The Vagenda

Allow Me To Introduce You to My Glamorous, Awesome IUD: It’s Coily Minogue2


Readers. I want to introduce you to someone. We’ve been very (very) close friends for about 3 years now and she has changed everything. Some of you will know her well, some of you won’t but I suspect most of you have considered getting in touch. She is such an important part of my life it would be almost impossible to lose her as a friend, nor would I ever want to (plus she knows too much about me). She is glamorous. She is awesome. She is my coil. Otherwise affectionately known as ‘Coily Minogue’.

(DISCLOSURE: The Australian singer has not taken up residence in my life*. Unfortunately when I open my legs people aren’t greeted by a rather muffled version of “Better The Devil You Know”. God, I should be so lucky.)

Now, Coily’s full name is the rather exotic “Mirena”, she is a T shaped Intrauterine system – try not to stare – and letting her into my life is one of the best things I have done. She and her sisters have 180 million friends worldwide and counting.

Now, I get asked four main questions when I tell people of me and Coily’s close relationship.

“You have a coil? Really?!”

“Yes. Really.”

“Didn’t it hurt?”

“Yes. Really.”

“Do you still use condoms?”

“Yes. Really.”

“Do you get periods?”


Coily and I became friends when I had a mega bust up with The Pill. Yes she made me angry but I kept forgetting about her so we were both to blame. One of my other (human) friends knew Coily well and suggested I get in touch with her. It was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever had and the joy on the doctor’s face when I mentioned it was priceless.

The truth is she was little bitch to get into my life. I was very casual about it all (tricky when your legs are in stirrups but I was nailing it), that was until the nurse insisted on holding my hand – tightly – which immediately filled me with a sense of dread. All I know about the following 5 – 10 minutes was that I swore. A lot. Combinations of swearwords I previously thought impossible to conjure (“mother f*cking c*nt balls arse wanker” was a highlight). It felt like a little gremlin was gnashing at my insides and shredding them apart. Slowly. In a cold and calculated attack on my cervix. Upon my apology to the doctor afterwards she replied with a “Don’t worry. Happens all the time”. I bet it bloody does. Now Coiley was a little bit unpredictable the first few months but stick with her – the pain lasts for maybe 5 minutes and for the past 3 years I haven’t regretted it for a second. You do the maths. (Fine… Pain = 5 minutes. Blissful happiness of no regret = 1,576,800 minutes. Thank you Google).

There’s still a lot I don’t know about her. I just had to double check where she lives exactly. I also just learnt how she actually works. I’m pretty sure I was told this when we became friends but it is something to do with mucus – a word which often sends me temporarily deaf *shudder*. But to me none of that really matters. It’s the freedom she gives me that I’m shouting about. I am girl – uninterrupted.

You see, she makes a lot of promises does our Coily and, for me, she has kept every single one. She’s 99% effective against pregnancy which essentially makes her like a mother who you share a room with. But less disapproving. She makes your periods lighter and, in the most ideal scenarios, makes them stop altogether. I haven’t had a ‘proper’ period since we met and can often go without for months on end. No more pregnancy panics, no more dashs to the pharmacy, no more cramping. Just imagine the savings, just imagine uttering the words “I just need to nip out and get my ANNUAL pack of tampons”, just imagine how much more gin you could drink. Just imagine. NO. MORE. PERIODS. (NB – that’s a ‘full stop’). She releases a lot less hormones – she is like a placid sea in comparison to The Pill who careers around your blood stream shoving you, sobbing, into the bosom of a friend, who falls out of your wallet and who is so easily forgotten. Coiley knows her place and she stays there, a very cool, very collected little ninja, guarding the gateway and kicking serious sperm ass. Unperturbed. For five years.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s not perfect. She doesn’t protect against STIs and not everyone gets on with her. I won’t sugar coat it for you, there are some absolute horror stories of perforations, clots and heavy bleeding – there goes the hearing again – but these are the minority and whilst completely valid and true they do not represent the overwhelming majority of womens’ experiences. Which are blissfully happy ones.

If you’re reading this and thinking “yeah maybe I should give Coily a shout” I must just mention one final benefit I hope will really seal the deal and one which is actually my personal favourite aspect of our relationship. When you meet other women who has Coily in their lives you always – always – end up congratulating each other. 99% of the time you high-five. She’s that effective.

So for 2014 maybe give the coil a whirl (preferably whilst investing in some gold hotpants). 180 million women can’t be wrong.

* Note – for the purposes of this article. By ‘life’ I mean ‘uturus’.

- GC

22 thoughts on “Allow Me To Introduce You to My Glamorous, Awesome IUD: It’s Coily Minogue2

  1. I loved my Coily for 4 years but had mine out last week. Me and t’other half thought it might be an idea to go fake hormone free for a bit following a year of cystitis, kidney issues and generally loopiness. Plus, we also had been using condoms so in many ways nothing has changed in the bedroom dept!

    However, the cramps I had at the weekend almost made me drive right back to the clinic and have a new one in. Oh my I’d forgotten about those!

    But yes, you’re right. Girls, get a coil! You won’t regret it.

  2. There is so much negative press about IUDs, so thanks for extolling their virtues in this piece. As one who has tried almost every kind of contraceptive on the market over the years and with fairly disastrous results, chancing upon an IUD was the best thing that could have happened.

    I’ve had my Copper T 380A GOLD mini IUD for almost four years. I was originally supposed to have the Mirena but at the eleventh hour – with my feet up in stirrups and the local anaesthetic already working its magic on my cervix – the doc realised my uterus was too small for a regular-size IUD. So we decided on the spot to go with the Copper T mini, and I will never go back.

    Contrary to common perception, I have never had the cramping, clotting, excessive bleeding or ectopic pregnancies that are associated with this device. Because the Copper T is hormone-free, I still have regular periods but they are no heavier than before the IUD. And not fearing accidental pregnancy is certainly a boost in the bedroom!

    IUDs need to make a come-back. Hopefully this is the start of a revolution!

  3. I got my Mirena around a year ago – It’s been fantastic, my once horrendous periods have now been tamed to the point where hefty painkiller prescriptions are a thing of the past, and no shitty mood side effects from the hormones like I was getting on the pill. BRILLIANT.

    Only 2 things stick out as irritations to the process of the coil:

    1) The initial insertion was fucking horrible, (bit of a crash course in gynecological experiences for me as it was my first ever introduction to the awful thing that is the speculum) and it hurt for a good 24 hours after like a deep cramp.
    2) They mention spotting or irregular bleeding as a standard occurrence. I bled for 28 days after getting it inserted (FYI you get it done on the first day or so of your cycle, blood=lube=less pain), and was freaking out thinking something was wrong. Turns out it was just my body’s way of reacting to it, I’ve got regular cycles now but the initial ones were all a bit fucked up.

    Other than those 2 issues (now distant memories) I love the Mirena. Get one.

  4. I got mine 3 years ago and now I never have periods. I never had heavy periods or cramping but constantly forgot to take the pill so this has been amazing.

    My sister got one before me and I asked about the pain. She said it was like getting a smear. It wasn’t.

    She was the first person I rang after “Like a bloody smear? Like a bloody smear? Are you fucking mental? It hurt like a mother bitch!”

    My mum then pointed out that my sister had had a baby so had already experienced pretty major fanny pain!

    I’m not looking forward to having it taken out but I’ll cross that when I come to it.

    To echo the advice about – Get one!

  5. I got my Mirena to try to treat my heavy, painful periods but, sadly, it didn’t work to any significant degree. It did give me bullets-for-nipples for 3 months, which was nearly a deal breaker. I kept it in anyway for contraceptive purposes, for a couple of years.

  6. I’ve had two.
    Both inserted under general anaesthetic because my cervix wouldn’t play ball, and the second one removed under “twilight sedation” after the threads got lost.

    I (intentionally) got pregnant very quickly after the first one came out. I am quite sad that I have had to go on the pill temporarily at the moment because we have had to put the current baby making plans on a six month hold, and it isn’t worth getting another coil for that short amount of time.

    I never got periods with the IUD, or any hormonal side effects, and despite all the bother having them put in and out I will probably have another one in future.

    Love Mirenas.

  7. I had my copper IUD fitted last year. This caused much initial pain, about a week of cramps afterwards and horrendously painful period pains for the next 6 months (and bleeding for 7+ days!)

    Luckily the horror is gradually easing off now. I’m having shorter periods, less cramps, and i’m actually starting to enjoy having a ‘natural’ menstrual cycle. <- This has it’s advantages, seriously. For about two weeks out of the month I feel awesome, happy and confident due to rising progesterone levels… but the less said about the other two weeks, the better.

    Also, I never have to worry about missing pills. So the copper IUD is not without its cons, but for me the pros outweigh them :)

  8. I had a copper IUD fitted almost 3 years ago. I loved it as contraception but it turned my periods into 10-12 days of heavy bleeding, so a year later I changed it for a mirena. My periods are now a few days of very light spotting every 66666666666666666664444444444444444YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYSSSSSSSSSs$
    few months, and I get far fewer hormonal spots and pmt ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZF sympt$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$444444465547
    I took paracetamol and ibuprofen before the fitting appointments, and the pain was a split second of agony followed by half an hour of bad periody cramping. Totally worth it. And I’m not pregnant!

    The weirdness in this post was brought to you by the neighbour’s cat who has spent the whole day asleep on my chair, then decided to take his post-sleep nap on the keyboard of my laptop while I was typing, and who is now sulking after I turfed him off.

  9. I find it genuinely mystifying that in 2014 ANY women still have periods when there are so many options available to stop them! I have the implant and it is the greatest thing. Also it doesn’t involve any pain or stirrups so rather that than coily!

    • Well… I chose the copper coil so I could keep to my natural rhythm of hormones, and not allow big pharma to just reap money from controlling the cycle of MY uterus (and in my case, my emotions – wow. you shoulda met me the week after a depo shot). As i understand it, both the copper coil and the one with added hormones have the same contraceptive value(? Im genuinely interested if anyone has links to research on this, and as you highlighted – why have mirena if you can have an implant?) I know some women do have really painful periods or pmt they find intolerable and for them the hormones from mirena/implant/pill are fabulous game changers, but the main reason that Im so in love with my plain copper coil (8 years in) was that i have my natural rhythm back, both physical and emotional.

  10. So glad you wrote this article! I have taken the plunge and should be getting a copper coil fitted next (Provided I don’t wuss out.) I’m still I bit scared on the pain during insertion but seems like it is worth it. If I do go ahead and get it, is it a) a wise choice to schlep home on the tube afterwards and b) will the pain the next day be so bad that I won’t be able to function at work?

    • I had mine fitted 6 weeks ago. I took ibuprofen and paracetamol about an hour before, and jumped back on my bicycle to get home afterwards so you should be alright on the tube. just make sure you’ve got some more painkillers for the next day or so, I got some nasty cramps for at least 24 hours afterwards. So far, it’s been really worth it!!

  11. Everyone’s different. Take some paracetamol and ibuprofen half an hour before you go. I was pain-free half an hour after insertion, and walked home. Other women have more pain and for longer.

  12. The pain didn’t last long and I got train home after no problem. Wee bit of stomach cramping but it finished fairly soon for me. If I’d known it was going to hurt I think I would have taken pain killers beforehand.

    Having read a few more posts it seems I got off quite lightly!

  13. I have the copper IUD and am absolutely IN LOVE! It was painful to have inserted (to say the least) but it was over in minutes. I had some heavy cramping and bleeding for a few days after and the first two periods were monsters. I’ve been told the periods calm back down after a few months and I’m already seeing that. I like the idea of hormonal free birth control for me and it works for 10 years. I was also able to get mine for free because of a combination of my insurance the Affordable Health Care Act. So for a few minutes of pain and two or three nasty periods I have hormone-free, 99% effective, free birth control for 10 years! I tell ALL of my friends about it, I am such a huge fan!

  14. Just got one fitted this morning, and after everyone talking about how painful it was to have fitted I had nightmares all last night, but honestly, it doesn’t hurt that much at all, it’s like intense period pains for about 3 seconds, and that’s it, all done, feel absolutely fine now, no cramps or anything! Yay coil!

  15. I have an implant, and I’m so happy with it, no pain at all getting it. I don’t have to worry about getting to my flat in the morning to take my pill if I’ve stayed over at my boyfriends.

  16. YES Sisters of Mirena (Coily)! At least I’m safe from the regret of failing to live up to the demand of multiplying my genes. So glad to read that it was a painful insertion for others; I am a strong person but that flattened me. I haven’t had kids so the nurses were laughing at my pain (BITCHES!) and then they got concerned and called me a cab. Anyway 4 years on and no probs. Periods still horrendous, but what else is new? Looking forward to menopause. (N*O*T*)

  17. getting my copper coil was horrendous and admittedly i do have pretty heavy periods but i can’t have the pill, i ended up being too risky with just condoms and i really didn’t want any other hormonal things going on because of my past depression while being on the pill.
    in general it’s ok. i got advised last time i was at the clinic that i should really consider switching to the merina but i just don’t want to go through the pain on insertion again and the risk (although much smaller) of going a bit whacko with the hormones. i’d get it if i could go under general, even with the risks of general anaesthesia.
    that said, i’m still happy i got my copper coil, rather than a baby, which would have been a lot more painful than getting a coil put in.

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