Intrauterine contraception – commonly referred to as “the coil” – is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method meaning that once it’s in place, you don’t have to think about it each day or each time you have sex. Once removed your fertility goes straight back to what is normal for you.

There are two types of intrauterine contraception:

Intrauterine Device (IUD) – a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that’s inserted into your womb (uterus).  It’s sometimes called a “copper coil”. The IUD releases copper (no hormones) to stop you getting pregnant and protects against pregnancy for between 5 and 10 years. Learn more about IUDs here.

Intrauterine System (IUS) – a small T-shaped plastic device that’s inserted into your womb (uterus). One popular brand of the IUS is the “Mirena Coil”. The IUS releases a progesterone hormone to stop you getting pregnant and lasts for 3 to 5 years. This is similar to the natural progesterone that women produce in their ovaries. There are three brands of IUS used in the UK: Mirena, Jaydess and Levosert. Learn more about IUSs here.

REMEMBER: Condoms are the only contraception method to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms can protect you from STI’s such as syphilis and gonorrhoea, both of which have increased in the last couple of years.