What is Well Woman?
The Well Woman Service is a dedicated service for the provision of contraceptive implants and coils, to woman registered with Beacon Medical Group.
We offer telephone advice and triaging service, in addition to fitting and removal clinics.
Dedicated clinics are provided by our highly experienced clinicians, at a range of sites, over differing times and days, to suit all needs.
We offer all forms of contraception at Beacon. Women who are considering their contraceptive options in general, should speak with their own GP or a family planning trained practice nurse. Further information is available here: Sexwise or TalkChoice
We also fit hormonal coils for management of heavy bleeding and as part of HRT.
We also fit copper coils as emergency contraception. Please call via the Urgent Care Team, as these need to be fitted within 5 days of unprotected intercourse.
For specific information regarding either a sub-dermal implant (contraceptive implant) or intrauterine contraceptive device (coil) please ask for a telephone triage appointment via the Patient Advisors at any of our receptions, or on the telephone. You will be asked to give information regarding the nature of the call, a contact number and times that you are unable to take the call. You will be telephoned by a GP involved in the Well Woman Service within a 4 weeks period, although we aim for considerably shorter times.
During the triage call, an assessment will be undertaken to ensure that the device chosen in correct for you and will then book the clinical appointment.
Please do try to become familiar with your chosen device:
Once an appointment is booked, you will receive a letter in the post summarising the telephone triage information. Copies for reference can be found here:
We have developed a robust recall system, reminding women prior to the device expiry, to present for review. You may receive a text message in relation to this.
Cervical Smear testing can be performed at the time of intrauterine device fitting or removal.
Information relating to specific cases can be found below:
Planning a Pregnancy
For women wishing to have a coil removed in order to proceed to pregnancy, please commence folic acid and vitamin D at least 12 weeks prior to removal, ensure that cervical smear testing is up to date, consider smoking cessation and undergo medication review with your own GP. Once this is completed, please book directly with a family planning trained nurse for coil removal.
Coil No Longer Needed
For women wishing to have a coil removed and not replaced, either due to no longer needing contraception or the menopause, please book directly with the family planning trained nurse for coil removal.
Coil Insertion Following Pregnancy
We have a practice policy that we do not fit coils within the first 12 weeks postpartum, due to the increased risk of uterine perforation at the time of fitting. We also carefully council women who are within the first 6 months of delivery and breastfeeding, as this also carries a considerably higher risk of perforation. Women may wish to defer fitting until 6 months postpartum, or breast feeding has ceased, whichever is earlier.
Coil Use for HRT
Women using the Mirena coil for HRT will be reminded that they must change the device every 5 years and are not advised to have it removed without consulting with their own GP first, as it may affect other medication being taken. Further information available here.
Emergency Coil Removal
Very rarely women are advised to have their coil removed as a matter of urgency e.g. following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Please make this clear to the Patient Advisors, who will speak directly to a clinician and arrange removal outside of the normal route.
Coil Fitting at the Time of Caesarean Section
University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust are now offering to fit intrauterine device at the time of Caesarean Section. This excellent service often requires follow-up, which we are happy to support. Fitting at the time of Caesarean Section results in a device being inserted with the treads uncut. It is expected that these 20cm threads will migrate through the cervix and vagina, appearing at some stage both visible and palpable in the vagina or externally. Please do not panic, this is normal. Women are invited to attend the maternity day unit to have the threads cut, or to contact the service for us to provide this service.
We endeavour to provide a timely and flexible service, local to our patients, and value constructive feedback on our service. Feedback can be given to the individual clinicians, or directed to Dr Louise Horrocks, Clinical Service Lead for the Well Women service at Beacon.