: a high temperature, pain in your lower abdomen, or a discharge that is smelly.

Copper coils (IUDs)

If your male partner’s sperm reaches your eggs (ova) then you can fall pregnant. The contraception (or family planning) concept works by stopping your partner’s sperm from reaching your eggs either by stopping your egg production or by stopping your eggs and your partner’s sperm from meeting. The IUD (sometimes simply called ‘the coil’) is one type of contraception.

Your specially trained IPSA Medical physician will insert your IUD (which looks like a small T-shaped plastic and copper device) into your womb (uterus).

Your IUD stops your eggs and your partner’s sperm from surviving both in your fallopian tubes and in your womb and can also prevent implantation of a fertilised egg in your womb.

This type of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) means that once your IUD has been fitted, you no longer have to worry about contraception every time you have sexual intercourse.

There are different sizes/types of IUDs and you can use IUDs if you have had children already or if you have not yet had children.

IUD key facts

  • Different kinds of IUDs are available; some have more copper than others and IUDs with more copper are more than 99% effective.
  • Your IUD lasts for 5 to 10 years (this depends on the type that has been fitted) and is immediately effective.
  • You cannot have an IUD fitted if you are pregnant.
  • Your IUD fitting can be carried out at any point during your menstrual cycle.
  • Your specially trained IPSA Medical practitioner can remove your coil at any point and the return to normal fertility is rapid after your coil has been taken out.
  • Your periods settle down 3–6 months after your coil has been put in; however, your periods might be longer, they might be more painful or they could be heavier in the few months post-fitting. You might also have some spotting/bleeding in between your periods.
  • Within 20 days of your coil fitting, you have a slightly increased risk of infection and of your IUD being ‘naturally’ expelled by your system.
  • There is also a slight risk of your eggs not being implanted in your womb, but outside of it (ectopic pregnancy). However, because your pregnancy chances are extremely low when you have an IUD, the overall risk for ectopic pregnancy is actually lower than in those women not using any form of contraception.
  • If you have had pelvic infections in the past, IUDs might not be the best contraceptive solution for you.
  • Your IUD does not protect you from STIs so you will need to use a condom for STI protection.

If you are considering having a coil fitted, then book your IPSA Medical same-day coil consultation today.

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