IUD/IUS (Coil)

intrauterine contraception sometimes

known as the coil is the most popular

method of reversible contraception in

the world and is suitable for women of

all ages backgrounds and circumstances

it is over 99% effective more effective

than pills or condoms at preventing

pregnancy and over five years less than

1 in 100 women using intrauterine

contraception will become pregnant this

is compared to 8 in 100 women who will

become pregnant over one year of using

the pill there are many reasons why

women choose this method it works really

well at preventing pregnancy it doesn't

interfere with sex once fitted you can

forget about contraception until the

device is due to be changed and once it

is removed your fertility goes straight

back to what is normal for you

this film introduces the two types of

intrauterine contraception available the

Mirena and the copper IUD the Mirena and

the copper IUD are both small plastic

t-shaped devices that sit inside the

womb two soft threads at the bottom sit

high up inside the vagina the Mirena has

a hormone called progesterone within it

this hormone makes the lining of the

womb thin and also makes the mucous at

the neck of the womb thicker so sperm

can't get in the Mirena takes seven days

to start working effectively the Mirena

can also be used to treat heavy periods

and as part of hormone replacement

therapy at the time of the menopause

copper iud works mainly by stopping the

sperm from fertilizing the egg it starts

working as soon as it has been fitted

the copper IUD is hormone free and

generally will not change the regularity

of your periods

when can they be fitted the IUD and

Mirena can usually be fitted at any

point in your cycle unless you could be

pregnant we therefore ask that you do

not have unprotected sex after your last

period until your appointment some women

need extra tests before having an IUD or

Mirena fitted for example women with

very heavy or unpredictable bleeding

your GP or sexual health clinic will

discuss this with you and organise extra

tests if they are needed what happens at

the clinic at the clinic you will meet

the health professional who is fitting

your IUD or Mirena a clinical support

worker will also be there to support you

the health professional will check your

medical history and answer questions we

suggest that you have a light meal

before coming to have your IUD or Mirena

fitted we will examine you before

fitting the IUD or Mirena this is an

examination to look at the neck of the

womb similar to when you have a smear

test the IUD or Mirena is then fitted

into the womb and we will cut the

threads of the device so that they sit

high up inside the vagina the procedure

can be uncomfortable but half of women

experience little or no pain and local

anaesthetic can be used the whole

appointment usually lasts around 30

minutes after the procedure some women

have cramping period like pain and you

should take it easy for the rest of the

day cramps usually settle after a few

days and simple painkillers can be taken

you may also have some light bleeding

from the procedure itself we ask you to

check that the threads of your IUD are

still there four to six weeks after it

has been fitted you can do this by

inserting one or two fingers inside the


how long do they last the copper iud

will last for five or ten years

depending on which type you have fitted

the marina will last for five years we

don't send out reminders when your

device is due to be changed so take a

note of this date and keep it somewhere


you can have your IUD or Mirena removed

at any time we ask that you use condoms

for seven days before having your IUD or

Mirena removed or changed side effects

and risks

with the marina unpredictable bleeding

and spotting is quite common in the

first three to six months

this usually settles into no periods or

light bleeding some women notice

headaches or spottier skin in this

initial period with the copper IUD some

women experience heavier longer or more

painful periods there can also be some

bleeding in between periods in the first

few months

most women have no complications and

find having an IUD or Mirena fitted a

very straightforward procedure but very

occasionally the IUD or Mirena can fall

out of the womb

this happens in around 1 in 20 women

there is a small risk of infection and

this is a little more likely in the

couple of months after having the device

fitted in one in a thousand cases the

IUD or Mirena can go through the wall of

the womb if this happens you may need a

small operation to remove the device you

are overall less likely to fall pregnant

with an IUD or Mirena but if you did

then there is a slightly higher risk of

it being a pregnancy outside the womb

which is called an ectopic pregnancy

although the Mirena and IUD are very

good at stopping you from becoming

pregnant they do not protect you against

sexually transmitted infections such as

chlamydia or gonorrhea we always

recommend you use condoms in a new

relationship what about emergency

contacts are you Dee can be used as

emergency contraception this means that

it can be fitted to stop you from

becoming pregnant up to five days after

unprotected sex the Mirena cannot be

used for emergency contraception please

contact a pharmacist your GP local

sexual health clinic or a any department

if you have had unprotected sex and need


summary the marina and the copper iud

are both very effective methods of

contraception the Mirena will generally

make the periods lighter and may stop

them altogether irregular bleeding in

the first three to six months is common

the copper IUD contains no hormones can

be used as emergency contraception and

generally doesn't affect the regularity

of periods but they may become heavier

more painful and lasts a little longer

the IUD and marina are very safe

effective and popular methods of

contraception suitable for women of all

ages backgrounds and circumstances if

you would like to have an IUD or Mirena

fitted or discuss any other methods of

contraception please contact your local

GP or sexual health service