posted by: Frances Mutter
Recent media reports have highlighted cases of some women who have experienced distressing intrauterine contraception (IUC) fitting.
Some women barely feel anything whilst having a coil fitted. However, for some, it can be a painful experience, undergoing period like cramps for several days after the fit.
It is impossible to know with certainty, who will experience pain or discomfort during an IUC fit. Most women who have coils fitted at our service leave after their 30-minute appointment feeling fine.
There is very little evidence on the benefits of pain relief during IUC fitting.
Studies suggest the majority of individuals report that pain during IUC fitting is mild or moderate rather than severe, even without taking of pain killers. Five minutes after insertion, pain scores are low. In studies reporting both pain scores and a description of the experience, moderate pain scores match up with descriptions of discomfort rather than pain.
Before your coil is fitted here at our service, we always advise several things to help reduce any pain or discomfort.
Take two paracetamol (2 x 500mgs) and two ibuprofen ( 2 x 200mgs), if you don’t have any allergies to these, one hour before your appointment. Taking these together can work very well as effective pain relief. Make sure you have had something substantial to eat prior to this so you are not taking pain relief on an empty stomach. Eating can also minimise any feelings of light-headedness after.
It is normal to experience period like cramps after the procedure. We provide you with verbal and written instructions explaining what is usual to expect after and who to contact if you are worried. We also suggest taking regular pain relief afterwards, particularly ibuprofen, until these cramps have eased up. A hot water bottle can also help.
Both the copper and hormonal intrauterine coils provide very reliable, convenient, reversible contraception. Hormonal coils offer help to improve heavy or painful menstrual bleeding. Copper coils are an effective hormone-free contraceptive option.
We have all heard negative stories about coils. But we rarely hear or listen to all us women who are really happy with this method of contraception, with the fitting of the coil much better than they believed.
So don’t delay, contact us, and we can talk you through your options and any questions you might have about contraception.
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We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with symptoms of coronavirus is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus .
Advice from our service:
We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.
More details on the fitting of LARCs (coils and implants) at our service can be found here
If you need the combined contraceptive pill please try (if you can) to get updated measurements of your height, weight and blood pressure before calling us.
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Information is now also available to advise on sexual contact during a time of social distancing here.
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If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available: