The intrauterine device (IUD, also known as 'the coil') lasts between 5 and 10 years and is a small plastic and copper ‘T’ shaped device that sits inside the womb (uterus). It works in two ways, firstly by making it less likely that sperm will fertilise an egg, and also by stopping a fertilised egg implanting itself properly into the womb.
Like many contraception methods, the IUD offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections.
Between 5 and 10 years or until it is removed. The IUD is a longer-lasting contraception. They are sometimes known as 'longer-acting reversible contraception' (LARC).
It works as soon as it is in place and once it is removed your fertility will return to normal and you could get pregnant.
IUDs are more than 99% effective. This means that fewer than one in every 100 women who use an IUD will become pregnant in a year.
It can also be fitted up to 5 days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy as a form of emergency contraception.
It needs to be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse at your GP surgery, or sexual health clinic.