CNWL

Sexual Health Services

Information about intrauterine contraception

This page will provide you with the information you need to prepare for a fitting of intrauterine contraception (IUC). IUC is a long acting reversible method of contraception.

We offer two types of IUC; the copper IUD (intrauterine device) or hormonal IUS (intrauterine system).

If you have an existing device and want a check-up or to have this removed, please book a routine appointment. Visit our homepage to find a service near you or if you got to this page by clicking a link on one of our clinic pages, just click 'back’.

Unfortunately we are no longer commissioned to fit intrauterine contraception when it is not being used for contraception.

If you want an IUS just to control heavy periods or as part of hormone replacement therapy, and do not want this for contraception too, please see your GP for further advice. 

If you want to have a device removed, it is important that you use condoms or don’t have sex for seven days before having it removed.

Before you book or attend an appointment to have a device fitted, please follow the five steps below.

 

Step one: Watch this short video about intrauterine contraception

It is important that you watch this short video before your fitting as it contains important information.

We may have to reschedule your appointment if we are concerned about risks, such as pregnancy. This video explains any risks and the steps you should take to avoid them.

For additional information on the copper IUD and the hormonal IUS visit the FPA website using the links below.

Find out more about the copper IUD

Find out more about the hormonal IUS

 

Step two: How to make sure you are not at risk of being pregnant at the time of your fitting

We need to make sure that you are not at risk of being pregnant when you attend for a fitting. If there is a risk that you might be pregnant then we may have to reschedule your fitting.

The timing of your fitting will depend on what contraception you are currently using:

If you are currently using a hormonal method (pill, patch, vaginal ring, injection and non-expired implant) then your device can be fitted at any convenient time and you can continue to use your current method correctly until your fitting.

If you are currently using condoms, diaphragm, natural methods of contraception or have an expired implant or expired IUD/IUS device then you have two options:

1. Abstain from sex from day one of your period until your fitting (or abstain from sex for three weeks if your periods are irregular)

2. Arrange to use a short-acting form of contraception, for example, pill, patch, vaginal ring, for at least four weeks before the fitting.

If you need to replace your current IUD/IUS device and it has not yet expired then this can be done on any convenient day. Please make sure you abstain from sex or use condoms for seven days before the fitting.

This is to make sure that you are not at risk of being pregnant if for some reason we cannot fit the new device after the original one is removed.

 

Step three: Preparation checklist

Our self-assessment checklist will help you to decide if you are ready to have an IUC fitting.

You will need to print a copy of our self-assessment checklist and bring a completed copy to your fitting appointment.

Download self-assessment checklist (opens Microsoft word document)

 

Step four: On the day of your appointment

Where possible we will fit your device at your appointment.

However, there may be reasons why the fitting may need to be deferred. If this happens then the doctor or nurse who is seeing you will explain why.

On the day of your appointment:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment for registration
  • Please allow at least two hours for the appointment. Although the procedure does not take this long, some women need a little more time to recover after the procedure
  • We recommend that you eat and take pain relief before your appointment
  • If you need to bring your child or children then you must bring someone to look after them while you are having the fitting
  • Please bring sanitary protection, as you may experience some bleeding after the fitting
  • We advise you to avoid driving immediately after your fitting.

 

Step five: Booking your appointment

To book a fitting, please visit our homepage to find a service near you or if you got to this page by clicking a link on one of our clinic pages, just click 'back’.

You will need to book a general contraception appointment for a pre-fitting discussion if:

  • You have a learning disability
  • You require an interpreter
  • You are under 16 years of age
  • You have known complex medical or gynaecological problems. For example, fibroids
  • You have had difficult or failed IUC insertions in the past.

If for any reason you are unable to attend your appointment, please call us to cancel it so that the appointment can be given to someone else.

For our services in London and Surrey, call 020 3317 5252.