Dear doctor, can you advise on the best contraceptive coil please?

08 August 2017

Q: I want to have a coil insertion but I'm unsure which one to have. Can you advise please?

A: There are 2 different types of coil:

  • Non hormonal (Intrauterine device-IUD)
  • Hormonal (Intrauterine System-IUS) - Mirena and Jaydess

The IUD and IUS are highly effective methods of contraception (>99%) allowing your fertility to return back to normal once removed.

The IUD is usually selected by women who do not wish to have any hormonal contraception and would like to maintain a regular monthly period. Once the IUD is in place, you can use it for up to 5 or 10 years.

The IUS is the preferred choice by women who would like to get lighter periods or no periods at all. If inserted under the age of 45, Mirena can be used for 5 years; if it is inserted after 45 years of age, you can use it for 10 years (unless you experience bleeding). Jaydess can be used for 3 years.

Any coil insertion will be associated with some risks:

  • Risk of infection in first 20 days. If you develop any pain, fever or discharge after coil insertion, you should see your clinician.
  • Risk of expulsion (falling out) of the coil. The risk is higher during the first year, particularly in the first 3 months. We advise you to check threads once a month by inserting a finger inside the vagina.
  • Small risk of making a small hole in the womb
  • Small risk of pregnancy outside the womb if you get pregnant
  • Risk of heavy periods with IUD in first 6 months
  • Risk of irregular bleeding in first 3-6 months with IUS (your period will then be very light or you will stop having periods altogether).

After considering all the benefits, risk factors, duration of usage and effect of coil on your periods, you can decide which coil will be best suited to you.

Dr Najia Aziz is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Consultant practising at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.


The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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