Coil (LARC)


The Coil is a method of Longer Action Reversible Contraception (LARC).  LARC are methods of contraception that don't depend on you remembering to take or use them to be effective.

There are 2 different types of ‘coil’; one has copper on it (IUD) and the other contains hormone (Mirena IUS). Both are over 99% effective at protecting against pregnancy.

We recommend that you watch this short film which provides information on both types of ‘coil’.   (thanks to Lothian NHS for sharing this clip)
Intra-uterine contraceptive method (‘coil’)

How does it work?

A small T-shaped device containing plastic and copper/hormone is put into the uterus (womb). It prevents sperm from reaching an egg and causes changes in the lining of the womb making it difficult for a fertilised egg to implant in the womb (prevents implantation).


  • Reliable
  • Lasts 5-10 years (IUD:copper coil), 5 years (IUS:hormonal coil)
  • No need to remember contraception
  • Fertility returns immediately once removed

 Additional advantages of IUS:

  • Periods lighter and shorter
  • Some protection against pelvic infections


  • You may require screening for chlamydia before insertion.
  • Women are taught to check the coil threads in the vagina to check position.
  • When a copper IUD is fitted after age 40 years, it can be left in place until menopause.

 *Coils can only be fitted by a trained doctor/nurse


Help Icon

I think I have an infection

Get infomation See More Icon