Know your contraceptives – Hormonal coil

The need to control how many children one produces has led to lots of research, thus the many innovations in the family planning arena. Among the many family planning methods are hormonal methods and these work at the endocrinal level to deter conception. One of these hormonal methods is the hormonal coil, also called an intra-uterine device; a long term hormonal contraceptive method.

Dr Robert Ssooka, a general practitioner, says the application of the coil is done all the way from the vagina where it is zipped through while folded. Once it gets into the uterus, it is released and the string that is holding it is cut, just below the cervix. “The string is important during the removal process.”

How it works

The hormonal coil works by releasing progesterone into the uterus, thus interfering with the ovulation process. Like every other hormonal method, it interferes with the release of the eggs and can also change the consistency of the cervical mucus, making it thick and impenetrable to sperms. As such, the woman cannot conceive.

The hormonal implant is also good for women who have got some bleeding disorders because one of its side effects is that it stops the woman’s menses from happening as long as it is within. Therefore, those with dysmenorrhea owing to another family planning method or as an ailment, the coil surely helps.

The coil also prevents the woman from cramping because progesterone is known to prevent interference by other hormones that can cause the uterus to have some contractions. Therefore, women who have painful menses can benefit from have a coil inserted in their uterus.

However, unlike the implant, it does not cause weight increment thus it is ideal for those that are weary of adding weight when using birth control methods. Therefore, it can be used by any woman as long as they have confirmed the medical eligibility.

This eligibility involves visiting a medical facility to see if the woman can use it. “While almost all women can use this method, visiting a medical facility for further checks by the medical personnel will help rule out anything that could be opportunistic but also teach you more about your family planning method of choice.”

There are different brands of coils on the market and these vary in cost and application (insertion).

The coil can stay in place for up to five years and will become effective after five days of insertion.