Coils

The hormonal coil and copper IUD are very safe contraceptives that can last for several years.

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What is a coil/IUD?

There are two types of coils: copper IUDs and hormonal coils. Both are made of soft plastic and have the shape of a T with a thread at the long end.

You can have the coil/IUD for three years or for 5-6 years, depending on which coil you choose.

Both coils are very safe contraceptives and can be used by all women, including those who are breastfeeding.
It is not recommended to use a menstrual cup when you have a coil because a vacuum may arise that can pull the coil out.

Inserting and removing a coil/IUD

The coil/IUD is inserted into the uterine cavity by a doctor, public health nurse or midwife. It is recommended that the coil is inserted during the first week after menstruation begins. Many women find having the coil/IUD inserted a little uncomfortable. To make the insertion less uncomfortable, you can take painkillers an hour before insertion.

The coil/IUD must also be removed by a doctor, midwife or public health nurse. Most women find that the removal itself is painless.

Copper IUD

The copper IUD has a copper wire wrapped around the coil. This prevents the sperm from fertilising the egg and reduces the possibility of a fertilised egg becoming attached to the uterus.

The copper IUD does not contain hormones, and you can have it for five years before it needs to be replaced or removed.

A copper IUD costs less than a hormonal coil and can be purchased without a prescription. A doctor, midwife or public health nurse must insert the copper IUD. The price of copper IUDs varies between different pharmacies, costing from about NOK 550-800.

If you need emergency contraception, a copper IUD is the safest method of preventing pregnancy. The copper IUD can be inserted up to 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse. The copper IUD can be removed after seven days, or it can be kept as contraception for up to five years.

Side effects

Copper IUDs are not so suitable for those who have heavy menstrual bleeding or who suffer with menstrual pain. Copper IUDs more often cause heavier menstrual bleeding, menstrual pain, increased discharge and pain in the back and abdomen.

Copper ball and copper rod

There are also copper IUDs that do not have the traditional T-shape: copper ball (copper bead) and copper rod. These are currently little used in Norway. Because there is little experience in use, there is also less knowledge about how well these IUDs protect against pregnancy and whether they cause fewer problems with side effects than the traditional copper IUD.

Hormonal coils

The hormonal coil is the most commonly used coil and is a safe contraceptive. If you are troubled with heavy menstrual bleeding, a hormonal coil is something that can be recommended. A hormonal coil contains the sex hormone progesterone, but not oestrogen. The hormone is gradually released from the coil and affects the local environment in the uterus. The hormone is absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane.

There are various hormonal coils on the market in Norway:

Mirena and Levosert have the same hormone quantity and size. Jaydess and Kyleena are slightly smaller and also release less hormone.

A hormonal coil costs around NOK 1,300 kroner, and there may also be a charge for inserting it.

Side effects

The hormonal coil causes few side effects, but bleeding disorders are common. Trace bleeds, small bleeds or irregular bleeding are common in the first few months. This decreases after 3-6 months of use. After one year of use, most women have less or no menstrual bleeding.