The Coil: Intrauterine System (IUS)

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The Coil: Intrauterine System (IUS)

How does it work?

  • A small T shaped plastic device inserted into the uterus (womb) which slowly releases the hormone progestogen. This stops 1 in 5 women ovulating or releasing an egg each month but it’s main effects are thinning the lining of the womb so a fertilised egg can’t implant and thickening the mucus in the cervix ( neck of the womb) to prevent sperm reaching the egg.
  • The coil is inserted into the womb by a nurse or doctor trained in this procedure. 


What’s good about it?

  • Over 99% effective.
  • Works for 3-5 years.
  • Periods usually become lighter, shorter and sometimes less painful.
  • Easily removed by your GP when needed. 
  • When it’s removed your fertility (ability to get pregnant) will return to normal.


What might the disadvantages be?

  • You may get irregular bleeding for the first 6 months.
  • Periods may stop altogether.
  • Very small risk of infection after insertion.


Where can I get it?

  • You can get get it from your GP or local sexual health clinic.


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