What Happens When You Get The Coil Fitted
The Coil has become an increasingly popular mode of contraception in recent years. There are two different kinds of coils available to women – the copper coil and the Mirena coil. The main difference is that one is a hormone-based contraceptive while the other is not. They both have the very same role in that they make your cervix an unfriendly environment for sperm. Neither stops your ovaries from producing an egg but rather they prevent fertilisation from happening.
Both options are minimally invasive and last at least five years. They are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy which makes them an attractive option for many women.
The Mirena coil is the hormone-based option. It releases a small amount of the progesterone hormone every day which makes the womb less attractive to an egg. It also prevents fertilisation from happening as the increase in cervical mucous hinders the survival of sperm. This tends to be the recommended option for women who have given birth but it is an option for all women.
The Copper Coil is the non-hormone based option. It acts as a spermicide which makes the womb a less attractive place for sperm. It can also stop a released egg from being able to implant in the womb thus preventing fertilisation. It tends to be a very popular option for those who have had issues with other hormonal contraceptives such as the pill. Symptoms like mood swings and skin issues are less likely when there are no hormones involved.
Both pills are known to reduce the length and discomfort associated with your period. For some women, it goes away completely and they don’t get a period at all.
So what actually happens when you have a coil fitted?
The timeline varies depending on the care provider you choose. The first step will be a discussion with your GP or health clinic to explore the idea of having a coil fitted and to determine if you are a suitable candidate for that form of contraception. If you are given the green light then the prescription will be ordered and you will most likely be sent away with some information about what to expect during and after the procedure and a date to come back and have it fitted.
Some care providers will recommend that you take a mild painkiller before the procedure such as two paracetamol. Most women will describe the procedure as “uncomfortable” but not very painful.
The procedure will feel similar to a gynaecological exam. The doctor will use a speculum similar to that used during your cervical smear test. They will most likely take a swab during this part to ensure you are free from any STIs.
Before the coil is inserted the medical professional will measure your cervix. They will use a tool similar to the one used to measure how dilated your cervix is during labour. Many women consider this to be the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. In fact, many women claim that they didn’t even notice the actual coil being inserted when it came to that part of the procedure. Others describe it as a sharp stinging pain for about two minutes. A pain that you must breathe deeply through.
It is extremely normal to experience cramps after the procedure for a couple of days. Similar to period cramps they can come in waves and vary in intensity. A small amount of bleeding can be expected but usually subsides within twenty-four hours.
As with all medical procedures, there can be issues and things do not always go smoothly. It is important to follow the recommendations and considerations that your care provider gives you to ensure that everything is happening as it should be.
In general, women credit coil insertion as being a little bit uncomfortable but completely worth it.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.