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Contraception is such a personal choice – what suits one person might not necessarily be the best solution for another, and sometimes it can take a little while to figure out which method fits in with your routine and lifestyle. If you’re unhappy with your current form of contraception, the healthcare experts at YourGP are here to talk you through the various options available and help you find the one that’s just right for you. What’s more, you could potentially switch contraceptives immediately, without the need to wait.
The Mirena coil, for example, is a popular choice for many of our patients who lead busy lives, because once fitted you can more or less forget about it. No more expense of buying condoms, no more hassle of remembering to take the pill on time every day. Instead, once fitted, it works as a contraceptive for three years. Want to know more? Read on for the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Mirena coil.
What is the Mirena coil and how does it work?
The intrauterine system (IUS) or ‘hormonal coil’ sits inside the uterus and releases progestogen which thickens the mucus in the cervix to form a plug, preventing sperm getting through to fertilise an egg.
What effect does it have on periods?
The progesterone makes the lining of your womb much thinner which makes it unlikely a fertilised egg will be able to implant. As a consequence, it also makes your periods much lighter. In fact, for some women, their periods will stop altogether. It is for this reason that the Mirena coil is often used to treat heavy periods (menorrhagia).
When should it be fitted?
It can be fitted at any time, provided you are certain you are not pregnant, although it is usually done towards the end of your period or shortly afterwards.
What happens during a coil fitting?
You will need to have a vaginal examination whereby the doctor will pass a small instrument into your uterus to check size and position. The coil is then fitted using a small insertion device. The procedure usually takes around 15-20 minutes in total.
Does it hurt?
The procedure can be a little uncomfortable and some women have cramp-like pains, similar to period pains, for a few hours afterwards.
How effective is it?
The Mirena coil is 99% effective at preventing pregnancies, however it is important to remember that it does not protect against STI’s.
Are there any side effects?
There is the chance that the hormone released could cause headaches, acne or breast tenderness, especially just after it has been fitted, however these side effects are usually short-lived. In some cases, some women experience longer and more painful periods, and in rare cases, some individuals can suffer from pelvic infections. However, your doctor will be sure to have a thorough discussion of all potential side effects during the consultation.
How soon could I have it fitted?
Those looking to have the Mirena coil fitted on the NHS are unfortunately facing a long waiting list. Here at YourGP, however, our doctors are able to carry out the procedure at a time that suits you.
If you have any further questions about the Mirena coil or any other form of contraception, email our reception team at email@example.com or call us on 0131 225 5656 to book an appointment and we can help you find a contraceptive that suits you as an individual.
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