Copper coil (IUD) vs Hormonal coil (IUS)

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Copper coil (IUD)

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Hormonal coil (IUS)

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Overview

Rated 3.5

546 reviews

5 - 10 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.5

756 reviews

Every 3-8 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

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.

Hormonal coil (IUS) ingredients

Main hormones in Hormonal coil (IUS)

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

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

Adenomyosis

Endometriosis

Heavy periods

Menopause

Period pain

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Copper coil (IUD) reviews

546 reviews

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

  •  Still using

Had copper coil fitted only 2 weeks ago by a lady at the family planning clinic who fits a lot of these, i was so nervous from reading online reviews i would say smears are more uncomfortable, it was so quick and painless,was told to expect possible cramping/bleeding but i didn't until day 7 when i was ovulating then started bleeding im still unsure whether this is my real period yet i would say its slightly lighter than usual

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

I always suffered with hormonal contraception. Couldn’t take pill due to migraine with aura and the mini-pill caused near constant spotting so the copper coil was my last option except the FAM method. For the coil, insertion for me was painless but I had cramping for a while after (2 days) and some bleeding. My strings were very long so I had them trimmed right down a week after insertion. First few months I had very heavy long winded (9 days) periods but this calmed down after month 7 and now my periods are closer to 5 days but my flow is much heavier. I’ve been able to keep using my menstrual cup but just have to be careful to break the seal when removing. I get cramps leading up to and during my period which I hadn’t suffered since teenage years but they are manageable - just annoying. I believe I’ve put on weight since having the coil inserted but this could also be due to my age. Overall this has been the best contraceptive for me and the first time I’ve been synthetic hormone free since 19 years old.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  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 1 - 3 mo
40 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Still using

Had copper coil fitted only 2 weeks ago by a lady at the family planning clinic who fits a lot of these, i was so nervous from reading online reviews i would say smears are more uncomfortable, it was so quick and painless,was told to expect possible cramping/bleeding but i didn't until day 7 when i was ovulating then started bleeding im still unsure whether this is my real period yet i would say its slightly lighter than usual


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

I always suffered with hormonal contraception. Couldn’t take pill due to migraine with aura and the mini-pill caused near constant spotting so the copper coil was my last option except the FAM method. For the coil, insertion for me was painless but I had cramping for a while after (2 days) and some bleeding. My strings were very long so I had them trimmed right down a week after insertion. First few months I had very heavy long winded (9 days) periods but this calmed down after month 7 and now my periods are closer to 5 days but my flow is much heavier. I’ve been able to keep using my menstrual cup but just have to be careful to break the seal when removing. I get cramps leading up to and during my period which I hadn’t suffered since teenage years but they are manageable - just annoying. I believe I’ve put on weight since having the coil inserted but this could also be due to my age. Overall this has been the best contraceptive for me and the first time I’ve been synthetic hormone free since 19 years old.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  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


Hormonal coil (IUS) reviews

756 reviews

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

The merina coil was not for me. I chose the merina for the benefits of inserting and forgetting and that the hormones released were localised, therefore less side effects on the rest of the body (in theory). What I was underprepared for was the discomfort and pain in the insertion and the intense cramps following, lasting for around 1 year. I had considered having it removed after around 6 months which is when they say the cramps should have stopped. However, where I was living (abroad) it had cost me a lot of money to have the procedure, it also gradually did decrease in frequency and intensity after the 1 year mark. I decided to keep using it for a further 2 years (3 in total) until we talked about having children. Since having it removed the cramps have completely gone which is a huge relief. I definitely recommend getting a wide range of views and stories, not to put you off but so you’re fully prepared. I feel that the leaflets supplied describe generally how most people feel but don’t give the whole picture of how it can affect different people. I will say the removal was incredibly easy (if the stings are visible) and so can be tried and removed if not working.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
32 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

Had the coil recommended by a gynaecologist to combat my estrogen dominance which was causing me very irregular but really heavy periods. I haven’t had any negative side effects thus far and my skin has got much better, however I did have constant, light bleeding for 3 months after insertion.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
21 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

The insertion wasn't as bad as I expected, it was very quick and the pain was manageable. I got it about 5 months ago and my periods are now very light but last around two weeks but I understand that they should shorten. I came off the combined pill (on which I took no pill breaks) just before I got the coil so am unsure which side effects (mood swings, migraines) are due to the coil or just because I now have a natural cycle.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

The merina coil was not for me. I chose the merina for the benefits of inserting and forgetting and that the hormones released were localised, therefore less side effects on the rest of the body (in theory). What I was underprepared for was the discomfort and pain in the insertion and the intense cramps following, lasting for around 1 year. I had considered having it removed after around 6 months which is when they say the cramps should have stopped. However, where I was living (abroad) it had cost me a lot of money to have the procedure, it also gradually did decrease in frequency and intensity after the 1 year mark. I decided to keep using it for a further 2 years (3 in total) until we talked about having children. Since having it removed the cramps have completely gone which is a huge relief. I definitely recommend getting a wide range of views and stories, not to put you off but so you’re fully prepared. I feel that the leaflets supplied describe generally how most people feel but don’t give the whole picture of how it can affect different people. I will say the removal was incredibly easy (if the stings are visible) and so can be tried and removed if not working.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
32 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

Had the coil recommended by a gynaecologist to combat my estrogen dominance which was causing me very irregular but really heavy periods. I haven’t had any negative side effects thus far and my skin has got much better, however I did have constant, light bleeding for 3 months after insertion.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
21 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

The insertion wasn't as bad as I expected, it was very quick and the pain was manageable. I got it about 5 months ago and my periods are now very light but last around two weeks but I understand that they should shorten. I came off the combined pill (on which I took no pill breaks) just before I got the coil so am unsure which side effects (mood swings, migraines) are due to the coil or just because I now have a natural cycle.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
37 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Stopped using

Some cramping but generally ok and didn’t affect me like other contraception


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
46 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I had my first Mirena fitted after the birth of my second child. It seemed to work well although my periods became even more irregular than then they were before and I had weeks of spotting at a time especially as I was approaching the 5 year mark. However overall I was satisfied and opted to have it replaced when it expired. This was quite traumatic and took a very long time as the strings had moved making it hard to access. However, the GP was able to remove it and I had a second one fitted which worked much like the first one. However, when it came time to have that one removed and a third one fitted my cervix went into spasm at the point of fitting the new one which was extremely painful and after what felt like forever the GP told me they were unable to fit a new coil that day and to come back. I went back and tried again a month later and the same thing happened. A month after that I was admitted to hospital with an abscess in my fallopian tube caused by repeated failed attempts to insert the coil. I was in hospital for 4 days and off work for over 3 weeks due to the pain/side effects of the antibiotics I had to take.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Stopped using

I started it after changing from the copper coil. Having previously had no issues with the mirena coil i thought this would be fine but instead i got constant spotting, bled after sex, had a painful and irritated cervix and lost my sex drive.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I have pmdd, I could not track my cycle with an iud fitted, it helped initially then made me so much worse. I seen 3 doctors who didn't help, I'm now treating holistically, tracking my cycle and tailoring my food, lifestyle, exercising to my cycle and Somatic healing.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Stopped using

This was the first coil I had put in and the process itself was okay but felt very woozy and nearly fainted on the way home. Overall it was not a pleasant experience! I have since swapped to the copper coil and this process, whilst not fun, went a lot smoother! I had the hormonal coil removed primarily due to it's effect on my mood (feeling very low a lot of the time) and big drop in sex drive. It's worked very well for many of my friends but really just didn't suit me!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Stopped using

The insertion process took longer place at my GP without the local anaesthetic and it was much less scary than made out to be. It took 10 minutes, I experienced a few cramps the day of and for the following few days but was otherwise ok. Initially I had no bleeding but from around 5 days post insertion to 6 weeks post insertion, I had significant spotting which affected my mood and my sex drive. Eventually this stopped. I did have irregular periods, however when they did come, they were the same as usual, no lighter. I suffered with acne and intermenstrual cramps during this time. I put up with it for 12 months to ensure I had time for it to settle in but unfortunately this was not the right choice for me.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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

  •  Still using

I’m 44 with recently diagnosed PCOS and endometriosis which is why my specialist told me to try the Mirena to lighten the lining of my uterus and help with my awful periods. I had to go off of the pill at 40 and suffered for 2 years while debating what to do. I got the mirena in at 42 and have had it 2.5 years now. I do get pelvic pain and cramping twice a month for a few days randomly and feel like I can tell which ovary is active but it is still better than dealing with the bleeding and irregular periods I had previously. My periods are non existant apart from spotting for a few days but not enough to even merit wearing a liner! Sex drive is definitely lower and dryness comes and goes as well but breasts have grown which I’m not upset about! I’m leaving it for another 2 years then will decide if I should opt for a hysterectomy.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive alternatives and comparisons

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