A coil is a secondary line of contraceptive method, mainly used by women who cannot take contraceptive pills due to factors including high blood pressure; grossly overweight; history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus; uncontrolled diabetes; experienced blood clots during pregnancy; or have had children and want a good method of contraception but won't remember to take pills; or have previously experienced severe side effects from contraceptive pills and are seeking a reliable alternative.
It always surprises me how many women have been wrongly informed that a hormonal coil is better than a copper coil purely because it's expensive. This is completely untrue. A hormonal coil is designed to treat certain gynaecological problems that require a hormone to be slowly released by an intrauterine device.
The coil has been a well-recognized method of contraception for many years - dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Over time, the materials used, the shape and method of insertion have all been improved. This development was necessary for two important reasons. Firstly, the initial failure rate in the use of plastic coils was quite high; which was why the copper coils were developed to great success. Secondly, the coil has undergone numerous shape amendments. For example, the spiral and Dalkon shield coils were used until we developed Copper 7 and Nova T, which are commonly used today.
During these developments, scientists also considered women with bleeding problems who require the implantation of hormones to improve their condition. This led them to develop a brilliant coil that was adapted with progesterone hormones and that, when inserted inside the uterus, would slowly release the hormone. This particular coil is only prescribed for certain patients who are unable to use the non-hormonal devices.
As the coil is one of the more invasive contraceptive methods, it has always interested me whether the public benefits from a non-gynaecologist inserting them, without properly assessing the uterus by ultrasound scan and inserting the coil with the scan's guidance. It took me many years to realise that the insertion of a coil device inside the uterus had to be conducted by a very experienced gynaecologist who has experience in using an ultrasound to guide him whilst inserting the coil and to ensure that he doesn't cause a major problem by incorrect positioning. I was recently shocked by the gravity of such problems when a journalist informed me that one of her friends had died suddenly following a perforation of uterine body with the coil, aged just 23. This was performed by an inexperienced non-gynaecologist and, unfortunately, the perforation remained undetected until it was too late.
This is a warning to all women considering having a coil inserted. Please seek advice from an experienced gynaecologist. Here's why...
My conclusion is that one case of fatal death due to a coil insertion and uterine perforation from an inexperienced non-gynaecologist is too many. I believe that we should be very clear that a coil's insertion must only be performed by an experienced gynaecologist with ultrasound guidance. This is the safest method of inserting a coil in modern society.
For more information, visit, www.londongynaecologyclinic.com