Health & Lifestyle

Undergoing scans can reduce pain of contraceptive coil fittings as TV presenter Davina McCall showed

Undergoing scans during contraceptive coil fittings can reduce pain, as TV presenter Davina McCall showed in Channel 4 documentary

  • Undergoing an ultrasound scan while contraceptive coil is fitted can reduce pain
  • TV host Davina McCall had her coil procedure filmed for Channel 4 documentary

Undergoing an ultrasound scan while a contraceptive coil is fitted can reduce pain as well as lower the risk of complications, a study has found.

Doctors use the images created by high-frequency sound waves to guide the device into the womb, ensuring it doesn’t end up lodged in the wrong position.

If set incorrectly, the T-shaped coil – made from either copper or plastic – can push on muscle or become loose, causing pain and bleeding.

About a million women in the UK have the procedure every year – mostly carried out in sexual health clinics or GP surgeries – which reduces the risk of pregnancy by 99 per cent and also combats symptoms of the menopause.

TV host Davina McCall had her coil procedure filmed for Channel 4 documentary Pill Revolution last month, in which she explored concerns about the contraceptive pill. The 55-year-old has the Mirena coil, which releases a synthetic hormone that mimics the effects of progesterone to block pregnancy. In the show she describes the painful fitting.

TV host Davina McCall had her coil procedure filmed for Channel 4 documentary Pill Revolution last month, in which she explored concerns about the contraceptive pill

TV host Davina McCall had her coil procedure filmed for Channel 4 documentary Pill Revolution last month, in which she explored concerns about the contraceptive pill

If set incorrectly, the T-shaped coil (pictured) ¿ made from either copper or plastic ¿ can push on muscle or become loose, causing pain and bleeding

If set incorrectly, the T-shaped coil (pictured) – made from either copper or plastic – can push on muscle or become loose, causing pain and bleeding

But data published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine shows that when the fitting is carried out using an ultrasound scan, patients are far less likely to experience pain. The gynaecologists also found the scan sped up the procedure and reduced the risk of the device becoming dislodged later on.

Currently, ultrasound scans are offered only to women in hospital who have a history of difficult fittings. Some doctors argue the new findings mean a scan should be offered to all.

‘It’s difficult to argue that it shouldn’t be standard practice,’ says Dr Joel Naftalin, a consultant gynaecologist at University College London.

But other doctors have warned that rolling out the procedure could be difficult.

‘Most GPs are not trained to use this scan and don’t have an ultrasound machine in their surgery,’ says Dr Philippa Kaye, a GP who specialises in women’s health.

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News

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