Q: Hi Doc, I changed my family planning method from Jaddell hand injection to coil and I’ve realized I have discharge that’s smelly. What do I do? What remedies do I take?
A: There are different types of birth control methods including birth control pills (hormone-containing tablets taken orally which prevent ovulation), birth control injections (hormone-containing injections which can prevent pregnancy for up to 3 months), implants (hormone-containing match-sized rods placed under the upper arm), tubal ligation (tying up the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs passing out from the ovaries), cervical cap, Intra-Uterine Device (coil), spermicides, male and female condoms, vasectomy (for men), natural family planning etc
The choice of which methods to use depends on individual considerations, risks involved, cost of procurement etc
Talking specifically about the coil, this refers to the Intra Uterine Device (IUD). There are two types: the Paragard IUD and the Mirena IUD.
The Paragard IUD is a copper-containing IUD. The copper is poisonous/toxic to sperm and the IUD also prevents implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus, should fertilization still occur. Paragard can be used during breastfeeding and its removal leads to a quick return of fertility, generally.
The Mirena IUD contains hormones which make the cervical mucous extra thick preventing the sperm from getting to the womb and it also makes the lining of the womb thin such that even if a fertilized egg were to get there, it would not be able to implant on the thin lining of the womb. It also prevents ovulation. Mirena helps reduce the cramping pain of a menstrual period and also reduces bleeding.
Side effects of Paragard include back ache, cramps, severe pain during menstrual period and heavy bleeding etc while Mirena can cause breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles etc Both IUDs can also be expelled, spontaneously, that is for no reason.
There are warning signs to look out for when you have the IUD on. If you experience any of these under-listed symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.
- Severe vaginal bleeding with at least 2 sanitary towels soaked every hour for 2 or more hours.
- Smelly vaginal discharge. This could be associated with fever and chills
- Severe pain in abdomen or pelvis
So, you should see your doctor immediately to check this discharge out.
Have a great night 😀