IUD (The Coil)

Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD) – The Coil

The IUD (intrauterine device) is a small plastic and copper contraceptive that is fitted in your womb by a doctor. 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 affecting fertility afterwards


  • It doesn’t protect against STIs
  • You might have heavier, more painful periods.
  • 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
  • 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.