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Coils – IUS & IUD

Coils are a method of contraception. A coil is just as reliable in preventing pregnancy as the pill. The coil is placed in your uterus.

Britt Talk about coils

Is a coil the right thing for you? In this episode of Britt Talk, Britt and Julia ask Doctor Rosa everything they want to know about it.

Two types

  1. IUS (intrauterine system – a hormonal coil): The hormones in an IUS prevent pregnancy. A hormonal coil prevents pregnancy for 3-5 years.
  2. IUD (intrauterine device – a coil): The IUD contains copper and that prevents pregnancy. An IUD prevents pregnancy for 5-10 years.

How to go about it

  • First decide which kind of coil you want: an IUS with hormones or an IUD with copper.
  • Make an appointment with a doctor or another healthcare professional. He or she will insert the coil into your uterus.
  • You can leave the coil in place for 3-10 years.

Where can you get a coil?

You can get an IUS or IUD through your doctor.

Which kind of coil should you choose?

Take a look at the following list of advantages and disadvantages, and discuss them with your doctor or with Sense. There are different types of each kind of coil too.



  • Very reliable: you can’t forget a coil like you can forget the pill.
  • You only need to think about it once every 3-10 years.
  • A coil is even reliable if you are sick or have diarrhoea.
  • Nobody can tell that you are using contraception.


  • Your period is usually shorter, lighter and less painful. Sometimes your periods stop completely.


  • If you do not want to take hormones, a coil that releases copper is a good option.



  • Insertion can be a little bit painful.
  • A doctor has to insert it.
  • You can’t postpone your period with a coil.
  • A coil does not protect against STIs.


  • You may have irregular bleeding or spotting.


  • Your period can be a little bit more painful. You may also have slightly more bleeding than before.


In theory, a coil is just as reliable as the pill. But actually the coil is more reliable, because you don’t have to think about it all the time. That’s what makes the pill riskier, having to remember to take it every day.

When do you run the risk of pregnancy?

  • If you were too late getting a new coil inserted (how often you have to do that depends on the type of IUS or IUD - it may be 3, 5 or 10 years).
  • If you have abdominal pain, but haven’t had your coil checked. Very rarely, an IUS or IUD is rejected by your uterus. In that case, it’s no longer reliable.


Remember: A coil doesn’t protect against STIs. To prevent STIs you must use condoms.