20th April 2018 | Posted by Harriet Lewis
Considering a Coil for Contraception?
The contraceptive coil is a small device which sits inside the womb to prevent pregnancy. Coils have been used by women for many decades and are very effective at preventing pregnancy. Consultant Gynaecologist, Miss Meg Wilson, often speaks to women about their contraceptive options and helps them decide which method will suit them best. Here she answers some frequently asked questions about the coil as an option for contraception.
Why do women choose the coil?
The biggest appeal of the coil is that once it is fitted, there is no need to think about contraception for at least 5 years. This is much easier that taking a pill every day or attending clinics to pick up prescriptions or make appointments for depo injections.
Most women are keen to choose a contraceptive that they can rely on, the coil is a very reliable choice. The protection from pregnancy each year is 99.4%. For some women, there are added benefits to the coil as you can choose a coil that contains the hormone progesterone. The protection from pregnancy from hormonal coils is even more reliable at 99.8%. Coils are more protective than other methods including the pill, condoms and hormonal coils are even slightly more protective than a sterilization procedure.
If your life changes and you want to fall pregnant or change contraceptive, it can be easily removed by a gentle internal examination to pull on some very thin threads which can be seen at the opening of your womb (cervix). When the coil is removed, your ability to fall pregnant will be restored to normal. Coils do not protect from sexually transmitted infections and therefore you may need to use condoms to protect from infection aswell.
What types of coil are there to choose from?
Broadly speaking there are two types of coil to choose from, the copper coil and the hormonal coil. Both work in a similar way to prevent pregnancy by acting as a barrier to a pregnancy implanting in the womb. The hormonal coil has an added effect of releasing progesterone to the womb, this has the added effect of making the lining of the womb thin and making the mucus blocking the opening of the womb thicker. This is how the chance of falling pregnant is even lower with the hormonal coil.
The progesterone released from the hormonal coil has the added effects of making periods very light and some women will not experience periods at all. This is because the lining of the womb becomes very thin with progesterone and this is entirely healthy. It can also make periods less painful and some women have a hormonal coil fitted to treat their heavy and painful periods alone.
At London Gynaecology we offer the ‘Nova T380’ copper coil or hormonal coils called ‘Mirena’ or ‘Jaydess’. The Nova T380 and Mirena coil can stay in for up to 5 years, the Jaydess coil is a slightly smaller coil and has less hormone, it can stay in for up to 3 years.
Choosing a non-hormonal or hormonal coil.
If you suffer with heavy or painful periods, it is worth thinking about having a hormonal coil fitted. Some women really enjoy the convenience of not having their period or having very light periods and chose the hormonal coil for this reason. No periods on holiday and saving money on sanitary products makes this a very popular option. However, some women like the reassurance of seeing their period to know they are not pregnant, so it is not for everyone.
Some women know that they ‘don’t get on with hormones’ from previous experience of taking the contraceptive pill. They may have felt emotionally low, gained weight or had some skin changes with taking the pill and in a few cases, similar side effects are experienced with the progesterone in the hormonal coil. It may be better to have the copper coil if these side effects have been very debilitating, otherwise try the hormonal coil and consider having it changed if you develop side effects.
Can anyone have the coil?
There are only a few women who are not suitable for a coil. It is not suitable for women who have previously suffered with an ectopic pregnancy, this is a pregnancy which was located outside the womb. The coil prevents pregnancy implanting inside the womb and therefore it can’t stop ectopic pregnancy and women who are already susceptible to this should avoid the coil. The coil needs to be fitted into the cavity of the womb, if the cavity is an abnormal shape (this may be the case for women with fibroids or previous surgery) it may not be possible to fit it or it is at risk of falling out.
What side effects or symptoms can I expect?
Thankfully, there are no serious side effects with a correctly inserted coil. With the hormonal coil, we advise women that they may experience irregular bleeding and this usually settles down over the first 2-3 months. Some women have side effects from progesterone which may affect mood, skin or bloating from fluid retention. For women choosing the copper coil, they may find their periods are slightly heavier. If a woman is unhappy with any side effects of the coil we offer to remove the coil and consider a different type of contraception.
How is the coil fitted?
We advise that you take some painkillers before your coil fitting and it is preferable if you time the appointment during or just after you have had a period. Otherwise there is no special preparation required and a coil can be fitted in a routine gynaecology appointment.
The fitting requires a speculum to be placed inside your vagina and anaesthetic gel applied to your cervix. Sometimes a local anaesthetic injection is also used. The coil is pushed inside the cavity of the womb in a tube which is the size of a very thin cocktail straw. This tube is then removed leaving the coil in place. The insertion takes only a few seconds. We offer an ultrasound scan to confirm that the coil is safely in the correct position. It is normal to have some cramping pains afterwards and some women may need to take some painkillers. Most women are absolutely fine for the rest of the day but it is advisable to have the opportunity to take it easy for the rest of the day if needed.
Is fitting a coil painful?
Having a coil fitted can be uncomfortable, but most people tolerate it very well with the use of local anaesthetic gel and sometimes an injection. Women who have had a vaginal birth may find it even easier as their cervix has been ‘stretched open’ in the past. For young women or those who have not had a baby, they may opt for the Jaydess coil as it is slightly smaller.
If you have a lot of anxiety about having a coil fitted, let your doctor know in advance so they can listen to your concerns and make the experience as easy as possible for you. I find that women with a lot of anxiety are often pleasantly surprised it was ‘not as bad as expected’.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0207 10 11 700 or book a consultation to discuss your options.
19th April 2018 | Posted by Admin
Marathon Fundraising Effort
On Sunday Mr Pisal is running the London Marathon raising money for The Whittington Hospital, donations have already exceeded £4,000 and as London Gynaecology will match every donation, that makes an astonishing £8,000 before the race has even begun.
Thank you to all patients, colleagues and friends who have supported this cause. If you wish to donate and help improve endometrial cancer diagnosis, please click here.
17th April 2018 | Posted by Harriet Lewis
You Can Still Get Pregnant on Your Period
A recent survey revealed that many women think that being on their period protects them against pregnancy and from catching a sexually transmitted infection. Consultant Gynaecologist Mrs Pisal spoke to Yahoo Style to clear up the misconceptions and highlight the importance of contraception, even when you are on your period. Read the full article here.
16th April 2018 | Posted by Harriet Lewis
Need to Book a Gynaecology Appointment?
We understand that having a medical concern may be worrying and booking an appointment with a private gynaecology clinic may be unfamiliar for many women. So as the first point of contact when a patient enquires, our administrator Aminah has put together some helpful points to think about ahead of making a call.
1. “What information should I have when making an appointment?”
When calling to make an appointment with one of our clinicians it is useful to have a couple of things to hand:
- Your referral letter from your GP (if you have one).
- Your availability.
- If you are an insured patient it is useful to have your insurance details including your membership number. Some insurance policies may not cover some procedures and tests. It is always advised to check with your insurer before making an appointment. They will be able to give you an authorisation code which indicates that they cover your appointment.
- If you are booking on behalf of someone else make sure you have the patients details to hand.
- Let us know if you have any access requirements or need a translator as this can be organised ahead of your appointment.
2. “What do I need to bring to my appointment?”
When you have your appointment with London Gynaecology there are a couple of things you might want to bring with you:
- Your referral letter with any previous scan reports and results that are relevant to the problem.
- You may bring your partner, a sibling or a friend to your appointment if for any reason you are worrying. All examinations are chaperoned and consultations can also be chaperoned by request.
3. “I am under 18, can I book an appointment at London Gynaecology?”
The minimum age for a patient to have an appointment varies by consultant:
- Mr Pisal or Miss Wilson minimum age is 16 years
- Miss Flemming minimum age is 14 years
- Mrs Pisal will see patients of any age
Any patient under 16 should make the practice aware when enquiring so we can contact the patient to understand more about their medical issue as it may be that the patient needs to be seen by another doctor. If you are under the age of 18 you must bring a parent or a guardian to your appointment. You must be over 18 to have an appointment at London Bridge.
4. “I can’t attend my appointment time anymore, what should I do?”
If you are unable to make your appointment it is best to let us know as early as possible so we can offer another patient the appointment. We can rearrange your appointment to a convenient time for you.
5. “How long do I have to wait for my appointment?”
We have 4 consultant gynaecologists at London Gynaecology so we are usually able to offer women an appointment within a few days and definitely within a week. If you require an urgent appointment we can usually see you the same day.
6. “I would like to read patient reviews, where should I look?”
If you are interested in reading about other patients’ experience with London Gynaecology, we have testimonials on our website. You can also find patient reviews on Google and on Doctify.
If you would like to book an appointment please don’t hesitate to call us on 0207 10 11 700.
27th March 2018 | Posted by Harriet Lewis
Chlamydia Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the UK and if left untreated it can cause fertility issues. In many cases chlamydia can present very few symptoms, therefore it is so important to be aware of which symptoms to look out for. Consultant Gynaecologist Ms Rhona Flemming spoke to Popsugar about red flag symptoms and the importance of getting tested. Read the full article here.