How To Choose Between Types Of Intrauterine Devices

A good number of women, about 25% use birth control pill, but most either forget to take the pills or refuse to take them. For these women, a private IUD coil fitting in London is a viable alternative to the pills.

An IUD is a device placed in the uterus to help prevent pregnancy within a specific period. The T-shaped device can prevent pregnancy for as long as ten years, although this depends on the type you get. Depending on your insurance plan, they may cost about £700 for an upfront payment. Although this is considerably more expensive than pills, you would not have to worry about the device, once you fit it.

Two types of IUDs are available, they include, the hormonal and copper IUD. Brands of hormonal IUD include Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla, while ParaGard is a copper IUD type. These IUDs are effective but may have some side effects. To choose a suitable one, you need to know how they work and their possible side effects.

Basics of hormonal IUDs

When your healthcare provider inserts the IUD in your uterus, it begins to release progestin in small amounts. The hormone prevents sperm from getting to the egg for fertilisation to occur. Like hormonal pills, the IUDS can stop the release of an egg from the ovaries and ovulation. The hormone released also thickens the mucus in the cervix,which prevents easy movement of the sperm to the egg. It also causes thinning of the uterus lining to prevent implantation of a fertilised egg. 

Hormonal IUDs not only prevent pregnancies but also help to reduce cramps and lighten periods. Liletta and Mirena stop periods, and within the first 3 – 6 months of inserting a hormonal IUD, your period may be unpredictable.

Mirena hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy for about five years, while, Liletta and Skyla prevent pregnancy for about three years.

The following side effects are common with both hormonal IUDs and birth control pills.

  • Breast tenderness and soreness
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Nausea

Basics of copper IUD

Paragard IUD has a copper wire wrapped in it, which releases copper into the uterus. The IUD last for about ten years. Paragard is an effective long-term contraceptive, and it can serve as an emergency contraceptive after unprotected sex. If you insert the device five days after you have unprotected sex, or when your other contraceptive fails, it will prevent pregnancy. In this case, it is about 100% effective in pregnancy prevention.

Paragard may cause more cramps and bleeding during periods, but the periods would become lighter after a couple of months. Other possible side effects include the following.

  • Pain while having sex
  • Anaemia
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Spotting between periods
  • Backaches

Similarities between the different types of IUDs

Hormonal and copper IUDs prevent pregnancy by preventing the movement of sperm. They both prevent the sperm from getting to the egg for fertilisation to occur. The two types of IUDs are effective, and less than 1% of those using them get pregnant every year.

You can remove the IUDs at any time if the side effects are discomforting or when you want to get pregnant.

Differences between the different types of IUDs

A principal difference between the types of IUDs is that hormonal IUDs release hormones, while copper IUDs does not. Asides preventing the movement of the sperm to the egg, hormonal IUDs prevent ovulation and thin the lining of the uterus.

The different IUDs have different working durations. ParaGard remains effective for about ten years, Mirena works for about five years, while Liletta and Skyla work for about three years.

ParaGard becomes effective as soon as you insert it, butMirena, Liletta and Skyla take one week to work. During this period, you will need another contraceptive. IUDs containing hormones may make period lighter and reduce cramps, but copper IUDs may make periods heavier and increase cramps for a while.

Risk factors

Generally, IUDs are safe, but may not be suitable for all women. You may not be able to get an IUD for the following reasons.

  • You just had a pelvic inflammatory disease or an STI
  • You are pregnant
  • You have liver disease
  • You have ovarian, endometrial or cervical cancer
  • You have issues with your uterus like fibroids
  • You experience vaginal bleeding

ParaGard may increase the risk of having a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Women with an allergic reaction to copper cannot get copper IUD and those experiencing Wilson’s disease, which causes the build-up of copper in the body.

What to expect when inserting an IUD and afterwards

During the insertion, expect the healthcare provider to pass the device through your vagina and cervix into your uterus with an applicator. This usually takes only ten minutes, and some people feel cramps.

You can regularly check if your IUD is still in place by checking for the strings attached to the device. The strings also help for easy removal of the device. After you get our IUD inserted, you may experience any of the following side effects. However, they occur for a short while.

  • Backache
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavier periods
  • Cramps similar to period cramps
  • Spotting between your periods

Other severe side effects that occur rarely include the following.

  • Expulsion of IUD
  • PID
  • Perforation of the uterine wall
  • Shifting of the device


Before choosing an IUD or other contraceptives, ensure you consult your doctor to know the risks and benefits involved. Ensure you consider the side effects, convenience, and cost before you opt for any birth control option.

You can always remove an IUD if you get it, but think it’s not for you because you experience serious side effects. If you are yet to get an IUD, visit a trusted private gynaecology clinic in London. Gynae UK is a clinic with experienced gynaecologists who perform IUD insertion.

Contact Gynae UK today on 020 7183 0692 to book an appointment for your IUD insertion.

Walk In Clinic London Google Map Click To View Full Map

Contact Info

Phone: 020 7183 0692



Suite B,117A Harley St
Marylebone, London

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri : 9:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun : Closed for now