The Coil is a method of Longer Action Reversible Contraception (LARC). LARC are methods of contraception that don't depend on you remembering to take or use them to be effective.
There are 2 different types of ‘coil’; one has copper on it (IUD) and the other contains hormone (Mirena IUS). Both are over 99% effective at protecting against pregnancy.
We recommend that you watch this short film which provides information on both types of ‘coil’. (thanks to Lothian NHS for sharing this clip)
Intra-uterine contraceptive method (‘coil’)
How does it work?
A small T-shaped device containing plastic and copper/hormone is put into the uterus (womb). It prevents sperm from reaching an egg and causes changes in the lining of the womb making it difficult for a fertilised egg to implant in the womb (prevents implantation).
- Lasts 5-10 years (IUD:copper coil), 5 years (IUS:hormonal coil)
- No need to remember contraception
- Fertility returns immediately once removed
Additional advantages of IUS:
- Periods lighter and shorter
- Some protection against pelvic infections
- You may require screening for chlamydia before insertion.
- Women are taught to check the coil threads in the vagina to check position.
- When a copper IUD is fitted after age 40 years, it can be left in place until menopause.
*Coils can only be fitted by a trained doctor/nurse