Coil Fitting Advice

Please read this important information if you have either booked to have a coil fitted or are thinking about doing so.

Fitting a coil is similar to having a cervical smear but takes a little longer (about 15 minutes) and is a little more uncomfortable.

Please make sure you have also looked at for more information. Here is a summary of the main points:


Please make sure you have spoken to a Female Doctor, before booking to ensure it is the correct method for you.


The ideal time to have a coil fitted is towards the tail end of a period or in the first few days after a period.  This ensures that there is no possibility of an early pregnancy. It should also not be fitted before 12 weeks post-natal due to risk of perforation However, we are aware that the timing of our coil appointments may not fit with your cycle.

A coil can be inserted at any time during your cycle if you have not had sex (even with a condom) since your last period.  It is your responsibility to ensure that there is no risk of you being pregnant.  If you are taking the contraceptive pill you must continue this correctly until 7 days after a coil is fitted, and bring an early morning urine sample to your appointment.

If you are having an existing coil changed then this should be done either just after your period or after at least 7 days without having sex.  This is because sperm can linger in the vaginal canal for up to 7 days.  If the doctor is able to remove the old coil but is then unable to insert the new one (which occasionally happens) then you may be at risk of becoming pregnant.


The appointments are special 30 minute slots with a Female Doctor when the HCA is also available to assist.

These appointments cannot be booked on line. As this is a 30 minute appointment with the GP and an HCA it is important you attend or cancel in sufficient time for the slot to be used.

Please make sure we have your correct contact details. 

Please bring an EMU (early morning urine) sample with you to your appointment so we can be sure you are not pregnant.

Chlamydia Screening

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease which a woman may have without having any symptoms.

It is Gloucestershire policy that screening for Chlamydia should be discussed and offered to all women before a coil fitting.

The group most at risk of Chlamydia is the under 25s and if someone has had more than one partner in the previous 12 months.

Chlamydia testing is strongly recommended and is a simple self-test.  Please don’t be offended if you are asked about your sexual history, this is to reduce your risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease.

Pain Relief

We would recommend taking 2 paracetamol or 400mg ibuprofen (or whichever painkiller helps you with period pains) about an hour before the procedure.

Fitting a coil can cause some cramping period pains so this reduces the discomfort.  Please also make sure that you eat something before your appointment as this helps avoid feeling faint (see below).

Stress Relief

If possible please arrange childcare for your appointment. This makes it easier for you to relax during the procedure.

Try to have a fairly quiet day after the appointment. Most women will feel fine after a coil fitting but they can sometimes feel a little faint (due to a nerve reflex triggered by passing the coil through the cervix) so this is a sensible precaution.

Don’t Panic

This may seem rather off-putting, but the majority of coil fittings are straight forward and it is an excellent form of contraception, which is why we recommend it.

You will have an opportunity at the coil fitting appointment to discuss any issues but do phone beforehand if you have any questions, or go to: