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bongo's avatar

Ladies, What are your experiences with the coil / IUD (non-hormonal)

Asked by bongo (4292 points ) May 18th, 2012

I am booked in to get my implanon hormonal implant in my arm removed at the end of June and have the non-hormonal coil fitted. I have had enough of hormones, being on the pill since the age of 16 (I am now 23) then getting the implant 2 and a half years ago. I am due to go travelling later this year and so have to have my implant out early as I would otherwise be having to get it taken out mid travelling probably somewhere in Africa so that is not a good idea. I do not want to get another implant and really just want to be myself and be off hormones for a while.
What are your experiences with the coil?
Did it hurt having it put in and taken out?
How long before you could have sex after having it fitted?
How much of a risk is there really in causing permanent damage to the uterus? My nurse just said ”“touch wood” I have never experienced this happen to anyone” jokingly (reassuring…)
How would you compare this to your experiences with other forms of birth control bearing in mind my partner really prefer not to have to use condoms now that we have been tested and are
clean.

Note: I know all about the fact that it does not cover me for STI risk, my partner and I are in a monogamous relationship and STI testing is free in the UK and I get tested with any new partners. This is about side effects and personal experience please!

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11 Answers

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

I’m also 23 and have a Paragard copper T IUD. I really love mine! To answer your questions succinctly I’ll go in order:

1. Did it hurt having it put in and taken out?

I’m not going to lie to you. It hurts like hell going in. I had it done 2x (first one rejected after a year) The second time I had it in, they gave me a cervical softener so it was a little better. Take an IB profen or something about a half hour before. Luckily it is a quick procedure. On a more positive note having the first one removed barely felt like anything!

2. How long before you could have sex after having it fitted?
I’d say wait 3 days and use a condom since your cervix might be a little nicked up from the insertion. Ask your doctor to be sure.

3. How much of a risk is there really in causing permanent damage to the uterus?
Very rarely. If it happens it’s usually during insertion and you would likely know right away. Once again, this is very rare.

Enjoy your new (super reliable) contraception!

Coloma's avatar

I had a copper T 35 years ago and mine became displaced and worked it’s way out of my cervix down into the vagina. It was very painful and had to be removed. I never had it put back. Just be aware that heavy periods or other activity can dislodge the coil. If you feel any poking, or discomfort get checked. It is not common but it can happen so be aware for any signs that it has become displaced.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Coloma is correct. Make sure you’re vigilant about checking it, followup care etc. As I said before I did reject my first one and had it replaced but other than that hiccup i love it. Luckily mine wasn’t painful and didn’t cause infection/irritation. Also, they have supposedly have a lower rate of rejection the second time around. It’s worth a shot just make sure you do your research. :)

bongo's avatar

I have never really had heavy periods however have been on hormones most of my post-pubescent life so who knows what I am like! I will be sure to take some painkillers too. I am scared about the procedure and not looking forward to the walk home as have been advised not to drive immediately after incase I feint when thinking about it or something and I am the only one in my house with a car.

What happened when it rejected? How soon did you have to go to the doctors as if this happens when I am travelling I may not be able to access any healthcare. I am getting it at the end of June and going travelling in November til who knows when! I am travelling with my boyfriend for the first part of the travelling and then after that we have to go our seperate ways so this means that it is not a big deal if I am covered for protection or not. I would be more worried about injuries occuring from it being rejected or displacing or do these events never really cause injury?

Thanks so much for this advice!

Coloma's avatar

@bongo I don’t think injuries are as much an issue as it simply falling down into the vagina and poking you. I suppose it could injure you if you did nothing about it for days or weeks, but, trust me, you will KNOW if it becomes displaced. It will feel like something is poking you from the inside, no way could you not notice.
I actually had my doctor talk me through taking it out over the phone as it had worked it’s way down in my vagina and was reachable with a finger. I then had an exam and everything was fine. Had my daughter a few years later, no issues.

bongo's avatar

Brilliant thanks @Coloma I have read a few horror stories on the next about coils however I feel that it may be likely they were placed there by pro-life and anti-contraception people trying to scare women away from these things. You guys have seriously removed my fears of getting this put in!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I tried the Mirena IUD and hated it. Cramped badly the whole 6 months that I kept it and finally had it removed.

bongo's avatar

I am not going to get the hormonal one so hopefully I wont have all those hormones interfering with my system too much… (hopefully!)

marmoset's avatar

For what it’s worth, I heard so many horror stories about insertion pain but then my insertion was perfectly easy (and I have a very low pain threshold AND have never had a baby, which is supposed to make it more painful). It’s different for every woman, but the vast majority of women have no problems.

marmoset's avatar

(Remember that people who had a bad experience are much more likely to write about it repeatedly online—so that makes it inaccurately weighted toward horror stories online.)

Emilychar's avatar

Had the hormone coil fitted Wednesday so I’m on day two the fitting was fine don’t know what I was so worried about lol only getting a little cramp now

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