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The copper coil before having children: My experience (and it's positive!)

(2 Posts)
TigerLily10 Mon 08-Apr-13 18:03:06

OK, so I thought after doing hundreds of searches before having my copper coil fitted, I'd make an effort to try and put some worried minds at ease.

I'm 26, I have never had children and I already have painful/heavy periods.

However, after years (and I mean YEARS) of trying different contraceptive methods and always struggling with hormones and weight gain/depression, I finally decided to take the plunge and get the coil fitted.

I went to visit the Margaret Pyke Centre in London for my initial consultation and was (as always) told the Mirena would be better for me. But after much consideration, I decided to just go with my gut and get the copper coil fitted anyway.

The 'counselling' session they did to begin with was just a preliminary chat to tell me what I was getting myself into and to discuss my history.

Now I have had one ectopic pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage (thank god it didn't erupt) last October. But despite some people saying this meant the coil would be a no-no for me, they were fine with it.

I was told to abstain from sex completely (no condoms, nothing) until my fitting in four weeks. They are VERY strict on this, and I was happy to stand by it after the ectopic hospital rush.

On the morning of my fitting I took two ibuprofen and two paracetamol and was told to undress/relax with my legs in stirrups.

The nurse doing the fitting was lovely and another nurse was there to hold my hand and generally chat nice things to me while I underwent the procedure.

I was offered the injection to numb my cervix or the gel - but went with the injection because it works quicker and I knew it would help with pain following the fitting.

I have a VERY small vagina, so I knew it would be relatively painful.

The injection itself was a bit nasty, but just like a quick scratch.

Within a few minutes I was ready for the insertion, which involved the nurse holding my cervix open and 'shooting' the coil into place.

The initial 'holding the cervix open' bit was actually the worst, as mine was very unhappy to be held open and she struggled to get hold of the slippery little sucker.

After about 10 mins she managed to grab it and hold it open - now this was the worst bit, everything else is fine, it's the holding that hurts. It's a bit like period pain, but far more painful.

At this point it's worth noting that it only takes 5 minutes from here, so if you can grin and bear it, you're plain sailing.

She then inserted the coil (another quick, sharp pain, but nothing too brutal) and then it was done.

The whole thing took about 15 minutes, maybe 20. Both nurses were LOVELY and very understanding that it's not something anyone enjoys going through, there was no 'oh you'll be fine', both ladies were gentle and caring, which is exactly what you need (we've ALL had the nurses who think we're exaggerating and that's never a good experience).

My blood pressure dropped a bit, so I had to lie down for about 10 minutes. I was then given an information sheet and booked in to come back 6 weeks later for a check-up.

The pain following the fitting lasted a good week, and I was on a concoction of ibuprofen, paracetamol and codeine every single day. However, I was back at work a day later (I took one day off for recovery) and it was nothing worse than severe period pain.

We tried having sex 7 days later, but at that point my cervix was still sore and took a little while to settle down.

The first few weeks there was weird pain that felt like trapped wind, it was quite severe at times, and usually in the evenings. I had a hot water bottle for that and it seemed to help.

My first period was as painful as they always were (so if you're used to painful periods it really makes no difference - 2x paracetamol and 2x ibuprofen EVERY 4 hours, never chasing the pain and always on top of it). Bleeding lasted for about a week, and I took iron tablets as a precautionary measure. It was quite heavy, but again, this is manageable.

We finally had sex without any discomfort or pain after my first period (about 4 weeks after fitting) and the 'settling' pain disappeared following my first bleed.

I had my six-week check-up last Tuesday and everything is totally fine.

They say the pain lasts about a week - but I'd say mine didn't fully settle until six weeks later.

However, I am now completely fine and we're having sex regularly (yey!) without any pain.

I would say that sometimes you can have a tiny bit of period-like pain after sex sometimes, but not always and it usually lasts an hour and then goes.

I think everyone is completely different, but I would say it's so worth it if you have problems with hormones - just be brave and accept that it'll be a bit painful for a few weeks.

Tomorrow marks 7 weeks, and I'm so glad I had it done.

Anyone living in London who wants it fitted on the NHS should try the Margaret Pyke Centre - they really have been amazing throughout.

Oh, and I take zinc to balance copper - as some people apparently react to it. I've had no side effects what so ever (apart from my boobs being MASSIVE before my first period), my skin is fine, my weight is the same (if not losing some) and I'm so happy to not have to think about it.

I hope that helps!

SergeantMilko Sun 28-Apr-13 01:52:17

this has answered a lot of my questions in one fell swoop - thank you for posting!

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