Advice for After You Have Had a Contraceptive Coil Fitted

BlogContraceptive Coils

Written by

Catherine Smith

Published on

Embarking on the journey of contraceptive choices is a significant step toward reproductive health, and having a contraceptive coil fitted is a decision that comes with questions and considerations. In our guide, “Advice After You Have Had a Contraceptive Coil Fitted,” we delve into the post-insertion phase, offering you guidance to navigate this crucial period. 

From managing potential side effects to understanding the adjustment period, we aim to empower individuals with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about their contraceptive journey. 

Whether this is your first time having a coil fitted or seeking reassurance, this article provides a comprehensive overview, shedding light on what to expect and how to optimise your experience.

How Should I Feel Afterward?

Following your IUD or intrauterine device insertion, it’s normal to experience some temporary discomfort. Cramping, similar to menstrual cramps, is quite common. This mild cramping can last for a few hours or even a couple of days. You might also experience some spotting or light bleeding.

Here’s a breakdown of what you might feel:

  • Cramps: These can range from mild to moderate and usually respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or paracetamol.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: This can happen briefly after the procedure. Take it easy and rest until the feeling subsides.
  • Spotting: Light bleeding or spotting is normal for several days post-insertion.

Remember: While these experiences are common, severe pain, heavy bleeding, or fever are not. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately.

What Should I Do Afterward?

After having a contraceptive coil fitting it’s important to take a thoughtful approach to ensure a smooth and trouble free experience. First and foremost, pay attention to your body’s signals—mild discomfort is normal, but persistent pain should be addressed with your GP.

Keep track of any changes in your menstrual cycle and report them during follow-up appointments. It’s essential to speak with your healthcare team to address any concerns or questions that may arise. 

You should avoid the use of tampons and menstrual cups in the first 28 days after having a coil fitted,  so use pads only. After this you can resume use.

Additionally, embrace self-care measures such as applying a heating pad for comfort during cramping and staying hydrated. Familiarise yourself with the signs of potential issues, such as infection, and seek prompt medical attention if needed. 

When Can I Resume Sex?

While you might be eager to get back to your normal routine, it’s crucial to allow your body sufficient time to heal after IUD insertion. Here’s what you need to know about resuming sexual activity:

Generally Safe After 24 Hours: Medically, most healthcare providers advise waiting for at least 24 hours after IUD insertion before engaging with someone in sexual intercourse. This allows the cervix to close and reduces the risk of infection.

Hormonal vs. Copper IUDs:

  • Copper IUDsThese offer immediate protection against unwanted pregnancy, so sex after 24 hours is generally safe.
  • Hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Kyleena): These require additional time to become fully effective. If inserted within seven days of your period’s start, they provide immediate pregnancy protection. Otherwise, wait seven days after insertion for full effectiveness.

Additional Considerations:

  • Discomfort: You might still experience some cramping or spotting initially. If intercourse feels uncomfortable, wait until these subside completely.
  • Infection Prevention: Utilize condoms during this initial phase for added protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Can resume sex after
Copper IUDSex after 24 hours is generally safe
IUS (Mirena or Kyleena)Abstain from sex or use another contraceptive alongside for at least 7 days

Checking Your Threads

Consistently monitoring the threads of your contraceptive coil is a crucial aspect of post-insertion care. These thin strings extend from the cervix and serve as a key indicator of the coil’s proper placement. 

To check the threads, simply insert clean fingers into the vagina and feel for them around the cervix. It’s essential to perform this check regularly, ideally after each menstrual cycle, to ensure the threads remain intact and unchanged in length. 

If you ever struggle to locate the threads or notice any irregularities, such as a sudden lengthening or shortening, it’s imperative to contact your healthcare provider promptly. 

Timely attention to thread changes contributes to the overall effectiveness of your contraceptive method, providing you with peace of mind and proactive control over your reproductive health.

Managing Pain And Discomfort

It’s normal to experience some cramping and discomfort after having your intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. This usually subsides within a few days. IUDs are a highly effective form of birth control that prevent unwanted pregnancies by stopping sperm cells from reaching and fertilizing eggs. To ease the pain after insertion, try over-the-counter pain relief like ibuprofen or paracetamol.

A heating pad on your lower abdomen can also provide comfort. Rest and gentle exercise like walking can also help. While an IUD is effective, it’s important to remember it’s not the same as a menstrual cup, which collects menstrual blood. If the pain is severe or doesn’t lessen within a few days, or if you experience any concerning symptoms, seek medical attention from your doctor or healthcare provider.

Changes to your Bleeding Pattern

Adapting to changes in your bleeding pattern is a common aspect of the post-contraceptive coil experience. It’s normal to encounter variations in menstrual flow and duration or even experience irregular spotting during the initial months. 

While some individuals may observe a decrease in bleeding intensity, others might notice an increase. These adjustments typically stabilize over time as your body acclimates to the presence of the coil. 

Patience is key, but if you find persistent or concerning alterations, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider. Open communication ensures you receive personalized guidance, addressing any worries and fostering a smoother transition to your new contraceptive routine. 

Final Thoughts

As you navigate life with a contraceptive coil, remember that understanding and embracing the changes are vital. Regularly checking the threads ensures the coil’s proper placement, enhancing its effectiveness. 

Be patient with adjustments to your bleeding pattern, knowing these shifts often normalise over time. However, any concerns should be raised with your healthcare provider promptly. 

By actively participating in your post-coil care, you empower yourself to make informed decisions about your reproductive health. Trust the process, stay vigilant, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained and optimally functioning contraceptive method.

Dr Catherine Smith

Dr Catherine Smith is the founder of The Coil Clinic. A GP and Women's Health Expert with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a BMS Certified Menopause Specialist