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Copper bearing intrauterine device (IUD) (the coil)

The IUD is a small, usually T-shaped plastic device which contains copper. The IUD is put into the womb through the vagina by a specially trained doctor or nurse.

The IUD is different to the intrauterine system (IUS). The IUS has hormones in it; the IUD does not.

The copper in the device disables the sperm, and stops the sperm reaching the egg, which prevents fertilisation. It may also stop a fertilised egg implanting in the womb. It can stay in place and prevent pregnancy for between 5 and 10 years, depending on the type of device.

The IUD is over 99% effective and is the only LARC method that doesn’t have hormones in it.

There are three different types of IUD.

You can have a coil fitted at an Umbrella clinic.

Did you know, you can get the coil fitted at some GP practices? Contact your GP or check our service locator to find out whether they offer this service.

For detailed information on IUDs, please see the NHS website.

See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception.