No waiting list
Private coil fittings available within days
Specialists & friendly clinicians
With patients travelling from across the country
About the procedure
Length of appointments
Approx. 30-45 minutes in total
Recovery & aftercare
You can continue with your day as normal, without needing to take any time off.
Copper Coil Fitting/Replacement£350
We will start the process with a pre-appointment questionnaire to help us determine whether or not it is safe to offer you a mirena coil, when will be the right time for you to come in and who will be best for you to see.
Before coming for your appointment, we will recommend you have a test for Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea to prevent any underlying infection travelling further up the uterus and leading to long term complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. You may also wish to take a painkiller an hour before attending your appointment and have something to eat or drink.
Upon your arrival, we will begin by reviewing your pre-appointment questionnaire and discussing any questions that you may have about the procedure, methods of pain relief and the right coil for you.
Once we have completed the consultation element of the appointment, we will then ask you to undress (in private) and lie down on the couch. As you’re ready and comfortable, we will begin by offering you the pain relief method of your choice.
If you have opted for an ultrasound guided copper coil fitting, we will scan your uterus to better understand where the coil should be placed and the right sized coil for you.
We will then proceed to fit the coil (the procedure itself only takes about 5 minutes). We begin by placing 2 fingers into the vagina and a hand on your abdomen. This can be briefly a little uncomfortable but it doesn’t take long. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina, so the neck of the womb (Cervix) can be seen. At this point, the topical anaesthetic can be sprayed and placed onto the cervix and inside the uterus. Some people feel this as cold, warm or a crampy type experience, while others don’t feel anything. A small device is placed onto the cervix to keep it still while a small straw sized tube is inserted through the cervix, to measure the length of the womb. This can cause a fleeting period-like cramping pain.
The copper coil is held in a tube which is inserted into the uterus, from which the coil is then released. Once the coil is in place, the threads to the device are trimmed, leaving usually about 2cm of threads outside the cervix. The speculum is then removed and that concludes the fitting process. At this stage we encourage you to take some time to rest before getting dressed again.
Once your copper coil has been fitted, we will show you how to check the coil threads yourself and discuss recovery and aftercare.
Some patients also take this time to have their routine HPV test, to save another visit. This, of course, depends on whether you feel comfortable doing so and is performed prior to any internal examination to ensure a sufficient sample.
Methods of Pain Relief
Who can have a copper coil fitted?
Almost anyone with a uterus is clinically suitable for an IUD, though this does not factor lifestyle preferences. This includes those who have never been pregnant or had children, young people and those who are HIV positive.
Some conditions which may mean you shouldn’t use an IUD are that you:
- Think you might already be pregnant
- Have an untreated sexually transmitted infection or pelvic infection
- Have problems with your uterus or cervix
- Have unexplained bleeding from your vagina (for example, between periods and after sex)
- Have Wilson’s Disease
If you have had an ectopic pregnancy, or you have an artificial heart valve, you must consult your clinician before having an IUD fitted.
From what age can I have a copper coil fitted?
We see patients from the age of 18+ for copper coil fittings.
Can I have a copper coil fitted even if I have never delivered a child?
I’ve just had a baby. Can I have an IUD?
An IUD can be fitted immediately after delivery or caesarean. If it is not fitted within 48 hours, you will need to wait at least 4 weeks until the IUD can be placed, and use another method of contraception until it is fitted.
The IUD does not interfere with breastfeeding and won’t affect your milk supply.
Can I use an IUD after a miscarriage or an abortion?
Yes. You’ll also be protected from pregnancy immediately.
The consultation and procedure happen in one appointment, as long as it’s safe to do so.
In order to book you at the right time, with the right person, we will request you to complete our pre-appointment questionnaire.
We will begin by reviewing your questionnaire and discussing any questions you may have about the copper coil fitting. Once you are ready, we will then turn to the Mirena coil fitting.
Ultrasound Scan (if booked)
If you have booked in for an ultrasound scan, we will begin by scanning your uterus to help us assist in the fitting of your copper coil.
Procedure (in same appt.)
We will then proceed with offering you the method of pain relief discussed and then proceed to fit the copper coil. We will of course walk you through this step by step.
Aftercare & Recovery
After your coil has been fitted, we will discuss the next steps and share guidance on common questions and self-care.
If you’ve just had a copper coil fitting by us and are seeking advice on recovery and aftercare, we’ve got the information for you just here.
When can a copper coil be fitted?
A copper coil can be fitted at any time during your menstrual cycle, as long as there is no chance of pregnancy.
If you are using a method of contraception, please continue with your pills, patches, injection or implant, including on the day of your procedure. This may include reliable condom use.
Your clinician will inform you how long you will need to continue with your other method of contraception after the device is fitted.
If you are not currently using a method of contraception, it is advised to abstain from any sexual contact from the first day of your period. If you are attending for a copper coil refitting, we recommend abstaining for 7 days prior to your appointment.
Can I have a copper coil fitted if I am on my period?
Yes. It is entirely your choice.
Some patients prefer to wait until they have finished bleeding so that they may distinguish between their period bleed and post-procedure bleed (which is perfectly normal). The same occurs with patients who like to distinguish between period pains and post-procedure pains.
Furthermore, some clinicians argue it is more comfortable for the patient to fit the coil when they are having their period (due to factors including natural lubrication and the cervical canal being open to let menstrual blood out).
What are the possible complications of having a copper coil fitted?
There’s a very small chance of getting a pelvic infection in the first few weeks after the coil has been inserted. You may be advised to have a check for any existing infections before the coil is fitted.
Please seek medical advice or visit your local GUM clinic urgently if you’ve had a coil fitted and you:
- have pain or tenderness in your lower abdomen
- have a high temperature
- have abnormal or smelly discharge
There’s a small chance that the coil can be rejected (expelled) by the womb or it can move (displacement). If this happens, it’s usually soon after it’s been fitted. We will discuss how to check that your coil is still inside the uterus, by checking your threads and noticing if there are any changes to include them being longer or totally absent.
If you were to become pregnant while fitted with a coil, there is a very small risk that the pregnancy will be ectopic. This is when the fertilised egg is implanted outside of the womb, usually in the fallopian tubes. However the overall risk of an ectopic pregnancy is lower in patients using a coil than in patients using no contraception at all.
You may have some discomfort from the coil. If so, we will firstly rule out the other causes of this, such as infection.
About 1 in 100 patients experience lost threads. If you are unable to feel your threads, or you are worried your coil has fallen out, it is important to avoid having penetrative vaginal sex or use alternative contraception, such as condoms. In this instance, please contact us as soon as possible and we will advise you.
Before the appointment
How can I prepare for my copper coil fitting?
We recommend a Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea PCR test
It is important that there is no underlying infection at the time of your copper coil fitting. This is to prevent any infection (if present) from travelling further up the uterus during the fitting and to avoid long term complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
You may also wish to take a painkiller an hour before attending your appointment and have something to eat or drink.
Bring someone to drive you home
Some patients may feel a little faint after the fitting and may feel more comfortable to have someone drive them home.
Will I need to take time off for my copper coil fitting?
Most patients do not need any time off work after the procedure. However, it is advised to rest afterwards and avoid any heavy activity.
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes. You can bring your partner, friend or family member to your appointment.
However, if you feel that you would rather not bring someone to the appointment, rest assured that our staff are here to support you and make you feel comfortable in any way possible. Clarewell Clinics is a safe space.
What travel arrangements should I make for after the copper coil fitting?
You do not need to make any special travel arrangements for after your appointment. However, if you feel that you may wish for someone to drive/accompany you home, then you will need to make arrangements accordingly.
During the appointment
How does the copper coil fitting work?
The fitting process will begin with your clinician examining you internally by placing 2 fingers into the vagina and a hand on your abdomen. This can be briefly a little uncomfortable but it doesn’t take long. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina so the neck of the womb (Cervix) can be seen. A small clip is placed onto the cervix to keep it still while a small straw-like tube is inserted into the cervix to measure the length of the womb. This can cause a fleeting period-like cramping pain.
The device is held in a tube which is inserted into the uterus, from which the coil is then released. Once the coil is in place, the threads to the device are trimmed, leaving usually about 2cm of threads outside the cervix. The clip and speculum are then removed and that concludes the fitting process. At this stage we encourage you to take some time to rest before getting dressed again.
Does the copper coil fitting hurt?
Whilst it can be uncomfortable to have a coil fitted, we try to do our best to make it as painless as possible.
We also use different methods of analgesia to make the process more comfortable. You can choose from local anaesthetic spray, local anaesthetic gel or entonox (gas and air). All of this will be discussed with you before we proceed with the procedure.
This includes offering you highly experienced clinicians in the field of Sexual & Reproductive Health and a combination of local anaesthesia.
Can I listen to my music during the copper coil fitting?
Yes, absolutely you can. Please let us know at the time of your booking (or upon your arrival) so that we are ready to accommodate your wishes.
Can I have an STI test during my appointment?
Absolutely. Please request this at the time of booking so that we may book you an extended appointment.
For more information about our STI tests, please visit this page: https://www.clarewellclinics.co.uk/sexual-health-clinic/.
What happens if my copper coil fitting does not go as planned?
Although every effort will be given to fit your copper coil, it may not always be possible if there are unforeseen complications such as the neck of the womb not opening enough to accomodate the measuring sound or coil applicator. If that is the case, your consultant will advise you on next steps.
Do I need to bring feminine hygiene products for use after the copper coil fitting?
Pads are available at the clinic, however, if you wish to bring your own then you are more than welcome to do so.
After the appointment
What should I expect after my copper coil fitting?
Some patients may feel dizzy, faint, or light headed immediately after the procedure. It is advised to stay lying down until these symptoms have passed.
If you feel unwell and have pain in your lower abdomen, with a high temperature or a smelly discharge from your vagina, this may be a sign of infection, so please don’t hesitate to contact us, or your local healthcare provider.
You may experience period-like pains and it is not uncommon to bleed for a couple of days afterwards. Painkillers such as paracetamol and a hot water bottle usually help to alleviate this.
If you are particularly prone to faint after a medical procedure/in a clinical setting, please let us know when booking your appointment.
Rarely patients can develop an infection after having their coil removed. If you are experiencing unusual pain, strong smelling discharge, have a fever or are experiencing any other symptoms indicative of an infection, please seek medical advice or visit your local GUM clinic.
Will I require a follow up appointment after my copper coil fitting?
A follow up appointment is not usually required. If you have any questions after your procedure, you can contact our receptionists and they will arrange a follow up call for you.
In the event that you would like a follow up appointment, we can book this in for you (please note that we do charge for a follow up appointment).
How soon after my copper coil fitting can I have sex?
As long as you are comfortable, you can have sex immediately after your copper coil fitting. Although we do recommend waiting a few days for the strings to soften before receiving penetrative vaginal sex (as the strings may be uncomfortable for your partner at first).
What if I think I’m pregnant?
It is very unlikely that you will become pregnant when using an IUD. If you do get pregnant, there is an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.
If you have a period that is unusually light, miss a period, suspect you may be pregnant and/or have sudden or unusual pain in your lower abdomen, please get in touch, and seek medical advice immediately.
Can I continue to use tampons and menstrual cups if I have a copper coil fitted?
Using tampons is fine during heavier days of bleeding, but please be careful when the bleeding begins to subside, as the new threads can catch on a dry tampon.
Please be careful not to remove the threads when removing tampons and menstrual cups.
When will my copper coil start to work?
An IUD can be placed at any point during your menstrual cycle, provided you are not pregnant. The copper coil becomes effective as soon as it is fitted, which is why it’s often used for emergency contraception.
Using condoms is advised to reduce the risk of infection and early expulsion of the coil in the first few weeks from fitting.
What should I expect my periods to be like?
Your periods may become heavier, longer or more painful with a copper coil. This is expected and the majority of patients manage these changes. If those side effects become intolerable, then please discuss this with your specialist, as a low dose hormonal device can be very effective in these situations.
How do I check that the copper coil is in place?
During your fitting, your clinician will show you how to check that the threads are in place. It’s best to repeat this a few times after the procedure and then every few months or so afterwards.
If you think that your copper coil has moved, you can feel something hard like the end of a matchstick or you can’t feel the strings, we would advise that you use another form of contraception and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so that we can assess the situation, as we may need to remove or refit the copper coil.
Generally, the strings should not bother you, but in rare cases your partner may be able to feel them during penetrative vaginal sex. If this causes a problem, please do get in touch, as our clinicians may be able to trim the strings shorter for you.
Please note that methods of pain relief (where medically appropriate) are included in the fee.
GyneFix coil fitting (inc. 1x ultrasound at 8 weeks)£600
For international patients with two rods, we charge £250.
Find out if you can claim your visit
Don’t wait months.
Page reviewed by Julie Milsom
Last reviewed date: 10 October 2022
Next review due: 10 October 2025
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
References & Further Reading
- Contraception: A comparative study of the ease of removal of intrauterine contraceptive devices
- Contraception: Exploring the experience of IUD self-removal in the United States through posts on internet forums
- Fertility and Sterility: The forgotten coil – ScienceDirect
- Annals of Medicine: Removal of an Intrauterine Device and the Treatment of Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology: A randomized controlled trial of copper coil fitting prior to treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease
- Contraception: Retention of intrauterine devices in women who acquire pelvic inflammatory disease: a systematic review