THE IUD – AKA THE COPPER COIL
Emergency and long-term contraception.
TAKING THE HORMONE OUT OF THE COIL
The intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, T-shaped device that contains a copper thread. Also known as the copper coil, instead of hormones it releases copper that immobilize sperm and stop them from fertilizing the egg. Should a sperm manage to get through, the copper also prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb lining, so you're still protected against pregnancy. The copper coil can also be used for emergency contraception. It can be used up to 5 days after having unprotected sex.
As not every contraception suits everyone, it's important to discuss the copper coil with your doctor or nurse first. Once you've decided an IUD is the right contraception method for you there's not much more for you to do. Your doctor or nurse will insert it for you, and it will remain effective for up to 5 to 10 years. Should you decide that you no longer want to have the IUD, it can be removed by a healthcare professional, and its effects will wear off quickly, allowing you to return to your normal fertility level.
The IUD does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
Typical use means how well the method works in real life and perfect use means how well a method works under 'perfect' or ideal conditions for example when there is no user error at any time.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Speak to a healthcare professional for advice and support on your contraceptive needs.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 8 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. it is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 to 10 years.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
COCPs are tablets that may have to be taken every day, releasing the hormone progestogen and oestrogen to prevent pregnancy. They are often referred to as the pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.
A small, thin, skin-coloured plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Your doctor or nurse will normally conduct an initial fitting to make sure you have the correct size.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom placed in the vagina that stops sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
POPs are tablets which have to be taken every day at the same time with no break between packs. These pills only contain a progestogen hormone and so they can be taken by women for whom oestrogen-containing options are not suitable. They are also known as the mini-pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these..
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Spermicides are Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘The pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the fallopian tubes so the egg cannot travel down the tubes to meet the sperm.