An IUD works mainly by stopping the egg and sperm from meeting. It may also prevent the fertilised egg from attaching to the lining of the uterus. The copper also has a spermicidal effect (kills sperm).
Modern IUD’s are 99% effective or more. This means that up to 1 woman in 100 will become pregnant each year using this method of contraception. (Compare this to when no contraception is used. More than 80 in 100 sexually active women who do not use contraception become pregnant within one year). Once an IUD is inserted you can forget about contraception. So, unlike the pill, you don’t need to think about contraception every day. It does not interfere with sex. It is not a hormonal method so it has no side effects on the rest of the body. Most women can have an IUD if they wish.
At the Surrey Park Clinic we also offer an intrauterine system which is a small device made from plastic and contains progestogen hormone. Therefore, it is called an intrauterine system (IUS) and not just an intrauterine device (IUD). Mirena is the only IUS available in the UK, although others will probably become available. The IUS is put into a woman’s uterus (womb) by a doctor or nurse. It works for five years before needing replacing. It works differently to an IUD as an IUS includes a progestogen hormone. It works mainly by thickening the mucus made by the cervix which forms a ‘mucus plug’ in the cervix. This stops sperm getting through to the uterus (womb) to fertilise an egg. The progestogen also makes the lining of the uterus thinner. This makes it unlikely that a fertilised egg will be able to attach to the uterus. It may also have some effect on the ovary, and ovulation may not occur (the release of the egg each month). The IUS has become popular as a treatment for heavy periods (menorrhagia). In most treated women, bleeding becomes very light, or stops altogether, within 3-9 months.
You can book your appointment to have your IUD fitted, you do not need a referral from your GP and we can offer patients appointments on Mon-Sat in our discreet clinic at a time that suits you.