Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD) – The Coil
The IUD (intrauterine device) is a small plastic and copper contraceptive that is fitted in your womb ny a doctor. It works in several different ways. It stops sperm from meeting an egg and also stops the eggs from settling in the womb. It is 98% effective in preventing pregnancy.
- It protects against pregnancy as soon as it is fitted and can stay in for 5 years or more.
- It does not interrupt sex
- You can use it as an emergency contraception if the IUD is fitted within 5 days of unprotected sex
- They can be removed at any time without effecting fertility afterwards
- It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections
- You might have heavier, more painful periods when using an IUD
- May cause irregular bleeding for the first few months
- Very rarely it can slip out of the womb
- There is some risk of getting a pelvic infection if there is more than one sexual partner
- May not be your first choice of contraception as it is only suitable for women who have given birth
- If you become pregnant while using an IUD there is a small chance of ectopic pregnancy
- Regular check-ups are important to make sure the IUD is still in place
- Insertion and removal must be done by a specially trained doctor
Remember the IUD (the coil) does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.