What is a coil or intrauterine device (IUD)?
A coil is a small synthetic anchor (between 24 and 36 mm long) that is fitted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two threads that hang through the cervix. These threads are needed to be able to remove it again later. Neither your nor your partner will not notice anything of the coil during lovemaking.

You can quickly become pregnant again after the coil has been removed. Coils do not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

There are different types of coil. The two most commonly used types are the coper coil (with coper wire entwined around it), such as the T-Safe, and the hormone coil (that releases the progestogen hormone), e.g. Mirena. Both coils are very reliable.

Copper coil

  • A copper coil is reliable.
  • Menstruation is slightly heavier.
  • A copper spiral works for ten years.

Hormone coil

  • A hormone coil is very reliable.
  • Menstruation is reduced or may disappear.
  • A hormone coil works for five years.

How does the coil work?

The copper coil:

  • It makes the cervical mucus unsuitable to host a fertilised egg cell (ovum).
  • It makes the sperm coming into your uterus barren.
  • It is reliable: only a maximum of ten women in every thousand using the copper coil still fall pregnant every year.
  • Works immediately after it has been fitted.
  • Is effective between five and ten years (depending on the type of copper coil).

The hormone coil:

  • Releases a very small amount of hormone (progestogen). Much less progestogen ends up in the blood than with other hormonal contraceptives. It makes the cervical mucus unsuitable to host a fertilised egg cell (ovum).
  • Makes the cervical mucus less impermeable for sperm.
  • It is very reliable: only one or two women using the hormone coil every year still fall pregnant.
  • It works immediately if you have it fitted during menstruation.
  • It stays effective for five years.

Who can use a coil?
A coil is suited for almost every woman, even if you have never had any children.

The copper coil is less suited if you are already experiencing painful menstruation or lose a great amount of blood during your periods. In that case, the hormonal coil is perhaps better suited for you.

Before having a coil fitted, you must be sure that you do not have an infection of the vagina, cervix or ovaries. It is imperative that an STD is negative.

What are the side effects of the coil?

The copper coil:

  • causes the menstruation to last a little longer than you were used to and can cause more blood loss and cramps.
  • Can also cause spotting between periods.
  • Often releases more (normal) vaginal discharge (white discharge). This can do no harm.

The hormone coil:

  • Can sometimes generate slight side effects such as tender breasts or slight nausea.
  • Mostly cause menstruation to be less intense and painful and to last shorter.
  • Can also cause spotting between periods.
  • Also often causes periods to disappear completely. This can do no harm.
  • Often releases more (normal) vaginal discharge (white discharge). This can do no harm.
  • Sometimes also causes tender breasts.
  • Methods containing only progestogen do not create any additional risk for thrombosis (clotting in the circulatory system) or for heart or vascular diseases.

Fitting coil at Amsterdam Abortion Clinic

Coils can be fitted immediately pursuant to the treatment. There are costs for fitting a coil. The Amsterdam Abortion Clinic does not fit coils during a consultation or follow-up examination.

If the Amsterdam Abortion Clinic has fitted a coil, a follow-up examination will be arranged in the clinic to check the IUD. A coil can be removed during a follow-up examination. The general practitioner will be referred if additional examinations of the coil are necessary or if a coil has sagged and a new fitting is required.

What happens in due course?
Make a note in your diary when the coil was fitted, what type of coil it is and when it must be replaced.