The spiral as a contraceptive: advantages and disadvantages

The IUD is a safe and long-term method of contraception. It is inserted into the uterus by the gynecologist in a short procedure and protects against unwanted pregnancies for up to five years. Here we explain the two types of spirals and the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

The Copper Spiral

The copper spiral is inserted into your uterus by a doctor and then remains in the uterus for around three to five years, depending on the model. The copper, which is constantly released by the coil in very small amounts, inhibits the mobility of the sperm cells on their way into the fallopian tubes, so that fertilization cannot occur. The copper also contributes significantly to the fact that the structure of the uterine lining is disturbed. If fertilization does occur, this prevents the egg cell from implanting itself in the uterus.

  • Copper IUD Safety : When properly sized and fitted, the copper IUD is a safe birth control method. However, you should have your doctor check the correct position every six months.
  • Advantages of the copper IUD : You don’t have to think about contraception for a long time and the copper IUD does not interfere with the hormonal balance. A relatively high contraceptive security is given.
  • Disadvantages of the copper IUD : The uterus may expel the IUD. This can happen especially in the first few months after insertion. There is also an increased risk of infection in the uterus or fallopian tubes during these first few weeks.
  • Side effects of the copper IUD:  The bleeding usually increases and prolongs, which many women perceive as an unpleasant side effect of the copper IUD. Periods can also be more painful. Intermenstrual bleeding can also occur as a side effect of the copper coil. A rare but serious side effect can be the occurrence of abdominal inflammation. In the worst case, this can lead to infertility.

The hormonal spiral

The IUS can remain in the uterus for up to five years. It works by constantly releasing a small amount of a progestin into the uterine cavity. This leads to a thickening and environmental change of the mucus in the cervical canal, which hinders the ascent of the sperm. In addition, the growth of the lining of the uterus is suppressed and thus the implantation of a fertilized egg cell is prevented.

  • Safety of the IUS : The IUS is considered almost as safe as sterilization. The correct position should also be checked by your doctor every 6 months.
  • Advantages of the hormonal spiral : Contraceptive protection is also guaranteed over a longer period of time with the hormonal spiral. The contraceptive safety of this coil is very high. In addition, bleeding pain and bleeding intensity are reduced. In some cases there is even no menstruation at all. After removing the coil, you can get pregnant again immediately.
  • Hormonal advantages: Another advantage is the fact that only progestin is released with this hormonal form of contraception. Therefore, this contraceptive method could also be suitable for women with estrogen intolerance. For this reason, the IUS can also be used when the pill is not to be used. For example, in women at risk of thrombosis, stroke or heart attack. A final advantage is that the hormone spiral can also be used while breastfeeding.
  • Disadvantages of the hormone IUD : Especially in the first three months, bleeding disorders can occur, similar to the copper IUD.

Insert spiral

When should an IUD be used? The most suitable time is towards the end of the menstrual period, since at this moment there could hardly be an unrecognized pregnancy. In addition, the cervix is ​​widened so that the pain when inserting the spiral is reduced. This contraceptive method is inserted into the uterus through the cervix. We have summarized all the exact details on the topic of “inserting the spiral” for you here.

cost of the spiral

The cost of the spiral depends on the model. In general, you can expect costs of around 120 – 300 euros for a copper spiral. The costs of the hormone spiral are higher: They are around 250 – 400 euros. However, this price also includes the consultation, the associated examinations and the insertion of the spiral. However, there is a bonus: the first check of the position of the spiral after insertion is covered by the statutory health insurance company – however, you have to finance all further examinations of the position of the spiral yourself.

Remove the spiral

Of course, you can have this contraceptive method removed at any time, especially if permanent complications should arise. After about five years, however, the spiral should be replaced at the latest. Of course, this procedure is performed by your gynecologist, who usually pulls this contraceptive out with a retrieval thread. We have put together all the other information on the topic of “removing spirals” here.

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