Contraception: All you need to know about the copper coil | Adia (2022)

The copper coil is one of the most popular forms of contraception, with millions of women worldwide. using one. However, for the uninitiated, the idea of having something inserted in your womb can feel a little daunting! In today’s blog post we’ll answer any questions you may have about the copper IUD. We’ll also talk about its wide-ranging benefits. so you can decide whether it’s the right contraceptive for you.

The copper coil is a long-acting method of contraception. It’s sometimes known as an IUD – Intrauterine device – a device that is put in your uterus. Some coils contain progesterone – these are known as IUS – Intrauterine systems. However the copper coil is totally hormone-free – so a good contraception option if you are trying to avoid extra hormones in your body.

(Video) Having an IUD/IUS contraception fitted

Many women also opt for the copper coil over the pill, as once its inserted they can forget about it! The copper coil can stop you getting pregnant for up to ten years. This means no having to remember to take a pill every day – a win in our eyes! The copper coil starts working as soon as it is inserted. This means it can also be used as an emergency contraceptive. It does this by producing an inflammatory response to the endometrium (lining of the womb) because there is a foreign body in the womb.

What does it look like?

Many people think the coil resembles a little anchor. It’s actually a small T shaped device which is made from plastic and copper. Sometimes they contain a bit of silver. They vary slightly in size depending on the brand your doctor uses. However, as a rough guide, it will usually be about just over 1 inch wide and 1.5 inches high – weighing less than 1 gram – so it’s pretty small.

How does the copper coil work?

The copper within the coil changes the cervical mucus in your body. This makes it an Inhabitatable environment for sperm – meaning they struggle to get to the womb before dying (RIP little guys). The coil also stops an egg implanting, even if it does get fertilised. Implantation is a crucial part of the conception process, so even if a super determined sperm manages to get through, it’s shouldn’t be able to get you pregnant. When inserted correctly the copper coil is over 99% effective at protecting you from pregnancy.

(Video) What you need to know about IUD

Can you feel the coil once it’s in place?

Once it is in place you can usually feel one or two thin threads inside the vagina. They won’t hang down like a tampon string, but you should be able to feel them if you put your finger inside your vagina. These strings are generally about two inches long and will soften over time. Some women are concerned that their partner will be able to feel the coil during sex, but at the very most they would feel these little strings. If you can’t feel your strings – don’t panic! Many women can’t feel their strings because they have become curled up in the cervix or have been cut too short. However, it could mean that the coil has moved or been pushed out, so use backup contraception and give your doctor a call if you are concerned.

Where and how is the copper coil inserted?

Only a specially trained doctor or nurse can fit the copper coil. Call your GP and make sure they offer them (most surgeries do) or attend your local sexual health or contraception clinic. As with all contraception in the UK, the copper coil is totally free.

The idea of having a coil inserted sometimes puts women off. Whilst it can be slightly uncomfortable, it’s not as painful as you would think. The process is very similar to having a smear test. First, a speculum is inserted into your vagina – so far so smear test. Your cervix would be opened enough so the device can be inserted inside your womb. This part can be uncomfortable a bit like period pain. However, the doctor or nurse can use a local anaesthetic to help and painkillers can be used if you’re experiencing any cramps after the procedure. You may also have some light bleeding once the coil is inserted – so it’s a good idea to take some sanitary wear with you – but definitely go for pads instead of tampons.

(Video) Patient Education Video: Intrauterine Device (IUD)

In some cases, you may need two appointments – if they need to examine you for infection or to check the position or size of your uterus first – but often they will be able to do it one session.

What are the risks?

With any invasive procedure, there is a chance of getting an infection. Whilst this risk is pretty minor when having the coil fitted, an infection could develop within the first month. Keep an eye out for any symptoms – such as pain or fever – and make sure to contact your doctor if you’re feeling unwell.

To minimise the risks, it is worth having an up to date sexual health screening beforehand. STIs can make you susceptible to infection. Remember, the coil doesn’t protect you from STIs, so having a full check-up ahead of your fitting is good practice anyway.

(Video) IUD Experience *Honest* One Year Copper IUD Experience

It’s possible that your body could reject the coil and push it out – it is a foreign object after all. On some occasions, it can also damage the womb when inserted – however, both of these are pretty rare. You will normally have a follow-up appointment with your doctor or nurse to double-check everything is ok. If you have any concerns after you’ve had the coil fitted, never be afraid to ask. One other thing I just want to note. Whilst the IUD is highly effective, if you do manage to fall pregnant, there is a risk of ectopic pregnancy. This is very unlikely to happen, but it’s worth noting to your doctor if you ever notice symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.

What are the side effects?

The most common unwanted side effect from the coil is heavier periods. In the first 3 months after having your coil fitted your periods may be heavier, more painful or longer. This is the most common reason women have the copper coil removed. The bleeding and your periods usually settle down after this the first few months. If it doesn’t or you find the pain to intolerable, it might just mean the IUD isn’t right for you.

As with most contraception, whilst the coil does a great job of protecting you against pregnancy, it doesn’t keep you safe from STIs. Remember to use a condom with any sexual partners, unless you have both been recently tested and are only sleeping with each other.

(Video) Brook IUD & IUS - Knowing What to Expect

What are the advantages of the copper coil?

We may have laid out all the risks of the copper coil, but there are lots of advantages too! The biggest plus is that once it’s in – it’s in. There isn’t the chance you could forget a pill, or break a condom. IUD is a great option if peace of mind is a high priority for you.

Just as the coil’s protection starts instantaneously, your fertility returns to normal as soon as it’s removed. The lack of hormones makes it ideal for women who have struggled with hormonal contraception in the past and it also means there are no contraindications with other medications. The coil is also safe to use after having a baby and during breastfeeding, making it a good option for mothers.

If you would like advice on the copper coil or any other contraceptives, join Parla for free today! You can ask questions to our panel of experts, including Liz. You’ll also gain access to guided meditations, nutrition plans and at-home hormone tests.

(Video) IUD/IUS (Coil)

FAQs

Contraception: All you need to know about the copper coil | Adia? ›

An IUD is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that's put into your womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse. It releases copper to stop you getting pregnant, and protects against pregnancy for between 5 and 10 years. It's sometimes called a "coil" or "copper coil".

What are the disadvantages of copper IUD? ›

What are the disadvantages of non-hormonal IUDs? Non-hormonal (copper) IUDs can make your periods heavier and cause cramping, especially in the first 3-6 months. And you may have some IUD cramps when you first get your IUD. For many people, these side effects get better once your body gets used to the IUD.

Can your partner feel the copper coil? ›

Usually your partners won't be able to feel the IUD string with their penis during sex, but every once in a while some people say they can feel it. If this happens and it bothers you or your partner, talk with your nurse or doctor — they may be able to trim the string so it doesn't stick out as much.

How painful is copper coil insertion? ›

How does it feel to get an IUD put in? People usually feel some cramping or pain when they're getting their IUD placed. The pain can be worse for some, but luckily it only lasts for a minute or two. Some doctors tell you to take pain medicine before you get the IUD to help prevent cramps.

Does the copper coil put weight on you? ›

Nope! The copper IUD (Paragard) doesn't cause weight gain. Because the copper IUD is hormone-free, it doesn't have many side effects at all. Some people do have heavier, longer periods and more cramping, especially for the first few months.

What can you not do after getting an IUD? ›

Immediately after insertion, it is important not to insert anything into the vagina for 48 hours (i.e. no tampons, bath, swimming, hot tub, sexual intercourse). There is about 1% chance of the IUD slipping or being expelled, and the chance is highest in the first few weeks.

Why do you have to wait 7 days after IUD? ›

The reason for waiting for 24 hours is due to the risk of infection. The IUD insertion process requires the doctor to pass instruments through your vagina, cervix and into your uterus. It disturbs the protective mucous lining of those organs. If an infection is able to get into your uterus, it can be very serious.

Can you push an IUD out? ›

As it turns out, the IUD can move inside the uterus depending on the time of the month. As Corinne Rocca says in her article about the Mirena IUD, “Expulsion is a fancy way of saying that an IUD has been pushed out of its ideal location at the top of the uterus.

Why can't you take a bath after getting an IUD? ›

- for the first two days after IUD insertion please do not take a bath, use a hot tub, swimming pool, tampon, Diva Cup, or have sex. These activities could introduce bacteria into the vaginal canal or uterus which increases your risk of developing an infection.

What does an IUD feel like for a guy? ›

"It basically feels like something kind of pokey," Dan said. "Like if you take something thin and just, like, slightly touch your penis with it." 'It basically feels like something kind of pokey. '

Can the copper coil stop periods? ›

It also depends on the type of IUD you get

Some people don't get periods at all while on them. Copper IUDs often make periods heavier and crampier. However, this may not be a permanent change. Your period may return to its usual state after about six months.

Can you come inside with IUD? ›

Should your partner ejaculate inside of you when you have an IUD? The point of an IUD is to prevent you from getting pregnant. When it's inside the uterus, its job is to create an environment where sperm cannot survive. It's important to remember, an IUD does not stop semen and sperm from going into your vagina.

Which is better Mirena or copper IUD? ›

Copper IUDs last the longest. Paragard can last for up to 10 years before needing to be replaced or removed, while hormonal IUDs last between 3 and 6 years. Of the hormonal options, Skyla lasts the shortest (3 years) and Mirena lasts the longest (7 years).

How many days do you bleed after copper IUD insertion? ›

Most women resume their normal activity within 1 or 2 days. Bleeding. The first day you may pass some clots due to the insertion procedure itself. Some degree of bleeding or spotting is normal for a few days.

How long do you bleed after copper IUD? ›

Irregular bleeding and spotting is normal for the first few months after the IUD is placed. In some cases, women may experience irregular bleeding or spotting for up to six months after the IUD is placed.

How long should you rest after IUD insertion? ›

After the insertion

It is usually safe to return to work or school right away. However, if a person is feeling intense pain or cramping, they may wish to rest for a day. Following insertion of an IUD, it is normal to notice some spotting. According to Planned Parenthood, spotting can last up to 3–6 months.

Can you nut in a girl with IUD? ›

The IUD works by creating an environment in your uterus that's inhospitable to sperm and conception. Depending on the type of IUD, your uterine lining thins, your cervical mucus thickens, or you stop ovulating. However, the IUD doesn't block semen and sperm from passing into your vagina and uterus during ejaculation.

Can a tampon pull out an IUD? ›

Neither a tampon nor sex should pull your IUD out.

“You have to use a special device to remove it. And it's slippery.” It's a common concern, she said, but it's very uncommon for the IUD to be unintentionally displaced.

How long does it take for IUD strings to soften? ›

However, there is a small chance that they may feel the strings of the IUD. If it is bothersome, you have a couple of options—the strings often soften after the IUD has been in place for a few months, but if it is still an issue your provider may be able to cut the strings shorter.

Can a man feel an IUD? ›

Usually your partners won't be able to feel the IUD string with their penis during sex, but every once in a while some people say they can feel it. If this happens and it bothers you or your partner, talk with your nurse or doctor — they may be able to trim the string so it doesn't stick out as much.

Will I know if my IUD falls out? ›

Generally, if your IUD falls out, you'll feel the plastic or the strings of the IUD or experience some cramping. “It's more likely that you'll feel some symptoms associated with the expulsion,” says Dr.

How far up should IUD strings be? ›

First, Get to Know Your IUD Strings

Your IUD comes with strings. They're thin and light, like fishing line or a lightweight plastic thread. They hang about 2 inches down from your uterus into your vagina. Your doctor will cut them to the right length for your body.

Can you feel IUD strings with fingers? ›

When your doctor inserted your IUD, they left one or two thin plastic strings hanging down into your vaginal canal. These strings are about 2 inches long — just long enough to be able to feel them with the tip of your finger. They feel like light fishing line. However, many women are unable to feel these strings.

Where does period blood go when you have an IUD? ›

Hormonal IUDs can reduce period symptoms such as long lasting or heavy periods. Periods occur when the endometrium sheds away and exits the body through the vagina. Because levonorgestrel thins the endometrium, there is less of this material to shed so periods may be lighter and briefer periods.

What do I need to know before getting an IUD? ›

If you are considering getting an IUD, there are a few things you should know before having it inserted.
  • What is an IUD?
  • How is an IUD inserted? Is it painful?
  • Will an IUD affect my period?
  • What are the pros and cons of an IUD?
Jun 22, 2020

What is a major disadvantage of using an IUD? ›

Cons. They don't protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Insertion can be painful. The upfront cost can be expensive if you don't have insurance.

Which is better copper or Mirena IUD? ›

Copper IUDs are 99.2% effective, while hormonal IUDs are successful 99.8% of the time.

What are the pros and cons of copper IUD? ›

Pros And Cons Of An IUD
  • Pro: It's so tiny you can't feel it. ...
  • Con: Your OB/GYN specialist must insert it. ...
  • Pro: Almost as effective as abstinence. ...
  • Con: IUDs don't protect against STDs. ...
  • Pro: It's ready when you are. ...
  • Con: Rarely, the IUD slips out of place. ...
  • Pro: Low maintenance. ...
  • Con: Sometimes has side effects.

Can a guy finish in you with an IUD? ›

Can my partner finish in me with an IUD? Your partner can finish inside the vagina. The IUD will still work to prevent pregnancy.

Can you come inside with IUD? ›

Should your partner ejaculate inside of you when you have an IUD? The point of an IUD is to prevent you from getting pregnant. When it's inside the uterus, its job is to create an environment where sperm cannot survive. It's important to remember, an IUD does not stop semen and sperm from going into your vagina.

Why you shouldn't get an IUD? ›

You also shouldn't get a Paragard IUD if you have a copper allergy, Wilson's Disease, or a bleeding disorder that makes it hard for your blood to clot. And you shouldn't get a hormonal IUD if you have had breast cancer. Very rarely, the size or shape of someone's uterus makes it hard to place an IUD correctly.

Can the copper coil stop your periods? ›

It also depends on the type of IUD you get

Some people don't get periods at all while on them. Copper IUDs often make periods heavier and crampier. However, this may not be a permanent change. Your period may return to its usual state after about six months.

Which IUD is best for weight loss? ›

ParaGard, the copper IUD, doesn't list weight gain as a potential side effect. Hormonal IUDs work by releasing progestin into your uterus.

What is the safest form of birth control for a woman? ›

Abstinence. Abstinence is the only birth control that is 100 percent effective and is also the best way to protect you against STDs.

Is an IUD safer than the pill? ›

One of the side effects of birth control pills is a slight increase in your risk of developing blood clots. This risk increases with age. If you're 35 or older and you smoke, an IUD may be safer.

Videos

1. IUD/IUS (Coil)
(NHSLothian)
2. Contraception Choices: The Copper Coil (IUD).
(56 Dean Street Official)
3. Women's Sexual Health | The Hormonal and Copper Coil IUDs Long Term Birth Control
(Dr Nora | GP & Cosmetic Doctor)
4. How do contraceptives work? - NWHunter
(TED-Ed)
5. What should I know about emergency contraception?
(IntermountainMoms)
6. What is a copper IUD and its side effects?
(Priyanka N Jain)

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