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GB-NON-02457 | Date of Preparation: April 2020



The IUD is a small, T-shaped, plastic and copper device that is placed in the uterus by a nurse or doctor. It's sometimes called a ‘coil’ or ‘copper coil’. It has no hormones, just copper which stops you getting pregnant.1


IUD/Coil key facts

Your nurse or doctor will need to examine you before you can have an IUD fitted.2


The IUD provides protection from pregnancy for 5 years or 10 years depending on the particular type2


It is a small copper and plastic device that is placed in the uterus1


It is not a hormonal contraceptive2

  • Over 99% effective when correctly fitted1
  • May be a good choice if you want a hormone-free type of long-term contraception1
  • After the IUD is removed your fertility should return your normal levels1
  • Your period might get heavier, longer or more painful in the first 3 to 6 months after an IUD is put in. And you might get some spotting or bleeding between periods1
  • A doctor or nurse must insert and remove the IUD, which can be uncomfortable or painful1

The pros and cons listed are not exhaustive. Talk to your doctor or nurse for more information.

Common questions

Who can’t use this type of contraception?

The IUD cannot be used if you have problems with your uterus or cervix, or if you have a pelvic infection. As with all types of contraception, it is important to discuss your choices with your nurse or doctor.2

How is the IUD fitted?

A doctor or nurse will examine inside you to find the size and position of your uterus before they insert the IUD.1 The IUD is inserted into your cervix and the actual insertion takes around 5 minutes.1 This can be uncomfortable or painful for some women and you may be offered a local anaesthetic.1 Your doctor or nurse can advise you about this. After the IUD is fitted, you may get period-type pain and some light bleeding for a few days – painkillers can help.2

Can I feel it?

You shouldn’t be able to feel the IUD once it has been inserted.2 You’ll know it’s in place by feeling the thin threads that hang a little way down from your uterus into the top of your vagina.2 Your doctor or nurse will teach you how to feel them.2

Similar contraceptive types

This contraceptive is a type known as long-acting – for more contraceptives like this, click below


Tell me more


Tell me more


Tell me more

So what do I do now?

Now you have a few options for types of contraception that might be right for you, you should have a chat with a GP/doctor or nurse.


Sexual health clinic

Find and visit a contraception clinic near you for information about your available choices.

Find out more


Pop into your local pharmacy and ask about your options.

Find a pharmacy

GP clinic

Make an appointment with your nurse or doctor so you can chat about what options are best for you.

Find a GP

You may want to download information on your options to help with your discussion.

Download now

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