Copper coil (IUD)

What the packet says

What is the Copper coil (IUD)?

What's it made of?

Most copper coils are made of a T-shaped frame of polyethylene (plastic) and barium sulphate. Copper wire is wound around the vertical arm.

How the Copper coil (IUD) works

The copper coil (IUD) is a small, T-shaped plastic and copper device that is inserted into your womb by a doctor or nurse. It releases copper into your womb which prevents pregnancy by affecting sperm motility, preventing egg fertilisation and possibly preventing implantation. Because of the the copper IUD can also be used as emergency contraception.

Copper coil (IUD) side effects

  • Womb Cramps
  • Vaginal Discharge
  • Back Pain
  • Tender Breasts
  • Spots or acne

Frequency

  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent
  • Similar to

    Typical effectiveness

    Over 99% effective

    Contains hormones

    No

    Need a prescription?

    Get your Pill without needing a Doctor’s appointment

    Looking to switch your pill?

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    Reviews

    4/5
    19/09/2021
    Copper coil (IUD)
    I was very nervous about having a coil fitted from stories I had heard but it was absolutely fine. They used a numbing s...
    5/5
    26/08/2021
    Copper coil (IUD)
    I absolutely love the non-hormonal IUD, I have been on it for almost 5 years now and plan on getting it replaced. I c...
    5/5
    26/08/2021
    Copper coil (IUD)
    So much better for me than any hormonal contraceptive. The heavy and painful periods that came when I first had the coil...
    5/5
    15/08/2021
    Copper coil (IUD)
    Overall my experience has been really positive. I read a lot of reviews on here before getting the copper IUD fitted, ne...
    3/5
    03/08/2021
    Copper coil (IUD)
    It’s really hard to weigh out this one. I’ve tried the patch, vaginal ring, 3 different types of pill until deciding...
    5/5
    31/07/2021
    Copper coil (IUD)
    I’ve had three babies vaginally so I didn’t think the insertion was painful, I was told that it usually hurts women ...

    What you said

    Side effects

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    After effects

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    Periods

    Body weight

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    Detailed information

    How to get started with the copper coil

    Women ask us lots of questions about getting a contraceptive coil fitted – so we’re working on everything you ever wanted to know about the coil to help cover everything. If you want anything in particular covered, please contact us at info@theldown.com. In the meantime, we’ve summarised a few key points below:

    • To get a coil fitted you need to go to a GP surgery or sexual health clinic where some staff are trained to fit them. You can contact your GP and ask if they fit coils, or search for clinics that fit coils.
    • The copper coil can be fitted at any time during your monthly period cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant (although you may prefer to get it fitted when you’re not on your period).
    • Your doctor or nurse will do some tests to make sure that you can have the coil – like making sure that you’re not pregnant and checking for STIs.
    • During your coil fitting, a doctor or nurse will use a speculum (like when you have a smear test) to open up your vagina and then insert the coil through the cervix into the womb. Most women find this uncomfortable.
    • The copper IUD works to prevent pregnancy immediately after it is fitted.
    • You may be asked to go back for a check up 3-6 weeks after getting it fitted. You will also be taught how to feel the threads which hang down through the neck of the womb into the top of the vagina – this is how you know the coil is in place. 

    How to stop using the copper coil

    • Your IUD can be removed at any time by a trained doctor or nurse. It’s normally simpler than having it fitted – they will gently pull on the threads and the T shape folds up and it can be pulled out of the womb.
    • If you’re not having another coil put in and don’t want to get pregnant, you’ll need to make sure you don’t have sex seven days before you have it removed, or use condoms. Alternatively speak to your doctor or nurse about switching to another method.
    • Check out our survey results to see how other women found their experiences with the copper IUD.

    Things that can go wrong with an IUD

    • There’s a small risk of infection after IUD has been fitted which may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Contact your doctor if you have unusual or smelly discharge, abdominal or pelvic pain, a high temperature or chills. 
    • Sometimes coils can fall out, be pushed out of the womb or move. This is most common in the first few weeks after getting it fitted, or during a period. You may not know this has happened so it is important to check your coil threads regularly. If you cannot feel the threads or are worried your coil has fallen out or moved, contact your doctor or nurse and use condoms or avoid sex until then. 
    • Very occasionally the threads get lost. This is more commonly caused by the threads being pulled up inside into the cervix. They may notice this when you go to have the coil removed, and sometimes the threads can reappear naturally.
    • Occasionally the IUB may be hard to remove because it is lodged in the womb.
    • If the coil doesn’t work and you get pregnant, there’s also a small increased risk of ectopic pregnancy – when the egg implants outside the womb, normally the fallopian tubes. However, the overall risk of ectopic pregnancy is less in women using a coil than in women using no contraception at all.
    • Rarely the coil may go through the wall of the womb when it is put in. This is called ‘perforation’ and if this happens, you may need surgery to remove the coil.

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    Thanks for telling us you're interested in talking to other Lowdown users. If you have any other ideas for ways we can improve the site, please email info@theldown.com

    If you'd like to report a review for not adhering to our Review guidelines, please email info@theldown.com with a link to it and we'll take look!

    Thanks for telling us you're interested in talking to other Lowdown users. If you have any other ideas for ways we can improve the site, please email info@theldown.com

    If you'd like to report a review for not adhering to our Review guidelines, please email info@theldown.com with a link to it and we'll take look!

    Thanks for telling us you're interested in talking to other Lowdown users. If you have any other ideas for ways we can improve the site, please email info@theldown.com

    If you'd like to report a review for not adhering to our Review guidelines, please email info@theldown.com with a link to it and we'll take look!

    Thanks for telling us you're interested in talking to other Lowdown users. If you have any other ideas for ways we can improve the site, please email info@theldown.com

    If you'd like to report a review for not adhering to our Review guidelines, please email info@theldown.com with a link to it and we'll take look!

    Thanks for telling us you're interested in talking to other Lowdown users. If you have any other ideas for ways we can improve the site, please email info@theldown.com

    If you'd like to report a review for not adhering to our Review guidelines, please email info@theldown.com with a link to it and we'll take look!