Advice before the fitting of Intrauterine Contraception (Copper or hormone coil)

Information for patients

Sexual Health

Who is it for?

This information is written for women who are planning to have a coil fitted. It tells you about tests we may recommend before the insertion and about the timing of appointments to make the fitting as safe and comfortable as possible.

Before your coil is fitted

The doctor or nurse in the clinic should have discussed your choice with you and will have provided written leaflets about your chosen method. Read them carefully and keep them in a safe place for future reference.

Prior to fitting your coil, we offer all women a swab test to check for chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections and a blood test for HIV and syphilis. The results will be texted to you in 2 weeks. 

Timing of appointment for coil insertion

We can fit a coil on any day of your menstrual cycle as long as we can be certain that you are not already at risk of pregnancy.

  1. If you have been using a reliable method of contraception (‘pill’ taken correctly, injection or implant) for the previous month, coil fitting can take place at any time.
  2. If you are not using one of the methods above or you are relying on condoms/cap, you should avoid intercourse from the first day of your period until your coil fitting appointment.
  3. If you have recently had a baby you should start using reliable contraception 21 days after giving birth. You can have a coil inserted from four weeks after the birth.
  4. If you have recently had a miscarriage or abortion you can have a coil inserted at any time afterwards provided we can be certain you are not pregnant – so you should either not have had sex since then or have used another reliable contraceptive method (see 1).
  5. If you are not having regular periods and not using a reliable method of contraception, as above, you must avoid having sex for at least three weeks before your appointment. We will do a pregnancy test for you before fitting your coil.
  6. If you are having a coil replaced (old one removed, new one fitted), this can be done on any day. You must avoid having sex for seven days before your appointment. This is to ensure that there is no sperm in your body that could result in a pregnancy if it is not possible to fit a new coil after the original one is removed.

How soon does it work?

Copper coil

Works immediately

Hormone coil 
(Mirena, Jaydess, Kyleena, Levosert)

  • Fitted up to day 7 of menstrual cycle - works immediately
  • Fitted after day 7 of menstrual cycle - works after another 7 days

On the appointment day

  • Please try not to bring small children with you. If you have to bring children please bring an adult with you to look after them in the waiting area.
  • Have something to eat and take a mild painkiller such as Paracetamol 1 hour before your appointment to help reduce discomfort.
  • Do not miss a meal; it is best to have eaten before you attend.
  • Please allow one hour for your appointment. Although the procedure does not take long, a few women do feel faint afterwards and need time to rest and recover.
  • You will need a sanitary towel. Tampons are not recommended immediately after the fitting.

After your coil is fitted

We like you to rest for 10-15 minutes after the fitting before going home.

We advise you do not plan to do anything energetic for the rest of the day.

You are likely to experience some period type cramps and light bleeding for a few days. It is a good idea to take a mild painkiller (e.g. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen) to help with this.

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  • Page last reviewed: 22 January 2023
  • Next review due: 22 January 2024