Emergency Coil

What is it?

  • A small, soft, flexible, plastic T shaped device that fits inside the womb.
  • It is easily inserted by a trained health care professional.

How does it work?

  • Prevents sperm surviving in the womb and fallopian tubes and stops fertilisation of an egg.
  • Prevents implantation of a fertilised egg in the womb lining.

What’s great about it?

  • Is safe and extremely effective (99%) in preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.
  • It can be kept in place as an ongoing form of contraception for 5-10 years .
  • Otherwise it's easily removed when you get your next period.
  • Does not cause abortion.
  • Doesn’t contain hormones.
  • Fertility returns after it is removed.
  • Can be used by women who have never had a baby.

What’s not so great about it?

  • No protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - condoms advised.
  • If the coil can't be fitted immediately you may need to take the emergency pill as well.
  • Insertion can be slightly uncomfortable but local anaesthetic reduces this.
  • Can become displaced or fall out (expulsion) but this is uncommon (5 in 100).
  • There is a small risk of pelvic infection for up to 3 weeks after insertion. Your risk of an infection will be discussed and you may be offered testing and antibiotics.
  • Very small risk of perforating the womb or cervix (1 in 500).

Where can I get it?

  • Family planning clinics, sexual health clinics and a few GP surgeries.

Additional Links


SH.UK offers a range of free sexual health service such as STI testing, treatment and contraception across the UK. Simply register then complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.

Proudly made in Sheffield by Preventx (CQC), and in partnership with local providers.

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