Advice Before A Coil Is Fitted
Timing of Coil Fit:
Before a coil can be fitted it is important that there is no chance you are pregnant.
Continue regular, effective contraception up until your coil fitting.
The ideal time to fit a coil is in the first 7 days of your cycle (day 1 is the day your period starts). The insertion procedure may be easier at this time in your cycle, however it can be fitted at other times in your menstrual cycle.
If you are using condoms, it may be best to try to abstain, as if you have a burst condom and take emergency contraception in the 7 days before fitting, we may not be able to fit the coil.
If you don’t have periods at present (eg during breastfeeding or whilst using other methods of contraception), a coil fit can be arranged at any time providing there is no chance of pregnancy. In some circumstances a negative pregnancy test may be needed before a coil can be fitted. To rely on a negative result, effective contraception or abstinence from sex is required for the 3 weeks before the pregnancy test.
After having a baby it is advisable to wait 4 weeks before a coil is fitted. There are other appropriate forms of contraception available to use before this time (see http://www.patient.co.uk/health/contraception-after-having-a-baby , www.fpa.org or discuss with a nurse/GP).
If you already have a coil in place, please either abstain from sexual intercourse or use a condom carefully in the 7 days before you attend. Sperm can live in the pelvis for 7 days, so there is a theoretical chance of pregnancy if this advice is not followed, as, on rare occasions it may not be possible to fit the replacement coil successfully.
If you are attending for a replacement coil and your coil change is overdue, you are advised to use an alternative form of contraception eg condoms. In some cases a negative pregnancy test, after at least 3 weeks of contraception/abstinence may be required before the coil can be changed.
Before the Fitting:
Please take some painkillers an hour before the procedure (either ibuprofen 400mg (with or after food) or paracetamol 1g- or both-as long as you are not allergic to these) as some ladies experience discomfort, like period cramps, during coil insertions.
Some ladies can feel a little faint during and after the fitting. It is therefore advisable to have someone with you or someone you can contact by telephone in case you feel unwell.
It is usual practice to offer a chlamydia test before fitting an IUD/IUS to all our patients.
Please wear loose, comfortable clothes and footwear for your appointment.
Remember, you can change your mind about having a coil fitted at any time
The Fitting Process:
Please allow an hour for the appointment
The doctor will ask questions to check the coil is suitable for you. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions, before giving your consent to proceed with the fitting. If at any stage you change your mind about the fitting, the procedure can be stopped.
The process of fitting a coil is similar to what happens with a smear test. A vaginal examination will be undertaken and then the coil fitted. You may feel some discomfort, but this varies from person to person. The doctor and nurse will do their best to reassure you and make the procedure as pleasant as it can be.
You will be given advice after fitting about what to expect and when to come back.
Please ensure you have no major commitments afterwards as you may need to take it easy and relax for the rest of the day
After the Fitting:
Use condoms for 7 days and consider using additional contraception until your coil check.
You may experience bleeding or cramping. Continue with regular painkillers if required. If the pain is more uncomfortable than a period, talk to a doctor.
Avoid tampons for the first week, but thereafter it is ok to use them.
If you have any concerns after your coil fitting please do not hesitate to contact the surgery for advice.
- Discomfort/dizziness/fainting on insertion
- Expulsion or change of position (up to 1 in 20)
- Failure (IUD- up to 1 in 100 at 1 year, up to 2 in 100 at 12 years, IUS- up to 1 in 100 at 5 years)
- Ectopic pregnancy (if pregnancy occurs)
- Damage to cervix or womb including perforation ( up to 1 in 500)
- Altered vaginal bleeding (IUD- heavier, more painful or prolonged periods, IUS- erratic bleeding up to 6 months)
- IUS- hormonal effects: greasy skin, mood changes, weight change.