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An intrauterine device (IUD), also known as the contraceptive coil, is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that's put into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
It works by releasing copper into the uterus, altering the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for the sperm to travel to the egg and survive. The coil also prevents a fertilised egg from implanting to the uterine lining.
The coil insertion is carried out by a specially trained medical professional and, once in place, it can be left alone and you do not have to do anything else. If inserted correctly, it is more than 99% effective as a contraceptive and can last for between five and ten years, depending on the type of IUD. If you are aged 40 or over at the time of coil insertion, the IUD can be left in place until you reach menopause or until you no longer need contraception.
An IUD can be removed by a medical professional at any time during your cycle and you will be able to get pregnant immediately. Having an IUD does not affect your fertility.
Words from our clients:
"I was extremely satisfied with the care and treatment I received at the Cadogan Clinic. My surgeon was friendly and informative and explained the procedure fully. My procedure went very well and with the excellent care of the nursing staff, I made a speedy and full recovery. Would recommend to anyone."Eva Berry
"At the beginning before the operation the nurse taking care of me made me feel so comfortable. The surgeon and anesthetist helped me feel so calm. Fantastic before and after treatment"Scarlett Elliott
"The girls on the reception at the clinic were very pleasant and professional. The nurse who took out my stitches after my surgery was just lovely and took me through step by step what she was doing and she also recommended a great cream to use to help with healing."Georgina Nolan
“I was treated with care and provided with thorough knowledge about the procedure I was undertaking. My surgeon was very methodical (a perfectionist) and I felt I received A class treatment."Courtney O'Sullivan
"Outstanding experience from the first appointment to being discharged. Very professional, friendly and a fantastic outcome."Gemma Stevenson
"Reception staff very welcoming and efficient. Both nurses who I dealt with were fantastic, and the whole team (anaesthetist, surgeon etc) were friendly but professional, and really put my mind at ease. That I was able to stay later than I perhaps needed after my surgery to fit in with my husbands schedule was greatly appreciated."Emma Davies
The coil insertion procedure can take place at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as you are not pregnant. Once the IUD is in place, it provides immediate protection against pregnancy.
Before the coil insertion procedure, the doctor or nurse will check the size and position of your uterus. You will be tested for infections, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The coil is T-shaped, with two ‘arms’ on either side. These arms are folded down and the IUD is put in an application tube.
A speculum is used to hold open the vagina, in a similar way to cervical screening. Once the speculum is in place, the IUD is inserted in the applicator through the cervix and into the uterus. Once in place, the arms release to return the coil to a ‘T’ shape and the applicator is removed.
Every IUD has two thin threads at the bottom that hang down into the cervix and vagina. The doctor or nurse will trim these threads so only about an inch or two hangs down into the vagina. These threads will allow you to check yourself whether your coil is in the correct position.
The insertion itself should take around five or ten minutes.
Some women find coil insertion uncomfortable while some can find it painful. It is common to experience cramping during the coil insertion procedure. It may be advisable to take painkillers before or after your appointment. Alternatively the doctor may recommend local anesthetic. It is important to tell the doctor or nurse if you are experiencing any coil insertion pain or discomfort during the fitting.
Once the IUD is in place, take your time getting up as some women feel dizzy or faint when getting back on their feet after the coil insertion procedure. You may want to stay in the clinic for a few minutes after the fitting to make sure you feel OK to leave.
You may experience cramps and bleeding after coil insertion. This is normal and over-the-counter painkillers can help with any discomfort.
Coil removal is a straightforward procedure, carried out by a doctor or nurse at the clinic. There is no need for painkillers or local anesthetic as the process does not result in the same levels of discomfort or pain as the coil insertion procedure.
Just like coil insertion, you will be invited to lay down on the couch with your knees bent and legs apart. A speculum will be used to hold the vagina open. The doctor or nurse will use a special grasping tool to take hold of the coil threads, gently pulling on them. This will cause the arms on the IUD to fold up and the device will easily slide out of the vagina. If the threads can’t be found easily, the doctor or nurse will use a small brush in your cervix to try and locate them.
There is a very slim chance that the IUD may get stuck in the wall of your uterus, meaning it won't come out easily. If this happens, the doctor may need to use medicine to widen the cervix before removing the IUD with forceps. If you have a displaced IUD, this can be retrieved via a minimally-invasive procedure called a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) where fine surgical instruments are passed through a tiny incision in the abdomen. You will be given pain relief for this procedure.
If you are having the coil replaced, a new one can be fitted at the same time as the old one being removed. If you are not having the coil replaced, then you can get pregnant immediately. If you are not having the coil replaced, use additional contraception, such as condoms, for the seven days ahead of your coil removal.
You may experience some cramping during the coil removal. Cramps and spotting or light bleeding may persist for several days or weeks after your coil removal. Over-the-counter painkillers should help to alleviate any discomfort.
Included in this treatment
Up to two 60 minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea
Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence
24/7 on call nurse assistance
Dedicated Patient Co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan
A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery
Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses
The contraceptive coil is a highly-effective method of birth control. If inserted correctly, the coil is over 99 percent effective.
Other benefits of the contraceptive coil are:
The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us
We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journeyThe Patient Journey
What conditions may require removal of my coil?
You will need to have your coil removed or replaced if it has expired, as it won’t be working as well as it should do. If your coil has moved out of place, then there is a chance you may get pregnant. In very rare cases, a displaced IUD may cause damage to the uterus and will need to be removed.
If you got pregnant while the IUD is in place, contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or experienced side effects such as heavy bleeding, severe headaches, or pain, then you must see a doctor for coil removal.
What is the difference between copper coil and mirena coil?
Unlike the copper coil, a mirena coil releases the hormone progesterone to prevent pregnancy. Known as an intrauterine system (IUS) it can stay in place for three to five years, compared to the IUDs five to ten year lifespan.
Because of the presence of progesterone, some women can experience headaches, acne, mood changes and breast tenderness after having the mirena fitted. These side effects are not associated with the copper coil.
Is it normal to bleed following coil insertion or removal?
It is normal to bleed for a few days after coil insertion or coil removal. It is also common for periods to be heavier, longer or more painful in the first three to six months after an IUD is put in. You may also experience spotting or bleeding between periods during this time. If this persists, you should speak to a doctor.
Is coil insertion or removal painful?
Coil insertion pain is something that has been reported extensively in the press in recent years. Some women find coil insertion uncomfortable while others find the experience quite painful. We advise that taking painkillers before or after can help. A local anesthetic can also be used. Coil removal is generally not considered to be particularly painful.
Can I have my coil inserted or removed privately?
Yes, you can have your private coil insertion and coil removal in London at the Cadogan Clinic. You can be assured of top-quality professional care and our highly-skilled team will ensure that you are treated with the dignity and respect you deserve.
Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.About Us
Best in Class Facilities
All of our treatments take place at our beautiful boutique premises in Chelsea. We have six consulting rooms and five operating rooms, as well as a dedicated pre and post-operative suite, and a full team of specialist nursing staff.Our Clinic
A Strong Tradition of Innovation
We were founded in 2004 by world renown plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, best known for his pioneering work in the area of liposuction, lasers and microvascular surgery. We continue to collaborate with pioneers in our field.Our History
At Home in Sloane Street, London
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We offer surgical consultations in London, Birmingham, Chelmsford and Bristol, and attract international patients from all corners of the globe such as as the USA, the Middle East and Europe.Get in Touch
Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. Read our FAQ section for more information.
We believe in the delivery of excellent outcomes and results, and exceptional levels of service. Our outcomes are natural and long-lasting, and we remain the premier choice for cosmetic surgery treatments in the UK.
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