Hormonal coil (IUS) vs Copper coil (IUD)

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Hormonal coil (IUS)

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Copper coil (IUD)

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Overview

Rated 3.5

757 reviews

Every 3-8 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.5

546 reviews

5 - 10 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Hormonal coil (IUS) ingredients

Main hormones in Hormonal coil (IUS)

progestogen

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

Adenomyosis

Endometriosis

Heavy periods

Menopause

Period pain

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

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Hormonal coil (IUS) reviews

757 reviews

Used for 12 - 18 mo
20 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I had the Mirena coil for about a year and a half to manage menorrhagia and for contraception. The insertion procedure was better than I expected; while I had been warned it could be very painful by others, I found it more uncomfortable than painful. I do have a high pain tolerance, so that might have helped. However, the next seven months were horrendous. I experienced intense cramps and back pain, worse than anything I'd ever felt. Some days, I couldn't get out of bed, and even walking made me faint and dizzy. I relied heavily on pain medication and even resorted to using weed to cope. During this time, I became incredibly depressed, but my doctor advised me to give it six months. My periods, although lighter and lasting about five days, were followed by weeks of spotting, necessitating the use of pads or liners. They were also extremely irregular, they never were before. This constant bleeding made me less confident and significantly reduced my libido as I had issues getting aroused which made me 'dry', making sex both unappealing and painful, especially in the first few months. While the Mirena coil did make my periods lighter, the prolonged bleeding was a significant downside. Additionally, I could sometimes feel the coil, which was uncomfortable as it seemed to scratch my cervix and vagina. I eventually had it removed because my doctor suspected that the issues might be related to the hormone. I honestly should've removed it a couple of months in, and I regret that I didn't, as it clearly was not for me. I have now started the combined pill and feel much happier. Overall, although the Mirena is great for some, it was a horrendous experience for me, but I'd recommend people to give it a go regardless, as its effects seem to be case-dependent and it may be brilliant for some!!

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days 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
  •  6 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 12 - 18 mo
20 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I had the Mirena coil for about a year and a half to manage menorrhagia and for contraception. The insertion procedure was better than I expected; while I had been warned it could be very painful by others, I found it more uncomfortable than painful. I do have a high pain tolerance, so that might have helped. However, the next seven months were horrendous. I experienced intense cramps and back pain, worse than anything I'd ever felt. Some days, I couldn't get out of bed, and even walking made me faint and dizzy. I relied heavily on pain medication and even resorted to using weed to cope. During this time, I became incredibly depressed, but my doctor advised me to give it six months. My periods, although lighter and lasting about five days, were followed by weeks of spotting, necessitating the use of pads or liners. They were also extremely irregular, they never were before. This constant bleeding made me less confident and significantly reduced my libido as I had issues getting aroused which made me 'dry', making sex both unappealing and painful, especially in the first few months. While the Mirena coil did make my periods lighter, the prolonged bleeding was a significant downside. Additionally, I could sometimes feel the coil, which was uncomfortable as it seemed to scratch my cervix and vagina. I eventually had it removed because my doctor suspected that the issues might be related to the hormone. I honestly should've removed it a couple of months in, and I regret that I didn't, as it clearly was not for me. I have now started the combined pill and feel much happier. Overall, although the Mirena is great for some, it was a horrendous experience for me, but I'd recommend people to give it a go regardless, as its effects seem to be case-dependent and it may be brilliant for some!!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days 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
  •  6 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


Copper coil (IUD) reviews

546 reviews

Used for 1 - 3 mo
40 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days 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
  •  6 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
  •  6 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
  •  4 days 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
  •  6 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
  •  6 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 3 - 6 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 week 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
  •  2 weeks 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
  •  2 weeks 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

0 helpful

0 comments

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

0 helpful

0 comments

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

0 helpful

0 comments

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

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
31 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 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

0 comments

Contraceptive alternatives and comparisons

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