Intrauterine Device Fitting

Coils are used for long-acting contraception, the control of periods and as part of a HRT regime.  There are 2 types, and they can both be inserted and removed in surgery.  Your doctor or nurse will have already discussed suitability with you.

Mirena (hormone lined) – usually reduces periods, works for contraception for 8 years and can be used as part of HRT for 5 years – unless you’re over 45 years old, in which case it can be used for 10 years.

Copper coil – often makes periods heavier, contraception (5-10 years) but cannot be used for HRT.

Possible risks:

  • Bleeding – common after insertion, often lasts <1 week. Abnormal bleeding can occur in first 6 months
  • Pain – usually dull period type pain, pain from fitting is rare after 1 week
  • Infection – rare – please see GP~/ANP if you notice a change in discharge or experience a new lower tummy pain
  • Expulsion 1/20 – most common in first 6 weeks – see notes below
  • Contraception failure (<2/1000 over 5 years)
  • Uterine perforation (2/1000)
  • Ectopic pregnancy (overall risk reduced compared to women not using contraception)
  • Change in bleeding pattern to heavy, irregular, prolonged and/or absent bleeding
  • Hormonal side effects – Mirena only and this is rare

Before insertion – To ensure insertion is carried out on the day, please follow these instructions:

  • Continue current contraception until 7 days after insertion
  • Do not have unprotected sex for 7 days before insertion, even if you already have a coil in place and in date
  • If you are not using any other form of contraception, do not have unprotected sex after your last menstruation period before the coil insertion
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen before your insertion appointment
  • Eat and drink as normal
  • If you are aged 25 or under, have had a new sexual partner in the last 6 months, have noticed a change to your discharge or are at risk of a STI you will need swabs before insertion

Post insertion:

  • Take pain relief as needed
  • Continue previous contraception for first 7 days – if not using other contraception, no sexual intercourse for 7 days

By attending your appointment, you are confirming you have read the leaflet