Combined pill vs Copper coil (IUD)

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Combined pill

£From £0.16/day

Copper coil (IUD)

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Overview

Rated 2.8

2415 reviews

Daily

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.5

544 reviews

5 - 10 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Combined pill ingredients

Main hormones in Combined pill

progestogen

oestrogen

Copper coil (IUD) ingredients

Most copper coils are made of a T-shaped frame of polyethylene (plastic) and barium sulphate. Copper wire is wound around the vertical arm.

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this contraceptive

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£From £0.16/day

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Combined pill reviews

2415 reviews

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Stopped using

When I started everything was fine however in the last 6 months of taking the pill I started passing clots so big a pad and tampon would not help. I was bleeding through clothes daily and could not work. Before this was on the same pill for 1 and a half years.

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Stopped using

Breast pain was too much I could not even lie down.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Still using

Qlaira started off pretty great after the 6 month window for symptoms to subside when starting new hormonal contraception. Being on it long term though, I've noticed symptoms such as low sex drive and fatigue. These symptoms are quite severe. It's been almost 5 years and I'm currently considering quitting hormonal birth control.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Stopped using

When I started everything was fine however in the last 6 months of taking the pill I started passing clots so big a pad and tampon would not help. I was bleeding through clothes daily and could not work. Before this was on the same pill for 1 and a half years.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Stopped using

Breast pain was too much I could not even lie down.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Still using

Qlaira started off pretty great after the 6 month window for symptoms to subside when starting new hormonal contraception. Being on it long term though, I've noticed symptoms such as low sex drive and fatigue. These symptoms are quite severe. It's been almost 5 years and I'm currently considering quitting hormonal birth control.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments


Copper coil (IUD) reviews

544 reviews

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Still using

Best contraceptive I’ve used! Fitting was painful - but manageable and was over quick. Periods are regular and only very slightly heavier and painful. Also you feel amazing during ovulation 😄


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

Copper coil did not work with my body, I had really heavy periods. I became extremely emotional crying all the time at random times of day. The actual insertion and removal were not painful though, my problems were having the coil.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

Made my periods way heavier and made m anaemic


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  today

  •  Still using

Best contraceptive I’ve used! Fitting was painful - but manageable and was over quick. Periods are regular and only very slightly heavier and painful. Also you feel amazing during ovulation 😄


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

Copper coil did not work with my body, I had really heavy periods. I became extremely emotional crying all the time at random times of day. The actual insertion and removal were not painful though, my problems were having the coil.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

Made my periods way heavier and made m anaemic


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
32 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

1 year + of heaviest periods and cramps covering 6 days. Most of my time complaining about the pain which led to moodiness. Had it removed after 2.5 years and now on a combined pill. Feeling much better. Good if you forget to take pills though


Top side effects not reported

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0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
31 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Still using

I wanted a long-term non-hormonal option and this works great. My first period after having it put in was a lot heavier than usual but it settled quickly back to pre-coil levels. I had concerns that using the copper coil with endometriosis might not be compatible. I do get more painful cramping during periods and around ovulation than pre-coil but it's still very manageable. Overall for me it's been by far the best of a bad bunch!


Top side effects not reported

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0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Overall, my experience of the copper coil was negative. Beginning with insertion, which felt like I was being punched in the abdomen and left me writhing in pain and bleeding for the next 4 days. The first three months with it were perfect! My periods were considerably heavier and longer, but no more painful. Around month 4, problems started. The cramps would leave me doubled over in pain, unable to get out of bed or leave the sofa. When the cramps were at their worst, I struggled to walk and could only manage to shuffle along the floor clinging to anything to keep me upright. My sex drive was non existent, to my husbands constant disappointment. He also resented having to help me find the strings, as I struggled. However, the worst side effect, by far, was the smell. My period blood stank! I had so much discharge, I would feel like I had wet myself, and it smelt rotten. I only got rid of the smell when it was removed.


Top side effects not reported

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0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
23 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

The copper coil insertion was super easy, I was surprised having read multiple horror stories from other women. It was slightly uncomfortable although nothing unbearable, I had mild cramping after which lasted a few days. Having the coil in then for a couple of months is when I noticed I was experiencing terrible low mood around the time of my period (somewhat similar to PMS symptoms) although no doctors could give me answers I certainly felt it was impacting me in that way. I have since improved since having it out although it could've simply been whilst it settled into my body. My periods were heavier to begin with but had started to improve within 2/3 months although I had it out soon after due to not needing contraception anymore.. I'd certainly have it again and recommend it to those who want long lasting contraception.. I was fortunate to have a good experience with insertion and having it removed. I would have it again. With it being non hormonal I had non of the nasty side effects you can get from hormonal contraception although I did have dull aching pain in my lower back on and off.. whether this was related to the coil I am unsure.. but overall it wasn't the worst contraception experience I've had.. hope this helps❤️


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

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Used for 5 - 8 yr
31 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

The coil made my periods heavier and a bit more painful, but zero mood or hormonal effects. I was advised to come off hormonal contraception when they found pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. Those have now gone so I am a fan of non-hormonal contraception for the main reason it helps your body fight off cancerous cells!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

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Used for 12 - 18 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

Overall the experience was positive, very few side effects other than heavier periods which did seem to settle a bit after 6-8 months. Can't beat a fit-and-forget contraceptive, just make sure you ask for pain relief as it is a bit awkward. I asked about it and was offered gas and air which I chose over an injection - you still have a bit of pain and discomfort but it's very easy and gives you something to take your mind off it!!!


Top side effects not reported

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Used for 6 - 12 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

As someone who has tried the pill (COC) and the implant (and does not get crazy heavy periods), the copper IUD is the best option so far.... No hormonal side effects which is great, but I do have to say the increased period heaviness is more than I expected. I bleed longer (6-7 days where previously 3-4) and there is a lot more cramping involved. Also weirdly a lot of cramping around ovulation. Still happily take the pain and bleeding over the mental health side effects of the implant and pill. Cannot wait for continued research into contraception finding even better options!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive alternatives and comparisons

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