What is a Spiral? When and How to Install Spiral?
Spiral is a birth control device that has different options depending on the individual’s needs and health status.
Spiral is a birth control device that has different options depending on the individual’s needs and health status. Choosing a spiral that suits women’s needs is important in providing effective and reliable birth control. Women who are considering the use of a spiral should first consult with a healthcare professional to evaluate their suitability for the spiral.
What is a Spiral?
The coil is a birth control method that is placed inside the uterus and is used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. When the T-shaped spiral, usually made of copper, is placed on the inner wall of the uterus, it works by affecting the intrauterine fluids, sperm movement and ovulation cycle. In this way, fertilization cannot occur because the sperm and egg cannot come together. The spiral is a long-term birth control method and is highly effective as long as it is inserted correctly.
Why is the Spiral Installed?
Spiral is one of the preferred methods when pregnancy is desired to be prevented. Some reasons why the spiral is preferred as a birth control method are:
- The spiral maintains its effectiveness for years after it is installed.
- It does not leave a long-term effect on female fertility, and once removed, fertility is restored.
- Its contraceptive effect begins from the moment it is inserted.
- It is an effective option for women who do not want to take hormonal medications.
When is the Spiral Inserted?
Spiral insertion time varies depending on the woman’s needs and pregnancy status. Since the spiral cervix is open, it can be inserted in the first days of the menstrual cycle or at the end of the menstrual period. If there is no risk of pregnancy, the procedure can be performed on any day of the menstrual period. If a person wants to use a spiral after birth, it is recommended that at least 6 weeks pass after birth. However, due to some factors such as health status, uterine structure and infection, the use of spiral may not be suitable for every woman. Every woman’s needs are different, so it is best to consult a healthcare professional for the right timing and selection of the appropriate spiral.
Who wears Spiral?
Spiral use is a suitable option for women who are knowledgeable about birth control methods and have an active sexual life. Those who want to provide effective and long-term protection in birth control may consider using a spiral. At the same time, women who cannot use hormonal methods due to side effects or health problems caused by hormonal birth control methods may also prefer the use of spirals. The use of spirals is also advantageous for women who have difficulty in using birth control methods regularly. Because once the spiral is worn, it helps provide protection for many years. However, the use of IUD may not be suitable for women with sexually transmitted infections. At the same time, some uterine structures and health problems may also prevent the use of IUD. Therefore, it is important for the person to consult a healthcare professional to determine his/her suitability for spiral use.
Who Doesn’t Wear Spiral?
Spiral use may not be suitable for every woman. Situations where the use of spirals is not appropriate for women are as follows:
- The use of a spiral is not suitable for pregnant women because the spiral cannot be inserted into the uterus. For this reason, it is necessary to make sure that the person is not pregnant before the spiral is inserted.
- It is not appropriate for women with active intrauterine infection to use a spiral due to the risk of spreading the infection. At the same time, infection may negatively affect the operating status of the device.
- If the person has a deformity in the uterus, that is, a structural abnormality, the spiral may not be used because it cannot be placed correctly.
- It is not appropriate for women diagnosed with uterine or cervical cancer to have a spiral inserted into the uterus.
- The use of an IUD by women with health problems such as excessive bleeding or anemia may cause increased bleeding.
- Women who are allergic to the materials from which the spiral is made, such as copper, cannot use the spiral to avoid allergic reactions.
- It is not appropriate to use a spiral during the normalization process of the uterus after birth. Therefore, it is necessary to wait for a while.
How to Attach a Spiral?
People who are suitable for spiral insertion should consult their doctor again before the procedure. In this meeting, spiral preferences are evaluated, and the person’s pregnancy status is also evaluated. As a result of this evaluation, if the person is not pregnant and does not have a health problem that prevents the IUD, the intrauterine size is determined by examination and the appropriate size IUD is decided. The appointment for spiral insertion is given on a suitable day of the person’s menstrual cycle. On the day of the procedure, if deemed necessary by the doctor, local anesthesia may be applied to avoid pain. To insert the device, the doctor uses an instrument called a speculum to dilate the cervix. The spiral is positioned correctly with the applicator and placed into the uterus. Regular follow-up examinations after the procedure are important to evaluate the effectiveness of the spiral.
How Often Is A Doctor’s Checkup Required After Spiral Is Installed?
It is a birth control method that requires regular doctor checks after the spiral is inserted. Post-procedure medical checks are important to verify that the device is correctly positioned and functioning properly, to monitor the user’s health, and to detect potential side effects. After the spiral is inserted, a doctor’s check-up is generally recommended within the first 3 months. The process after the first check-up can usually be done once a year unless the doctor recommends an earlier check-up appointment. However, depending on the user’s specific conditions and needs, the doctor may determine a different follow-up plan. At the same time, the user should regularly check the cords of the device and consult a doctor as soon as possible if he notices any abnormality.
How to Remove Spiral?
Before removing the coil, the user should contact their doctor. Removal of the coil is done at a suitable time of the woman’s menstrual cycle. Because the cervix is more open during the menstrual period, the procedure can be performed more easily. To remove the device, a tool called speculum is used to dilate the cervix. To make it easier to remove the threads of the spiral, the doctor gently pulls it and the device is slowly removed from the uterus. After the procedure, the doctor may perform an examination to see if there is any deterioration in the structure of the uterus.
Can Pregnancy Occur During Spiral Use?
Although the coil is an effective birth control method when placed in the uterus, it does not completely prevent pregnancy. However, it makes the probability of pregnancy very low, like other birth control methods. Pregnancy is a rare condition during IUD use, and situations that generally increase the risk of pregnancy are:
- If the spiral is not inserted correctly, its protective effect may decrease and the risk of pregnancy may increase.
- Although it is a very rare situation for the spiral to slip out of place, it can lead to pregnancy.
- If pregnancy was not diagnosed before the spiral was inserted, the pregnancy may continue while the spiral was inserted.
- Failure to realize that the spiral has expired due to lack of necessary checks also causes it to lose its effect.
Which Spiral Type Should Be Preferred?
There are basically two types of spirals. Since every woman’s needs and preferences are different, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before deciding which type of coil is best. Spiral types are:
- Copper Spiral: Copper spiral is an intrauterine device that does not contain hormones. It is T-shaped and there is a copper wire at the bottom of the device. When the sperm enters the uterus, copper slows down its motility and prevents it from reaching the egg. At the same time, the bacteriostatic effect of copper due to its structure can prevent the risk of infection. It can provide birth control for approximately 5-10 years for people who are sensitive to hormone use. However, times may vary.
- Hormone-Containing Spiral: Hormone-containing spirals are devices that release progesterone hormone when placed into the uterus. It is T-shaped and made of thin plastic. It has a reservoir containing the hormone, and this hormone prevents sperm cells from reaching the egg. In some women, the use of a hormonal IUD may reduce menstrual bleeding. It can provide protection for an average of 5 years, but the duration of use varies from person to person.
Spiral Infection Symptoms
Coil infections are a serious condition that can occur after device placement. Symptoms of infection include:
- Vaginal discharge that is smelly, discolored, or more than usual
- Mild or severe abdominal pain,
- Irregular menstrual bleeding,
- Increase in body temperature,
- Pain during sexual intercourse,
- Tenderness and feeling of fullness in the groin area.
The IUD is generally an effective birth control method. However, it is important for users to ensure that the device is worn properly and that they undergo regular medical check-ups to minimize the risk of pregnancy. In case of any suspicion of complications, it is necessary to contact a healthcare professional.