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 6 years and can be used as part of HRT for 5 years.
Copper coil – often makes periods heavier, contraception (5-10 years) but cannot be used for HRT.
- 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
- Take pain relief as needed
- Continue previous contraception for first 7 days – if not using other contraception, no sexual intercourse for 7 days