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THE COIL   An IUD (intrauterine device) is made of copper and is generally in a ‘T’ shape. It is placed in the womb and works by preventing sperm meeting an egg. It can also prevent a fertilised egg from implanting itself in the womb if necessary. It works for between 3 and 10 years depending on the type and should be removed or replaced after this time. It is around 98% effective.  

A nurse will need to insert the IUD by use of a straw like piece of equipment. It is simply inserted into you and when the right place is found they eject the IUD. The device has two small strings on it which hang down slightly into your vagina. These are used when it is time to remove it and are simply grasped by a pair of tongs and pulled out.  

The IUD is good as it starts working immediately; however, some women dislike it as it can be the cause of heavier or longer lasting periods. If sperm and an egg do manage to meet there is the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, where the baby begins to grow in the fallopian tubes. However, with this contraception it is advisable to go for regular check-ups to ensure it remains in place, so the nurse can check for any signs of this at the same time.

The IUD does not protect against STIs/STD's.
 

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