Having an IUD/IUS contraception fitted

intrauterine contraception intrauterine

contraception known as the coil is a

popular form of long-acting reversible

contraception it's chosen more and more

by women of any age whether or not

they've been pregnant before it's over

99% effective more effective than

condoms or even the pill it doesn't get

in the way of sex

unlike condoms once fitted you can

forget about contraception for three

five or ten years once removed your

fertility will return to whatever is

normal for you within days importantly

IUD or iOS devices do not protect you

against sexually transmitted infections

we recommend using condoms until both

you and your partner have had an STI

screen there are two types the hormonal

intrauterine system or I US and the

copper in treat our own device or I UD

both are small and flexible with two

threads at one end the hormonal IUS

works by releasing a tiny amount of a

hormone called progesterone much less

than the pill releases the progesterone

thins the lining of the womb which

prevents a pregnancy from settling there

it also thickens the mucus in the cervix

stopping sperm getting in the hormonal

IUS takes seven days to be effective and

lasts up to five years or longer if

you're over 45 the copper IUD contains

no hormones the copper kills sperm and

eggs which prevents fertilization and it

stops a pregnancy implanting if

fertilization has already happened it's

effective as soon as it's been fitted

and it lasts for five or ten years it

can also be used for emergency

contraception before the procedure

both types can be fitted at any point in

your cycle provided there's no chance

you could be pregnant we ask that you

don't have unprotected sex for at least

three weeks before fitting this includes

sex when your method of contraception

has passed its expiry date or using

withdrawal all natural methods of

contraception women with irregular

bleeding may require extra

if this is the case speak to your GP


it's a good idea to have a light meal

and to take your usual pain relief to

reduce possible discomfort an hour or

two before the procedure how is the

procedure done the appointment lasts

about 30 minutes with the device fitting

usually only taking five to ten minutes

you'll meet the clinician who's fitting

your device an assistant will also be

there to support and reassure you we'll

ask about your medical history do a

pregnancy test an STI test if needed and

answer any questions then we'll carry

out an internal vaginal examination to

check the entrance to the womb or cervix

before fitting your chosen device the

procedure can be uncomfortable but half

of women experience little or no pain

will provide extra pain relief if you

need it after the procedure most women

feel well enough to leave the clinic

straight away and can travel home by bus

taxi or car you may like to bring

someone with you to take you home we'll

explain how to check the threads that

show the device is in the correct

position you will need to check this

once a month and we'll give you a card

with the expiry date written on it keep

this safe we'll give you an information

sheet to remind you about post fit

advice and how to check for problems

most women don't need a follow-up

appointment but you must come back if

you're concerned about anything

for example lost threads or pain the

device can be removed at any time this

process is much easier than having it

fitted if you want it removed and still

don't wish to be pregnant you must use

condoms or avoid sex for seven days

before removal side-effects most women

have some period like discomfort

afterwards but this usually settles

after a few hours you can use your usual

pain relief in the first three to six

months the hormonal IUS can result in

lighter unpredictable bleeds known as

spotting this usually settles into

infrequent lighter bleeds or no periods

if spotting persists we might suggest

you also take the contraceptive pill for

a while some women notice hormonal side

effects in the first few months

such as headaches or spottier skin

breast tenderness or weight gain but as

the womb lining thins less hormone is

absorbed so these symptoms often settle

conversely the copper IUD can cause

heavier periods but this may improve

with time less commonly there can be

painless ovarian cysts which often

disappear within months risks

most women have no problems occasionally

the device can be pushed out of the womb

this is most common in the first year of

having the device there's a small risk

of infection this is most common in the

first three weeks after which the risk

becomes much lower very rarely the

device can go through the wall of the

womb during insertion if this is

recognized at the time the device will

be removed otherwise it will have to be

removed later with keyhole surgery in

the extremely unlikely event that you

fall pregnant with the device in place

there's a slightly high risk of a

pregnancy outside the womb an ectopic

pregnancy if you think you've become

pregnant with the device in you should

seek medical help urgently questions or

concerns if you'd like to see or chat to

a member of staff about any part of this

video please get in touch