The most commonly read thread on this forum so far is:
Are the horror stories true? You can read people discussing the pros and cons of having a non-hormonal copper coil (IUD). More than 200 people have looked at it so far!
I think that people generally know that the copper IUD (coil) is highly effective and long lasting - up to 10 years.
From my experience the biggest concerns people have about having an IUD are:
a) the side effects (I will do a separate post on side effects in the next couple of days.)
b) the fitting process.
We have done a lot of thinking at SH:24 on how we can better explain the fitting process within our non-hormonal coil information page.
As someone who has fitted a lot of IUDs myself I am aware that some people (usually those who have had a child through a vaginal delivery) don’t even know that it has been done, while some find it really quite painful and others feel a little faint and nauseous afterwards. So the difficult question is, do we tell people the worst case scenario, or the best, or somewhere in between?
After a lot of discussion, we have gone for factual accuracy and a detailed explanation that tries to give the range of experiences.
This is currently the content from our Questions section of the SH:24 IUD webpage - please tell us what you think!
Having a coil fitted can be uncomfortable and painful but the pain shouldn’t last long and is described as quite similar to period pains. A fitting is likely to be less painful if you have had natural birth (vaginal delivery) as your cervix will have previously been stretched.
Whilst you lie down, with your knees bent, a speculum will be used to hold your vagina open (the same instrument is used when having a smear test done). Local anaesthetic gel is applied to the cervix and this feels cold.
The clinician will then use forceps to hold the cervix steady in order to determine the size and position of your womb with a sterile probe.
The coil comes with its arms folded down packed inside a narrow tube. The clinician will insert the tube into the vagina, through the cervix and into your uterus (womb).
Then they will pull the plastic tube out, leaving the coil in place allowing the arms of the coil to fold open. Before the speculum is removed, the strings of the coil are cut, leaving 1 to 2 cm hanging down at the top of your vagina so that you can feel to make sure it is still in place.
The whole process should take about 5 minutes.
People normally have some cramping pain afterwards - a bit like period pain - so it is recommended you take some pain killers just before your appointment.