Intrauterine device (IUD) is sometimes
called a ‘copper coil’ or ‘simply coil’. It is not a coil as the name implies
but a small T-shaped plastic device. A health professional should insert the
coil into the uterus. This device secretes copper which stops pregnancy. Its
efficacy lasts from 5 to 10 years depending on the type used.
about the Device
- Has an efficiency of more than 99% if properly inserted
- It is safe for lactating mothers
- The menstrual cycle does not affect coil insertions
- Removal is possible at anytime
- It is effective in the long term
Who can use the device?
Any healthy woman can use an IUD. The
exception to its use are women who
cervical cancer or cancer of the womb.
STDs or recently treated a pelvic infection.
unexplained vaginal bleeding after their period or sex.
IUD can be inserted 4 weeks after childbirth.
an IUD works
The device when inserted into the uterus
releases copper. The copper can work in two ways
- Make it difficult for the sperm to get to
the egg through thickening of the cervical mucus
- Prevent the implantation of a fertilised egg to the
Insertion of the IUD
You are required to consult a doctor
before your IUD is inserted. Inside your vagina will be checked to know the
size and position of your womb. You will also be tested for any STIs. You would
also discuss the type of anaesthetic
or over the counter painkiller to take before or after the insertion.
is an IUD inserted?
Fitting an IUD does not take
longer than 5 minutes. The vagina is held open with a speculum the same way it
is during a cervical screening; the IUD is inserted into a small tube that is
placed into the vagina. The tube is moved into the uterus through the cervix.
The IUD is pushed out of the tube, and the tube pulled out. The strings on the
IUD hangs between 1-2 inches into the vagina.
What to expect after an IUD insertion
You may experience slight bleeding,
cramps, and lightheadedness after the procedure. This discomfort tends to
disappear after a few days. The effect of the IUD begins as soon as it is
inserted. There could be an infection after the insertion of an IUD. If you
experience one of the following
- Increased body temperature
- Pain in your lower abdomen
- Smelly discharge
You need to see your doctor 3-6 weeks after the procedure to make sure everything is as it should be.
If your partner feels the
string of the IUD during sex or you feel it has moved, you need to see your
doctor for a check-up.
Advantages of IUD
- It has a long span of 5-10 years.
- No hormonal side effect like mood swing, nausea, headache or breast
- Safe for breastfeeding mothers
- Pregnancy can occur as soon as the IUD is removed.
- It works immediately after the procedure.
- It doesn’t interfere during sex
- Its effect is not inhibited by the use of other medications.
- Women of any age can use it.
Disadvantages of IUD
- You must use a condom in case of prevention of STIs.
- You may experience prolonged vaginal bleeding and pain.’
- It can cause a hang
in the period. You
may experience a heavier, longer or more painful period.
- IUD insertion can cause pelvic infection.
Can IUD Fallout?
IUD falls out only in rare
- Presence of fibroid in the uterus
- Women below 20 years
- You have never had children
- You had the procedure done after having a baby or a second-trimester
- Unusual size or shape of the uterus
Risks of using an IUD
There are a few risks to be
considered before you get an IUD inserted
- If the IUD falls out and pregnancy occurs, there is a high risk of
- Increased risk of pelvic infection
- Damage to the womb
- The IUD can be accidentally expelled from the uterus. This could lead to
pregnancy if it is not noticed on time
Where to get an IUD
IUD can be gotten at
- Contraception clinics
- Sexual health clinics
- GP surgeons
- Young people’s services