Copper bearing intrauterine device (IUD) (the coil)

The IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device which contains copper, which 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.

Find a 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.

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Not sure which type of contraception is right for you? Worried because you've had sex without a condom? Let us help you choose the right option.

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See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception and sexually transmitted infections.

View FPA leaflets