The non-hormonal coil, also known as the IUD or copper coil (intrauterine device) is a small piece of flexible plastic that doctors place inside the uterus as a contraceptive. The coil can be easily removed once you decide you want to get pregnant or explore other alternative contraceptives.
The non-hormonal coil works in such a way that it stops the sperm from reaching the egg. Usually, the clinician will insert the coil into the uterus or womb, once the coil is in place, you do not necessarily need to think about the use of contraceptive for 5-10 years, unless you want to try other types of contraceptives.
This can be done by removing the device from the womb, usually by a trained doctor or nurse. The IUD can also be used as an emergency contraception if it is inserted within five days after unprotected sex.
Sometimes, the IUD may move a little away from your womb into your vagina. Since the IUD has two thin threads that hang down a little to the top of your vagina, your doctor will guide and teach you how to feel for the threads, once the IUD displaces from its position.
However, if you cant feel the threads or you think the device has moved, it is best to see your doctor or nurse straight away to ensure you are fully protected against pregnancy. However, the scenario rarely occurs, and when it does occur, it is most common in the first three months after insertion.
Virtually all women can use it. However, your doctor or GP will take a brief history of your health and medical condition; questions about your family will also be asked to ensure the method is right for you. The IUD is a superior alternative to women who can't take the hormones progestogen.
The contraceptive may not be suitable for the following set of women:
Some risks of the non-hormonal coil may include the following:
Most women will experience pain and discomfort during the process. However, the pain is known to last for a short while and can be quite similar to menstrual cramps. The fitting is likely to be less painful if you’ve previously had a vagina birth since the vagina has been stretched.
Your partner may not be able to feel the thread during sex. However, if he gets to feel the thread, inform your GP, just to be sure your intrauterine device is properly positioned
You may experience irregular bleeding from time to time, especially during the first few months after your IUD has been fitted.
Well, yes! You can easily use your tampons, pads or mooncups while using the IUD.
The probability of such occurrence is quite low, but your doctor or GP will likely teach you how to feel for the threads and how to ensure that the IUD is properly fitted. However, if you can’t feel the threads or you think the IUD might have moved, the next line of action should be to contact your doctor. If you must have sex, use extra contraception like a condom until you have been properly checked by your doctor. This will help mitigate against the risk of pregnancy.
Although your chances of getting pregnant when the IUD is fitted is quite low, If you get pregnant, there is a possible risk of you having an ectopic pregnancy.
The IUD will need to be constantly checked by the doctor after three to six weeks of fitting the device to ensure there is no form of complication. It is often advised that you talk to your doctor if you notice any difficulty or problems after the initial check.
If you are between 40 years of age or older, you can still have your IUD fitted until you have reached your menopause.
Yes, the IUD can still be used by women who are breast feeding. However, you may need to wait for at least four to six weeks after giving birth before using the IUD.