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Coronavirus / COVID-19

Most of our clinics are open by arrangement only (the exception is Wantage clinic which runs a drop-in session for under 18s). Please book a telephone consultation via email / phone.

Mask wearing and social distancing remain in place in all our sites. If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to a clinic. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coils / IUD / IUS

A coil is a small, flexible T shaped device that is fitted into the uterus (womb). It is a very effective way of preventing pregnancy.

There are two main types:

  • Hormonal coil: IUS
    • Lasts for up to 5 years. Visit the Contraception Choices website: IUS for more information.
    • As well as providing contraception, an IUS is good if you have heavy or painful periods as it usually lightens or stops your period.
    • If you only want your coil for period control, please see your GP as they need to refer you to us by letter.
  • Copper coil: IUD
    • This coil can be used for emergency contraception as well as ongoing contraception.
    • Lasts for 5 years or 10 years.
    • There are absolutely no hormones, so your periods will continue (they may become longer, a little more heavy and painful).
    • Visit the Contraception Choices website: copper coil for more information.

Smear tests

We do not offer smear tests. You may receive a letter from Public Health England saying that you can book an appointment for a smear test at your local sexual health clinic but this information applies to sexual health clinics in other parts of the country, not Oxfordshire. Please go to your GP Practice instead.

The emergency coil

Go to emergency contraception

Coil fitting

How do I get a coil fitted?

Contact us for a telephone consultation; you will then be given a clinic appointment if appropriate.

If you have experienced difficulty with a previous fit or been told that a fit may be difficult, let us know during your telephone consultation. We can make sure we book you into the most appropriate clinic for the fitting procedure. You could also go to your GP and ask them to refer you by letter if you prefer.

How should I prepare for my coil fit appointment?

  • You may want to bring a friend, relative or partner with you. Sometimes people feel a bit shaky after the procedure and it can be helpful to have support and somebody to take you home.
  • Ensure you have read the appropriate leaflet:
  • Make sure you have had something to eat.
  • Take some painkillers 30 minutes before your appointment (for example, paracetamol or ibuprofen).
  • We may not be able to fit the coil if there is any risk of pregnancy, so:
    • Use your current contraception reliably until your appointment (condoms alone are not adequate) OR do not have any sex at all (even with a condom) for 3 weeks prior to your appointment.
    • Do not have sex for 7 days prior to your fit if you are having a coil exchange (with an in date device).

Can I get a hormone coil if it isn’t for contraception?

The hormone coil may be used for non-contraceptive purposes such as HRT or control of heavy periods. We recommend that you visit your GP who may be able to do this for you.

If not, your GP can refer you by letter to our community gynaecology service.

Changing your coil

My current coil needs changing

There is very good evidence that coils last much longer than we used to think. National guidelines support the use of coils for longer. Please read the advice below.

Type of contraception Usual licence Safe for extended use
3 year hormonal coil
(e.g Jaydess)
3 years NO.
5 year hormonal coils
(e.g Mirena, levosert)
5 years Under 45 when fitted? Yes – 6 years.
Aged 45+ when fitted? Yes – until aged 55.
5 year copper coil
(e.g Mini TT 380, NovaT 380, Neosafe CU 380, Gynefix)
5 years Under 40 when fitted? NO.
Aged 40+ when fitted? Yes – no need to change, can be used till contraception no longer needed.
10 year copper coil
(e.g TSafe 380, Paragard)
10 years Under 40 when fitted? Yes – 12 years.
Aged 40+ when fitted? Yes – no need to change, can be used till contraception no longer needed.

Contact us for a telephone consultation if you need a replacement coil or if you have changes in your bleeding pattern, abnormal discharge or lower abdominal pain. You will then be given a clinic appointment if appropriate.

Coil removal

I want to have my coil removed

Contact us for a telephone consultation; you will then be given a clinic appointment if appropriate.

If you do NOT wish to be at risk of pregnancy, use condoms or don’t have sex for seven days before your coil removal appointment.

Unable to feel your threads?

If you can’t feel the threads of your coil, contact us for a telephone consultation; you will then be given a clinic appointment if appropriate.

Do not rely on your coil for contraception until we have checked that it is still in the correct place – use condoms or don’t have sex.  If you think your coil has fallen out, and you have had sex and may need emergency contraception, then please contact us for a same / next day telephone consultation.

Using a menstrual cup if you have a coil fitted

You can use a menstrual cup if you have a coil fitted, but it is important to make sure you position and release the cup correctly:

  • Tuck the coil threads up in the top of the vagina.
  • Fit the menstrual cup in the mid to lower vagina below the threads.
  • Always release the cup suction before removal.

DO NOT fit the menstrual cup high in the vagina – you could trap the threads against the vaginal wall and tug on them when removing the cup.

For more information, see INTIMA – using a menstrual cup and IUD together – what you need to know.