Welcome to Amicus Health contraception service. I'm Dr Wheeler. We've made this short video to talk a little bit about hormone-containing coils.
The most commonly-fitted hormone-containing coil is the Mirena coil. This a Mirena coil. It's a small, T-shaped plastic device that contains progesterone in the stem. It has threads attached to it that sit high up in the vagina. This is so that we can easily remove it at any stage but also you can feel the threads yourself to make sure the coil is in the right place.
The Mirena coil works by releasing progesterone. Most of this is contained within the womb. This thins out the lining of the womb and thickens the discharge, and, in some cases, prevents ovulation (the release of an egg).
The Mirena coil is an incredibly effective method of contraception, at over 99%. It can be used for up to five years in most women. If you're 45 or older, it can be left for up to ten years, and it can be really useful in the peri-menopausal phase to use as a form of hormone-replacement therapy.
One of benefits of the Mirena coil is that generally it causes lighter and less painful periods. In fact, it's a really useful treatment for women that suffer with heavy and painful periods.
After it's been fitted, the Mirena coil does take up to seven days to work so we do ask that you are using an additional method of contraception for the first seven days, for example condoms. There's a small risk of infection when the coil is first fitted for the first three weeks. Therefore, if you feel that you may be at risk of sexually-transmitted infection, for example you've had a new partner in the last twelve months, we would ask you book in with one of our nurses for some swabs two or three weeks prior to the fitting, so we can get the results back and treat any infection that we find, so your coil can be safely fitted.
No method of contraception is 100% effective. Therefore, if you were to fall pregnant with a Mirena coil in place, it's really important you let somebody know because the pregnancy is more likely to be in the tube (something called an 'ectopic' pregnancy) and this can be a medical emergency.
If you think you might like a Mirena coil fitted, please make an appointment in the contraceptive service. We'll sit down and we'll talk about the risks and benefits in much more detail to ensure it's the right decision for you.
When you have it fitted, it's a little bit like having a smear test but much more involved, so please take some painkillers (for example paracetamol and ibuprofen if you can tolerate it) up to two hours before the fitting process.
So in summary, the Mirena coil can be used for up to five years. You don't have to remember to take a pill. It can lighten up periods and make them less painful. It can also be a useful form of HRT. When it's removed, it's a very simple process and your fertility will resume back to normal immediately.
In this video, Dr Josie Wheeler explains the risks and benefits of hormone containing coils. The most common hormone-containing coil is the Mirena coil.