The Coil Emergency Contraceptive

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Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception comes in two forms: There are emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills) and there is the coil, also known as the Copper-T Intrauterine Device.

No method of emergency contraception is foolproof. These methods merely reduce the likelihood that a woman will get pregnant. They do not protect against any sexually transmitted diseases or infections, and they are not as effective as birth control used before the fact, including the birth control pill as well as condoms.

The Coil

The coil is really just a small plastic and copper device about the size of a match and shaped like a 'T'. This intra-uterine device (IUD) is extremely effective at preventing pregnancy if fitted within five days of having had unprotected sex. It works by preventing an egg from being either fertilized or implanted in the womb.

While some women use a coil as a means of emergency contraceptive after the fact, the coil is also widely used by women as an ongoing birth control device. Once a qualified health professional inserts a coil into a woman's uterus, it can remain there and be effective for as many as five years.

The actual fitting requires about 20 minutes and it can be uncomfortable. In some cases the womb can force the coil out, and women who are allergic to copper aren't able to use it.


 
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