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Due to severe staff shortages, you may experience a longer than usual waiting time when phoning Sandyford.

See COVID-19 Update below and COVID-19 Service Information page for latest information.


The COP26 summit will take place in Glasgow from 31 October - 12 November 2021. Please be aware that your appointment time may be altered or cancelled at short notice in light of this event.

There will be road restrictions around Sandyford Central. Please ensure that you plan your journey in advance by visiting Get Ready Glasgow.

Intrauterine Contraception

A coil is a small, T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into your womb (uterus) by a specially trained doctor or nurse.

A coil is a type of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). It is a small T-shaped device that’s inserted into your womb (uterus) to prevent you getting pregnant. This means that once it's in place, you don't have to think about it each day or each time you have sex. There are two main types of intrauterine contraception (coil) which we can fit, a hormonal (IUS) and non-hormonal (IUD) option. Your healthcare professional will discuss these options with you, but it can be helpful if you know which option you would prefer.

On this page is information to help you decide if a coil is the right type of contraception for you and what to know about having a coil after you've had one fitted. 

What is an IUD/IUS and how do they work.

What will happen at my appointment?

After checking in at reception, you will be called into the clinic by a doctor or nurse. They will talk to you about the options and check this is a suitable method of contraception for you. They will ask you about any illnesses or operations you or your family may have had. They will also discuss sexual health and cervical screening with you. If you're having your coil replaced you should use contraception or avoid sex for one week before, in case there is any difficulty fitting the new coil after the old one has been removed. If suitable they will be able to fit your chosen type of coil for you during the appointment. The appointment generally lasts for 30 minutes. It is best not to bring children and there are no child care facilities in the building. If you do need to attend with your child please bring another adult with you to care for them in the waiting area while you are in the clinic. Otherwise, you may be asked to return without your children. There is a lovely park across the road with several play areas if you are able to leave your children with a trusted adult.


The IUD (non-hormonal) coil can be used as a form of emergency contraception. If you think that you need emergency contraception please contact us as soon as possible.

More information about coils

Information about who can use the different types of coils, how they work, the pro's and cons's and how they're fitted and removed. 

When can a coil be safely fitted?

When can a coil be safely fitted?

To ensure we are able to safely fit your intrauterine contraception it is important that:

  • You avoid any unprotected sex after your last period.
  • This means using condoms consistently and correctly, or using another form of reliable hormonal contraception such as the combined pill, patch or ring, progestogen-only pill, injection or implant.
  • If you are not having regular periods you should use effective contraception or avoid sex for at least 3 weeks before having your IUC fitted.
  • If you are having your IUC replaced you should use contraception or avoid sex for one week before, in case there is any difficulty fitting the new IUC after the old one has been removed.
  • You will be having a procedure and some people may feel a little faint or unwell. We ask that if you need to bring children with you that someone is able to look after them. We are unable to provide any childcare.
  • Have a light meal before attending your appointment.
  • Some people experience cramping after the procedure. It may be helpful to take some simple painkillers before attending.

After you've had a coil fitted.

After you've had hormonal or non-hormonal coil fitted the doctor or nurse who fitted your coil will teach you how to feel for the threads and check that it's still in place. It's important to check your coil is in place a few times in the first month, and then after each period or at regular intervals. It's  highly unlikely that your coil will come out, but if you can't feel the threads or if you think the coil has moved, you may not be fully protected against pregnancy. Contact Sandyford or your GP straight away and use extra contraception, such as condoms, until your coil has been checked. If you've had sex recently, you may need to use emergency contraception.

Call Sandyford straight away on 0141 211 8130 if you think your coil has moved, fallen out or you have pain or bleeding.

FAQs for Longer Acting Contraception during COVID

My 5 year hormonal IUS has now expired and is due for a change.  Will it still protect me?

If you are using a 5 year hormonal IUS from the UK, it is likely to be either Mirena or Levosert.  The risk of getting pregnant a year after one of these 5 year devices expire (that is, during the 6th year of use) is very low.   In fact, Levosert is now actually licensed for 6 years of use, and it is likely that this will also be true in the near future of Mirena.  This is because there is now enough evidence that shows it works well as a contraceptive in the sixth year.  However since at this time the guidance is still under review, if it is critical for you not to get pregnant you may still opt to use additional contraceptive cover.

Do older women using the IUS need to have their device changed after 45?

People who are more than 45 when they have the Mirena or Levosert inserted can use the device for contraception until the age of 55 as it will continue to provide protection against pregnancy.  After this age, contraception is no longer needed.  People who are using the Mirena IUS as part of their hormone replacement therapy (HRT) taken with oestrogen, still need to change the IUS after 5 years.  Levosert is not currently licensed to be given as part of an HRT regime.

However, for those using the lower dose or shorter use hormonal IUS (eg Kyleena, Jaydess) it is not currently recommended that you extend the use of these products.  This is because there is not enough research to say how long they will continue to work well.  If you have one of these devices you are advised to use additional contraception if it has reached its expiry date.

My copper IUD has expired and is now due for a change.  Will it still protect me?

Those using a 10 year banded copper IUD can continue to use this device for 12 years after insertion.  The risk of pregnancy remains extremely low, although full protection cannot be guaranteed.  Some people may therefore choose to use additional precautions after 10 years have passed.  5 year IUDs should not be assumed to be effective after the 5 years has passed.

Is it safe to leave my implant or IUD in place after it has expired?

It is safe for your expired device to be left until you are able to get into services again.  The only risk is of an unintended pregnancy so make sure you use additional precautions such as condoms or contraceptive pills to provide protection.

I have been advised to use other hormones for contraception while my implant/hormonal IUS is still there.  Will this harm me?

The amount of hormones in the body with either the implant or the hormonal IUS is extremely small.  In addition, progestogen, which is the type of hormone used in both the implant and hormonal IUS is a very safe hormone and one that almost every woman can use even if they have other health problems.  It will therefore not harm you to take other hormones as well.  When starting any new hormone however it is always important to check that it is safe for you to use.

I was advised to extend using my IUS/Implant I wasn’t having periods before, and now they have come back.  Does this mean my implant or IUS has stopped working? 

It is not uncommon for your bleeding pattern to gradually change towards the end of the lifespan of the device. 

If your bleeding pattern changes very suddenly with the IUS, check that your IUS is still in place by checking for threads.

Lots of users have sporadic bleeding when using implant or IUS, however if this is unusual for you and you are beyond your replacement date it is recommended to use additional contraception such as condoms or have a chat with your prescriber about adding hormonal contraception. Although in the first year after change date of implant and some IUS it is highly unlikely you will get pregnant, it is not guaranteed. Organising additional contraception can usually be done remotely via your usual provider.

I don’t have periods with my implant or IUS so how will I know whether or not I am pregnant once it is beyond the usual replacement date.

Extended use within guidelines makes the likelihood of pregnancy very low but there is still a risk, that’s why the advice is to either use condoms or if suitable another hormonal method until you can have your implant or IUS replaced. If you think you might be pregnant you should take a test 3 weeks after any risk and use condoms until you are sure.

If you are worried your IUD or IUS might have fallen out and are unable to find your threads then you should also use condoms until you are able to get it checked. Organising additional contraception can usually be done remotely via your usual provider.

If I get pregnant will my IUD/IUS harm the baby?

For those in extended use who are wanting to plan a pregnancy and unable to have their IUD/IUS removed due to current restrictions, it would be advisable to use additional contraception until you are able to have the device removed rather than risk any complications by conceiving when it is still inside.

If I get pregnant while using hormonal contraception, will the hormones harm the baby?

Many women who become pregnant whilst using hormonal contraception continue unknowingly to take hormones before the pregnancy is identified.  There are no known adverse effects on the baby.

Manage your sexual health online

You can book appointments online with Sandyford for the following contraceptive options.

  • Coils (IUD/IUS). To fit, remove or remove & fit a new coil.
  • Implants. To fit remove or remove & fit a new implant.
  • A repeat contraception prescription appointment. 
  • An appointment to discuss all your contraceptive options. 

What to Expect at Sandyford

All the information you need about your visit to Sandyford. Before, during and after the appointment.