Intrauterine device (IUD)

An IUD is a small, T-shaped contraceptive device made from plastic and copper, and it is fitted inside the womb. It is often called a coil.

Most women can have an IUD fitted, including women who have never been pregnant.

It is a long-lasting and reversible method of contraception but it cannot stop you getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

IUDs need to be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse at your GP surgery or local contraception and sexual health clinic.

They can stay in the womb for five to 10 years depending on the type. If you are 40 or over when you have an IUD fitted, it may be left in until you reach the menopause or until you no longer need contraception.

An IUD is 98-99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Newer models that contain more copper are the most effective (over 99% effective).

As a long-lasting method of contraception, the IUD is very effective. You do not need to remember to take or use contraception to prevent pregnancy.