The Copper Coil

The copper coil is one of the only non hormonal forms of contraception (bar condoms + tracking your cycle like Natural Cycles).

Instead of stopping ovulation, like most hormonal contraceptives, it prevents pregnancy by:

  • Impairing sperm motility - i.e. it stops them from swimming very far!

  • Changes the uterine lining which makes it very difficult for an egg to implant, IF sperm doesn happen to make it to the uterus.

The Pros

  • You make your own hormones and still get a normal period on the coil, as ovulation is not affected. (remember ovulation is so important for our energy, mood, drive, libido!)

  • It can last for 10 years once it’s in and it has a 0.6 failure rate or a 99% effectiveness.

  • It’s suitable for women of any age - including teens + women who haven’t had children yet! This seems to be a huge misconception in Ireland and often I see clients having to argue to get it inserted! I think the copper coil is a much better option than switching off your hormones. Especially, for teens whos menstrual cycle is still developing.

The Cons

  • The coil can make periods heavier- so it’s not recommend if you already suffer with really heavy periods (however this can be managed with natural treatments).

  • It can cause mild bloating for the first 6 months, while your body gets used to it.

  • It also increases the risk of Bacterial vaginosis as it disrupts the vaginal microbiome.

  • Lastly, it can cause copper toxicity (this isn’t something that I have seen before, but would love to know your experience with this?)

Important Tips on the Copper Coil

  • It’s important to take zinc while on the copper coil as zinc and copper compete for absorption - so the coil can reduce zinc. (Low zinc also increase your risk for copper toxicity). Zinc is also one of the most important minerals to help reduce heavy periods + pain. So you can see why so many women experience heavier periods while on the coil!

  • I also recommend taking probiotics to keep the vagina microbiome happy and reduce the chances of BV.

  • Be careful if you are prone to having low iron as zinc and iron compete for absorption- so too much zinc can reduce iron and also heavier periods can also reduce iron... (Honestly, it’s a mind field!)

I’d love to hear your experience with the coil- leave a comment below.

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