Are the horror stories true?



I want to stop taking hormonal contraception but I’ve heard bad stories about the copper coil - like it gives you stomach problems, really heavy periods, or gets embedded and causes infertility. Can anyone reassure me - but be honest too…thankyou


There are risks with any type of contraception. Actually I think the IUD is rated as one of the least risky (that’s what my doc told me) but you should talk to someone who knows if you’re worried. Think it’s pretty rare that it’s gets embedded and you just need to check the strings regularly to reassure yourself, after a while those fears should fade.


If you trawl the internet you’re going to get horror stories unfortunately. I don’t think the copper coil is ‘the one’ for me as I find my periods were too heavy, but my sister loves it. Every one of us is different though…
I’ve never had stomach problems that I remember. Find out what works for you - you can try it for a bit (give it a good 9 months to get used to it) and see if it works.
but being honest with you, if you are really worried about it, you probably don’t want it, as you’ll just be stressed all the time!


Copper coil didn’t work for me at all, bled heavily for a year and no one could tell me it would get better, so I got it removed. I’m on Mirena coil (with hormones) now with no problems, I have a regular period now and its so much lighter! I tried the pill and the patch before and didn’t like the idea of adding hormones to my body but the Mirena doesn’t seem to be so bad…
I think if you already have fairly heavy periods then a copper coil is unlikely to be the best choice.
It feels so complicated! so many options, but I think we have all got to keep trying things till we find out what works for us.


I had the coil for 5years and the only problems I had were heavy-ish periods and stomach cramps but its nothing a hot water pottle and ibuprofen couldnt sort. I didnt get mine replaced as I wanted to try natural planning method instead to reduce chemicals in my body…


The thing that surprised me the most is actually how small the coil really is. I had visions of it being much bigger but it’s quite small. If you do a search on google images you can see - it fits into the palm of your hand.


One thing I find is that people are really scared about how much it hurts to put in. I’ve never had one myself but i have seen a lot put in! Honestly, some people do find it very painful and need some pain killers, But I would say the majority of people find the pain or ‘discomfort’ (nurse/doctor speak for painful) of putting it in is short lived and they can go about their day as normal afterwards. Other people don’t seem to feel much pain at all and just hop off the couch afterwards!


@NurseCharlotte - I think you’ve convinced me (I am a wuss as far as pain is concerned). Where’s the best place to get fitted - at my GP (do they do it?) or GUM clinic? Cheers, Heide


Hi @heide ! Some GPs will do it (this varies surgery to surgery) so definitely worth asking there. If not try a sexual health clinic. Most sexual health clinics are listed at this website: but have a google as well.
They will probably ask you to have a recent chlamydia and gonorrhoea test so you could try and get a jump start by having this done first. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!


If anyone wants more detailed information on the process of coil (IUD/IUS) fitting - we have a post with detailed information and diagrams that explains the process here:

We would love to have feed back on this.



I had a IUD inserted yesterday. No matter how many times people say ‘it’s fine, it worn’t hurt’, it bloody well does. Despite the drug they gave me to soften my cervix, it was very painful. No bleeding yet though, just the odd cramp. Doctor was great, very considerate and careful - where would we be without the NHS?


Good work @nails i hope that the cramps settle down and disappear soon! Let us know how you get on…


The horror stories are true! Avoid the copper coil!!! I got this evil thing put inside me three years ago as I wanted to off the hormones. Pretty much lost the next year to horrendous bleeding cramps and feeling terrible all the time. Doc just kept telling me it would settle down but it was a nightmare - had to miss days at work and was just miserable all the time and def did not want to have sex (so at least that bit worked). don’t know why i didn’t insist to have it out. only when i read so many stories online that i realised it happened to other people so i went back to my doctor and just said i wanted to get it out. actually then i think she realised how desperate i was but even then took a while to get back to normal. i didn’t want to have any other contraception as i just wanted my body back so we used condoms for a while. feeling much better now so going to try going back on the pill but scared of messing with my periods again. i went on copper coil in the first place cos i think hormones were making me feel down all the time but that was with celeste so maybe another pill would be better?


Hello @ccdee Thanks for sharing your story - its really important for others to hear. I think there is important learning for us all.

First - to all health care professionals out there - should we not be better at listening to people who are having a hard time on contraception and if they want to stop that method helping them to do so - not in 3 months time - but now?

Second - your experience yet again shows us that everyone experiences the different methods of contraception differently - so it really is a process of trial and error. Thats why good information and the ability to change method if you are having problems is so important.

I hope you get on with the pill. I am going to do a post on the different types of pill and how you might choose between them over the weekend.

Also - check out the thread on new ways to take the pill if you prefer not to have periods.

Many thanks



Thanks Dr_Paula - I hadn’t realised until recently that I could even ask for different types of pill so will be good to read about it.


Hi @ccdee I have written some stuff on the different types of pill and how you choose between them - it might be too technical - would be interested in your thoughts.

If you have suggestions on what sort of information might be useful then I would love to hear.




I got the copper coil inserted 7 months ago and it was more painful than I thought it would be, because I thought I would be given an anaesthetic but I wasn’t. I find smear tests uncomfortable and sometimes traumatic, so I generally don’t do well with ‘down there’ procedures. But I really had to breathe deep during this one…worse than a smear test but actually it’s not the placement of the coil that hurts, in fact I didn’t feel that at all…it’s actually the speculum thing that holds the cervix open which hurt. Probably because I didn’t have a vaginal birth. Got some jabbing pains afterwards but then it all calmed down. Glad I got the 10 year coil as I wouldn’t want to go through it again but it’s not a terrible pain that is enough to stop someone doing it. Just intense for a few seconds and then it’s over.