Coming off the coil

After your coil has been taken out, you should be able to conceive straight away – but there are a few things to keep in mind.

When will I be able to get pregnant?

You can start straight away, if you like – your fertility returns to normal almost at once. The ‘ordinary’ coil (the IUD) doesn’t release any hormones into your system. So when it’s removed, your body carries on with its cycle just as it would after stopping using barrier contraception like condoms. If you are planning to try for a baby straightaway, do remember to start on the folic acid before you have it removed: and if you need to cut down on alcohol or cigarettes, do that too.

How should I take it out?

Get it taken out at your doctor’s or a clinic, by a nurse or doctor who’s trained in doing this. It can be taken out at any point during your cycle.

If I find I’m pregnant before it’s removed, what should I do?

This is important: if you do suspect you’ve conceived while your coil is still in place, you need to get checked out straight away. This is for two reasons.

One is that there is a higher than average chance that your pregnancy is ectopic, with the dividing cells implanted in your fallopian tubes rather than your uterus. This is because the coil works very well to prevent pregnancy in the uterus, but it doesn’t prevent pregnancy in the tubes. So you do need to get to the doctor or hospital immediately, as ectopic pregnancies can cause a lot of damage.

If you’re checked and the pregnancy isn’t ectopic, they’ll probably want to discuss removing your IUD, because keeping it in place can increase the risk of miscarriage. Taking it out does carry a small miscarriage risk too, but overall it’s better to have it removed.

Has it affected my long-term fertility at all?

If you had your coil taken out a while ago and you’re still not pregnant, it’s easy to worry that somehow this is linked to your coil. However, all the recent major research shows that today’s coils don’t have any effect on your future ability to conceive. Do go and get advice if you are worried – but don’t worry that this is the reason.