If you’re looking for birth control that means you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day or get injections. The Contraceptive coil may be an option for you.
The Contraceptive Coil is one of the most common contraceptive devices but it can also help if you have heavy periods.
What is the Contraceptive Coil?
The Contraceptive coil is an intrauterine device (or IUD) that contains a hormone that can prevent pregnancy and treat heavy periods.
The Mirena is a small T-shaped device made of soft, flexible plastic that’s placed inside your uterus by a trained healthcare professional (usually a gynaecologist). The Mirena can last up to 7 years as a contraceptive and up to 5 years as a treatment for heavy periods. You can have the Mirena removed at any time.
How Is the Contraceptive Coil fitted?
Insertion can be uncomfortable. The inserter containing the coil is passed into your vagina and then uterus. Your gynaecologist will then check the coil has been positioned correctly and withdraw the inserter, leaving the coil. Your gynaecologist will also ensure that the two threads attached to the stem of the coil are properly extended through your cervix. These two threads help ensure the coil is placed correctly and also help remove the coil when the time comes.
You do NOT need surgery to have the Mirena coil fitted. It can be done during a routine gynaecological examination and takes only a few minutes.
During and after placement of your Mirena coil, you may have some pain, bleeding, or dizziness. If these symptoms don’t pass within 30 minutes after insertion of your coil, it may not have been placed correctly. Your gynaecologist should examine you to see if your coil needs to be removed or repositioned.
When can I have the Contraceptive Coil fitted?
You can have a Mirena coil be fitted at any point in your menstrual cycle, as long as you’re not pregnant.
You can have a Mirena coil inserted within 48 hours after birth or 4 weeks after birth.
How does the Contraceptive Coil work as birth control?
The Mirena coil contains the hormone levonorgestrel. This hormone thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to get through the cervix. It also thins the uterine lining making it more difficult for an egg to implant. The hormone in the Mirena IUD can, for some women, also prevent the release of an egg each month.
How can the Contraceptive Coil help with heavy periods?
The Mirena coil contains the hormone levonorgestrel, which is a synthetic form of progesterone. This is released into the uterus in a controlled way and thins the lining of the uterus. This reduces heavy or prolonged bleeding during menstruation. The Mirena IUD can help treat heavy periods for up to 5 years
How long Is the Contraceptive Coil effective for?
When correctly inserted, the Mirena coil can prevent pregnancy for up to 7 years and can treat heavy periods for up to 5 years.
PLEASE NOTE: The Mirena coil does NOT protect against STIs.
Are there any risks associated with the Contraceptive Coil?
When inserted correctly, less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant within a year.
However, if you do get pregnant whilst using Mirena, you’re at higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus. This can be a serious condition and frequently needs emergency medical intervention. It is not possible to save an ectopic pregnancy.
What are the side effects of the Contraceptive Coil?
There are some side effects to the Mirena coil. These include:
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular bleeding, which can improve after six months of use
- Mood changes
- Cramping or pelvic pain
If you are concerned by any of these, you can discuss these at your gynaecology appointment with Dr. Penman.