COIL ADVICE

Advice for women considering having an IUD (copper coil) or IUS (Mirena or hormonal coil) fitted

Having an IUD/IUS can take time and requires staff with special training.

The doctor or nurse will need to ask you about your medical history to check that the IUD/IUS is suitable for you and to plan your fitting.

You will then be asked to book an appointment for your IUD/IUS fitting.

 

When can I have my IUD/IUS fitted?

The doctor or nurse will advise you on the safest time for fitting.

  • Generally an IUD/IUS can be fitted at any time in your menstrual cycle if the doctor or nurse is certain that you are not pregnant
  • It is important that you continue to use a reliable method of contraception until you attend for your IUD/IUS fitting appointment.

 

When is it safe to have my IUD/IUS changed?

If your IUD/IUS has not expired, you should either use condoms for 7 days or abstain from intercourse for 7 days prior to your appointment for your IUD/IUS change. If your IUD/IUS has expired you should use an alternative reliable method of contraception until you attend for your appointment. The timing of the change will be arranged to ensure the doctor or nurse is certain that you are not pregnant.

 

What about having an IUD fitted as emergency contraception?

  • An IUD (copper coil) can be fitted up to 5 days after the first episode of unprotected sex at any time in the menstrual cycle. If you have had unprotected sex more than once since your last period then an IUD can be fitted up to 5 days after the earliest time you can release an egg (ovulation).
  • In some circumstances the fitting of an emergency IUD may not be suitable for you. The nurse or doctor will be able to advise you if this is possible
  • If the IUD cannot be fitted immediately, you may be advised to take oral emergency hormonal contraception as a precaution and the doctor or nurse will arrange for you to re-attend to have the IUD fitted.

The IUS (hormonal coil) cannot be used as emergency contraception.

General Advice before IUD/IUS insertion

The insertion of an IUD/IUS can be uncomfortable.
You may find it helpful:

  • To have something to eat before you attend the clinic
  • To take painkillers half an hour before your appointment e.g. ibuprofen or paracetamol (take the recommended dose)
  • To have someone with you who can take you home

Children and babies are not allowed into clinical rooms whilst you are having the IUD/IUS fitted. If you do bring children with you to the clinic, you will need to arrange for a responsible adult to supervise you children/baby in the waiting area whilst you are with the doctor or nurse.

Please contact the clinic before your appointment if you have any concerns or questions.

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