How does Flexi-T work?
The copper on the Flexi-T IUD releases traces of copper in the immediate vicinity, causing sperms to lose mobility and preventing fertilisation. In addition, in the unlikely event that an egg is fertilised, the copper on the Flexi-T prevents the fertilised egg from implanting in the uterine wall. As a result, this IUD is also an excellent ‘morning after’ option in the event of an accident (placed within a time frame of 5 days after the accident). This dual effect starts immediately after the Flexi-T is inserted.
Why should I choose a Flexi-T instead of other contraception methods? This is a personal decision which only you can make. Enclosed video will show you the advantages of the Flexi-T in comparison to other methods for contraception so you can easily choose what’s best for you.
Inserting a Flexi-T
Inserting a Flexi-T IUD is easy to arrange through your GP or gynaecologist. If the physician has ultrasound equipment, an internal examination is not necessary. An appointment will take approximately 20 minutes; the insertion itself will not take longer than 5 minutes.
The Flexi-T is very user-friendly for physicians as well as for the women who wear it. It uses a simple, easy insertion system.
A thin, flexible insertion tube only 3.5 mm in diameter. Since the insertion tube is narrower than other IUD’s, insertion causes hardly any discomfort.
Ideally, you should take two paracetamol tablets or an ibuprofen one hour before the procedure so the medication can start to work beforehand. If necessary, you could also request local anaesthetic in the form of 1cc of Lidocaine.
You lie in a reclining position on an examination chair or table. If ultrasound equipment is available, an internal ultrasound is performed to check the position and size of the uterus. In that case, an internal examination is not necessary. If it is not possible to perform an ultrasound, an internal examination will be necessary. An internal examination is generally considered somewhat more challenging than an ultrasound.
The Flexi-T should ideally be inserted during menstruation, when the risk of pregnancy is minimal, insertion is easier, and additional blood loss can be avoided.
A device known as a speculum is inserted into the vagina so the physician will be able to see the opening of the cervix. A probe is used to confirm the depth and angle of the uterus. The insertion tube containing the Flexi-T is inserted, the insertion tube is withdrawn. The blue string that is attached to the IUD is trimmed to the right length. If ultrasound equipment is available, an ultrasound is performed to confirm that the IUD is positioned correctly. You do not have to check the string yourself. If you would like, you can take a look at your own uterus on the ultrasound display. This will allow you to see for yourself that the IUD has been inserted correctly.
It is advised to have your physician check the presence and correct position of the IUD after your first cycle and after approximately 6 months. Since self-examination is hardly possible, please consult your physician if you have any doubt on the correct position of your IUD.
If you are taking any medication, especially anticoagulants (blood thinners) notify your physician first. If you are receiving electrotherapy or radiotherapy, notify your doctor that you are using a copper IUD.
Possible side effects:
- Mild cramps
- Longer menstruation after insertion
- Spotting throughout menstrual cycle during first week after insertion
- Copper allergy (rare; always notify your doctor if you are allergic)
- An extremely small chance of perforation of the womb
If you are concerned about a side effect, contact your physician.
Do not use Flexi-T or have this type of IUD inserted in the event of:
- Infection of the womb (including Pelvic inflammatory Disease)
- Bleeding of unknown origin
- Polyps or fibroids (myoma) inside the womb
- Possibility of ectopic pregnancy
- Malformation of the womb
- Cancer of the womb
- Copper allergy
- Womb too small
Removing the IUD
Your IUD has to be removed after five years or if you would like to try to get pregnant before that time has passed. Removal is simple and relatively painless. The physician uses special tongs to grasp the end of the short string which is dangling from the cervix; when the string is pulled, the flexible IUD folds up and can be removed. Removal takes a few seconds. As soon as the IUD is removed, you are immediately fertile again. If you would like to have a new IUD after the five years have passed, the old IUD is removed first. The new IUD can be inserted immediately afterwards.
Availability of the Flexi-T
Your GP and/or gynaecologist can insert a Flexi-T. After an initial appointment, he/she can give you a prescription to purchase a Flexi-T from any chemist’s in your country.