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Intrauterine Device


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What is it? 

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that’s inserted into your womb by a specially trained health professional. There are various types and sizes available. Depending on the type, an IUD can last from three to 10 years. It used to be called a coil.

The IUD is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method. This means that once it's in place, you don't have to think about contraception every day or each time you have sex.

You can use an IUD whether or not you've had children.

How does it work? 

The IUD works by preventing sperm surviving in the cervix, womb or fallopian tubes (the copper acts as a spermicide). It may also prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb.

How effective is it?

It's more than 99% effective. This means that fewer than one in every 100 women who use the IUS will get pregnant in a year. 

Added benefits?


Purple petal     An IUD is effective as soon as it's put in.    


Purple petal   It can be removed at any time by a specially trained health professional. You'll quickly return to normal levels of fertility.

What else should I know?


Purple petal    Changes to your periods are common in the first three to six months after an IUD is put in, but they're likely to settle after this. It can make your periods heavier, longer or more painful, and you might get spotting or bleeding between periods. Heavy bleeding can be treated, so talk to your doctor or nurse about this.    


Purple petal   If you think you are at risk of infection then a checkup is carried out before inserting the IUS. (no risk of infection from the IUS itself).


Purple petal   There's a risk that your body may spontaneously expel it.      


Purple petal   If you get pregnant, there's an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (when the egg implants outside the womb, for example, in the fallopian tube). But because pregnancy is very unlikely, the overall risk of ectopic pregnancy is lower than in women who don't use contraception.  


Purple petal   Having the IUD put in can be uncomfortable. You may want to use pain-relieving drugs or a local anesthetic. Ask the doctor or nurse about this.  


Purple petal   An IUD may not be suitable for you if you've had previous pelvic infections.  


Purple petal   Can be a little uncomfortable while the IUD is put in. Painkillers can help with this.  

By using condoms as well as the IUD, you'll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

IUD is freely available from Contraception Clinics. Use the Service Finder to find a clinic that’s most convenient for you. Or call our Central Booking line 01772 401140 for more information on this method or to book an appointment.







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