Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices (IUD/IUS)

These are often referred to as the coil. They are highly successful methods of contraception being 98-99% effective.

An IUD/IUS is inserted into the uterus by a simple procedure that does not require an anaesthetic. This needs to be done by a trained doctor and one who is regularly fitting coils in order that they maintain their expertise.

They work by preventing an egg implanting in the womb and by making the environment unsuitable for pregnancy.

They can remain in place for 5, even 10 years and you will be taught how to feel the threads of the device to check that it is still in place. Removal is easy and if the method suits you, a fresh device can be inserted after removal.

The Intrauterine system (IUS) is a device inserted into the uterus, that also releases the hormone progesterone onto lining of the uterus This is more than 99% effective and can be very useful for women with heavy painful periods.

These methods of contraception offer no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

Some women do find that their periods are heavier and more painful as a result of using an intrauterine device.

They are particularly suitable for women who have had children; however the newer, smaller devices can be used in women who have never had a pregnancy. This method is probably not the best for women who change partners frequently due to an increased risk of infection.

If pregnancy occurs when a device is still in the uterus, it is best to remove the device. There would be an increased risk of miscarriage. There is a slightly increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy with this method of contraception.

Further information

This article published on
08 February 2006

Next review date 2/1/2013



Areaof the body

Reproductive system

Male or female?


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