What is an IUD and how does the coil work?

THE IUD is a popular choice of contraception for many women and can protect against pregnancy for five to 10 years.

Britney Spears this week revealed that she has an IUD which she has not been allowed to remove because of her conservator.

The 39-year-old said she wants to marry and take out her IUD to have another baby.

However, she claimed she is unable to grow her family because her "conservator won't let her."

On Wednesday, Britney spoke for the first time in court amid the years-long conservatorship battle with father Jamie Spears.

While speaking via audio, the hitmaker said: “I want to get married and have a baby.  

“I wanted to take the IUD out and have a baby but conservator won't let me because they don't want me to have a baby.”

But what is an IUD and how does it work?

What is an IUD?

When inserted corrected, an IUD is 99 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy.

It works by releasing copper to stop you getting pregnant – it is also known as a "copper coil" or "coil".

It is t-shaped and can be put in at any time during your period as long as you're not pregnant.

IUDs can only be taken out by trained professionals and once it's out you can get pregnant straight away.

Are there side effects?

Most medications we take on a daily basis have side effects and IUDs are no different.

The NHS says that you periods can be heavier, longer or more painful in the first three to six months after an IUD is put in.

You might also get spotting or bleeding between periods.

After it's been fitted there is a small risk of infection.

Doctors will also teach you how to check the IUD is still in place as it can move around.

How does it work?

An IUD is similar to the Mirena coil, but the main difference is that an IUD releases copper into your womb, and the Mirena coil releases the hormone progestogene.

The NHS states: "The copper alters the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive. It can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself.

"If you're 40 or over when you have an IUD fitted, it can be left in until you reach the menopause or you no longer need contraception."

If you want to change your contraception method then it's always best to discuss this with your doctor.

It's important to remember that an IUD doesn't protect your from sexually transmitted infections – only condoms can do this.

IUDs can prevent pregnancy.

You are able to get an IUD for free through the NHS and to do this you can visit a contraception clinic, your GP or some young people's services.

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