Hormonal Intrauterine System (IUS)

Did you know? Pregnancy rates for women after removal of an IUS were shown to be about the same as for those who had not used one.

In clinical trials, the majority of women who wanted to become pregnant after removal of an IUS were able to do so within 1 year — a rate similar to women who had not used an IUS.

Hormonal Intrauterine System (IUS)

A small T-shaped frame containing levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone. Once placed in the uterus by a physician, the IUS slowly releases the hormone, which thins the lining of the uterus and thickens the cervical mucus, preventing passage of sperm through the cervical canal.

An IUS is replaced either every 3 or every 5 years depending on the product.

Benefits

  • 99.8% effective with perfect use
  • 99.8% effective with typical use
  • Reversible
  • Replace every 3 or 5 years
  • May be associated with decreased menstrual pain
  • May reduce menstrual flow; some women may stop having periods

RISKS

  • Side effects can include irregular or increased bleeding in the first months after insertion
  • May cause hormonal side effects such as depression, acne, headache, and breast tenderness
  • Rare risks during placement could include infection, perforation of the uterus, or expulsion of the IUS
Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Quarter Coin

Did you know? The intrauterine system (IUS) and intrauterine device (IUD) are about the size of a quarter.

IUDs and IUCs are generally small T-shaped frames that are a little longer than an inch (about 3 cm)., with a lot less surface area!

Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)

A small, T-shaped device with a copper wire that is placed in the uterus by a physician. The IUD changes the chemistry in the uterus and prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg.

Benefits

  • 99.4% effective with perfect use
  • 99.2% effective with typical use
  • Reversible
  • Replace as per product labeling (e.g. 3, 5 or 10 years, depending on brand)

RISKS

  • Side effects can include irregular or increased bleeding in the first months after insertion
  • May cause menstrual pain or device-related pain insertion
  • Rare risks during placement could include infection, perforation of the uterus, or expulsion of the IUS

*The relative effectiveness of a birth control method is defined in two ways: actual effectiveness and theoretical effectiveness. Actual effectiveness refers to the "typical use" of a method, meaning how effective the method is during actual use (including inconsistent and incorrect use). Theoretical effectiveness refers to the "perfect use" of a method, which is defined by when the method is used correctly and consistently as directed.