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Advice following your coil insertion

Read our guide below which includes advice following your coil insertion.

You can also download a PDF version of this patient information by following the link on the right.

This guide applies to the following copper intrauterine devices (IUD) :

  • Mirena
  • Levosert
  • Kyleena
  • Jaydess

A diagram showing an IUD

How should I feel afterwards?

Most women experience some period-like discomfort for 24 to 48 hours after fitting but it usually settles.

There may be some bleeding or spotting for a few days. If you have an IUD fitted during your period, it may be heavier and last slightly longer than usual.

If the pain is severe, gets worse or does not settle after 3 days you should contact the clinic or your
GP.

What should I do afterwards?

You should:

  • take simple painkillers such as paracetamol and/or ibuprofen (as long as you’re not allergic to them)
  • rest for several hours after fitting and avoid strenuous activity for the rest of the day
  • use a hot water bottle which may help
  • avoid the use of tampons and menstrual cups in the first 28 days after having a coil fitted. Use pads only. After this you can resume use.

When can I have sex?

A copper IUD is effective straight away as contraception.

An IUS (Levosert/Benilexa/Mirena/Kyleena or Jaydess) will not work as contraception for the first 7 days. You should not have sex or use another contraceptive as well.

Is there anything I should look out for?

Change in bleeding pattern occurs frequently after your coil insertion. This should settle after 3 to 6
months.

If you think you may have an infection, please attend the clinic or see your GP as soon as possible.

Symptoms of an infection may include:

  • persistent or worsening lower abdominal pain
  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • fever
  • pain during sexual intercourse.

When does the coil need changing?

You’ll find the date your coil needs removing or changing at the top of the information sheet we give you.

It’s your responsibility to attend your GP or local sexual health clinic before this date to have your coil removed or changed.

If you’re planning to conceive, please arrange an appointment at your local sexual health clinic or
your GP for the coil to be removed.

How to check your threads

Step 1

Gently put your finger inside your vagina. Feel for your cervix which feels firm, like the end of your
nose.

Step 2

Gently roll your finger over your cervix and you should feel your threads.

Step 3

You should check for your coil threads once a month.

Will my coil fall out?

It’s unlikely but if you can not feel your threads you must:

  • stop sexual intercourse if you can not use condoms
  • use condoms
  • make an appointment at the clinic or see your GP to have the device checked.

If you think you may have had sex since the coil has moved, you may need emergency contraception. Please seek advice as soon as possible.

A diagram showing how to check the threads on your IUD

Was your Levosert/Benilexa/Mirena IUS fitted after your 45th birthday?

If you’re using it for contraception it can stay in until your 56th birthday.

We do not arrange any formal follow up but if you have any concerns about your coil,
please visit any of our clinics.

Additional advice

If you’re aged 25 or over, make sure you have regular cervical smears as part of the National
Cervical Screening Programme.

Have regular sexual health checks whether or not you have a coil.

For more information

Find out more about the interuterine device (IUD)

Find out more about the intrauterine system (IUS)

Reducing associated healthcare infections

Find out how you can help to reduce healthcare associated infections when visiting hospital

About our patient information pages and leaflets

This patient advice is intended as general information only. We aim to make the information as up to date and accurate as possible, but please note that it is subject to change.

Always check specific advice on any concerns you may have with your doctor.