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Coil Fitting Aftercare

Please note that it can take three to six months for your body to get fully used to the coil. In the beginning, you may very well experience some discomfort but this will likely settle over this time.

Stage 1

You may experience light bleeding after the procedure and we will offer you a sanitary pad to help.

Stage 2

The next 24 hours can vary from person to person, with no discomfort to moderate-period like cramps and light bleeding. OTC painkillers regularly can help with the discomfort, along with a hot water bottle/bath.

Stage 3

Over the next few days, any discomfort/symptoms should begin to gradually improve. However, cramps may start/stop and bleeding may change to light spotting & be darker in colour.

Stage 4

After approx. 7 days, patients who have had a coil fitted before or a full term pregnancy should find minimal to no discomfort.

Stage 5

After approx. 14 days, most patients should find any discomfort/symptoms settle. For those still experiencing symptoms (e.g offensive discharge or bleeding, pain, a fever and feeling unwell) for examination into an underlying uterine infection.

Common Concerns

And some helpful advice

Concerns about pain

If you are experiencing pain which prevents you from doing every day things, please get in touch with us below.

Abdomen/cramps related

If you tested for an underlying infection with us and are receiving antibiotics, then please abstain from intercouse (or use condoms) until you have your results.

PCR results for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea & Trichomonas vaginalis are available within 3 hours.

Periods more painful than expected (with copper coil)

The copper coil is likely to make your periods more prolonged and can thus increase the discomfort that you experience. As discussed above, it can take three to six months for your body to get used to the copper coil.

In the meantime, you can take OTC painkillers, hot water bottles/baths and a walk to help with the discomfort.

You will unlikely have been given a copper coil if your periods are already heavy and painful. Please get in touch with us to discuss a hormonal coil, as this can help with heavy and painful periods.

Periods more painful than expected (with hormonal coil)

As discussed above, it can take three to six months for your body to get used to the hormonal coil. If your bleeding is still more painful than normal after this time, please get in touch to discuss alternative options.

In the meantime, you can take OTC painkillers, hot water bottles/baths and a walk to help with the discomfort.

Concerns about bleeding

Periods more heavy than expected (with copper coil)

The copper coil is likely to make your periods more prolonged and can thus increase the discomfort that you experience. As such, your periods with the copper coil can start lighter, then be heavier, sometimes with clots and then settle to dark spotting again. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen and when.

Periods more heavy than expected (with hormonal coil)

If you have a low dose hormonal coil (e.g. Kyleena), you can expect your periods to be shorter, lighter and less painful. For some, it may stop altogether.

If you have a higher dose hormonal coil (e.g. Mirena), you can expect your periods to be lighter or stop altogether (or just experience occasional spotting).

However, whilst your body is getting used to the hormonal coil, you may still experience some bleeding. It may be unscheduled and intermittent; heavier or lighter than usual; and even red, brown or even very dark (black and stringy).

Concerns about threads

Coil threads are difficult to feel

It takes a little bit of practice to be able to easily feel your threads.

If you find that you are unable to feel them, try on another day and avoid unprotected sexual contact until you can confirm.

If you or your partner are unable to feel them, please contact us (or your GP) for a coil check to ensure it is still in its place.

Coil threads are too long (and partner can feel them)

Coil threads are left approx. 2cm from outside the cervix (neck of the womb), so that they can be easily felt and removed.

If you find your threads becoming longer than this, it may be that the coil is being expelled from the uterus. In such a case, please avoid unprotected sex and contact us (or your GP) for a coil check.

Upon the coil check, if the coil is confirmed to be in place, we can trim the threads if they cause discomfort to your partner.

Coil threads are harder than expected

It can take a few weeks for the threads to soften up. In the meantime, we recommend using condoms (if applicable) to avoid any discomfort for your partner until the threads soften.

If your partner is still experiencing discomfort, please contact us (or your GP) for a coil check.

Dos & Dont’s

N

Check your threads regularly to ensure your coil is in place

N

Undertake regular STI screening with every new partner

N

If using a menstrual cup, break the seal on the cup before removing to avoid the possibility of removing the coil

M

Use a heavy flow tampon, for light flow after the first few weeks of your coil being fitted

Checking Your Threads

The threads at the end of the ‘coil’ project through the cervix (neck of the womb). By feeling them, you know your device is still in place.

You should do this after every period, or, if you have no periods, choose a regular time each month. The best time to check if the device is still in place is after a period if you have one, or pick a date every month (especially within the first 12 months of fitting).

To check the threads, first get into a comfortable position, either the position you insert a tampon or lying on your back with knees apart. Then insert a finger into the vagina, aiming towards your lower back.

The vagina is only open when something goes in or out of this space, so it will feel warm and tight around your fingers. The neck of the womb (cervix) feels very different to the vagina, it is usually quite firm, like the end of your nose. It does take practice and can be tricky to locate so if you push or bear down (the same as when you have your bowels open) it will move the cervix forward and can make it easier to find.

Once you find your cervix which is like a mini doughnut, then feel around the surface of it and you should be able to feel the threads with your finger tips. Your specialist will show you what your threads feel like after your device is fitted so you know what they expect to feel like.

Once you have felt the threads and many women then get to know the best position and time to check them, you can also make sure you don’t feel anything hard, like the end of a matchstick, which would mean the device is being expelled and not in the uterus.

  • If you can’t feel them, they are probably there but tucked up in the canal of the cervix. You should contact us or your GP and use a condom until we can be sure your coil is in the right place.
  • If you think you can feel the plastic end of your coil it may be coming out. Do NOT rely on it for contraception. Seek medical advice. You may need emergency contraception.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I require a follow up appointment?

A coil check is not routine after a coil fit. However, if you would like one, the best time is in about 4-6 weeks.

Please note that we do charge for this service.

When will my coil start to work?

Copper Coil
Once your device is fitted, your method will protect you from pregnancy straight away.

Hormonal Coil
The hormonal coil takes 7 days to be effective, so if you are not using a method prior to fit, then abstain or use condoms until it is effective.

If you are using a method already, then continue this for the next 7 days at least, and then the hormonal coil will be effective and all other methods can be stopped. Your specialist will advise you exactly what you need to do to prevent pregnancy at your appointment.

Emergency Coil
If you plan to keep the coil in as your long term method, then undertake a pregnancy test, 3 weeks after the fitting, even if your period arrives, to ensure it is a negative result. If you don’t wish to keep the coil for ongoing contraception you can have it removed after your next period starts.

How soon after my coil fitting can I have sex?

We would recommend the use of condoms for the first couple of weeks following your fitting, as it will protect you against infection and will be more comfortable for your partner (as the threads will take a couple of weeks to soften).

Please be aware that the immediate effectiveness of a coil is dependent on where you are in your menstrual cycle when the device is fitted and the type of coil – your Specialist will inform you of this.

Can I use tampons?

Using tampons immediately after a coil fit with heavy bleeding is not an issue; however, if you are only experiencing slight spotting we would always recommend you wait until after your next period before resuming tampon use, and use a panty liner instead. This is because the threads of the coil are still quite firm and could get caught on the tampon, risking removing the device when changing tampons.

Similarly, there is no evidence to suggest that you cannot use a menstrual cup with a coil. If you would like to resume use of your menstrual cup, please wait until after your next period and ensure you break the seal of suction prior to each removal.

What if I want my coil removed?

A specialist will need to do this – don’t try yourself. If you don’t want to become pregnant and haven’t already started another method of contraception you should either use condoms or abstain from intercourse in the 5 days before your coil is removed.

And if you need a little more

Repeat Medications

If you are seeking repeat medications, you can complete the following form to speed up the process.

Follow Up Discussion

If you have any concerns after your procedure, we can arrange a follow up discussion with a clinician without delay.

Further visits

You will unlikely need any further visits. If this is appropriate, we will discuss it in the appointment with you.