Before you have a coil fitted, you may be tested for any existing infections, such as STIs, so that any infections can be treated beforehand.
The coil can be fitted at any time during your monthly menstrual cycle, as long as you're definitely not pregnant.
Having a coil fitted can be uncomfortable and painful but the pain shouldn't last long and is described as quite similar to period pains. A fitting is likely to be less painful if you have had natural birth (vaginal delivery) as your cervix will have previously been stretched.
Whilst you lie down, with your knees bent, a speculum will be used to hold your vagina open (the same instrument is used when having a smear test done). Local anaesthetic gel is applied to the cervix and this feels cold.
The clinician will then use forceps to hold the cervix steady in order to determine the size and position of your womb with a sterile probe.
The coil comes with its arms folded down packed inside a narrow tube. The clinician will insert the tube into the vagina, through the cervix and into your uterus (womb).
Then they will pull the plastic tube out, leaving the coil in place allowing the arms of the coil to fold open. Before the speculum is removed, the strings of the coil are cut, leaving 1 to 2 cm hanging down at the top of your vagina so that you can feel to make sure it is still in place.
The whole process should take about 5 minutes.
People normally have some cramping pain afterwards so it is recommended you take some pain killers just before your appointment.