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.8

Hormonal Intrauterine System (IUS)

A small T-shaped frame containing levonorgestrel, a progestin hormone. Once inserted into 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
  • May fall out in up to 6% of women
  • Uterine perforation during insertion may occur in up to 0.16% of cases
  • Rate of ectopic pregnancy: 0.02 per 100 woman-years
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 IUSs are small, T-shaped devices that are a little longer than an inch— or about the size of a quarter, with a lot less surface area! 5

Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD)

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

Benefits

  • 99.1% effective with perfect use*
  • 99.1% effective with typical use*
  • Reversible
  • Replace as per product labeling (e.g., 30 months or 5 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
  • May fall out
  • Uterine perforation during insertion may occur in up to 0.16% of cases
  • Rate of ectopic pregnancy: 0.25 per 100 woman-years
Needle for hormonal injection.

Hormonal Injection

A hormonal birth control method that contains a progestin. Administered by a healthcare practitioner, it is injected in the muscle of the arm or buttocks every 12–13 weeks, it stops your ovaries from releasing an egg every month.

Benefits

  • 99.7% effective with perfect use*
  • 97% effective with typical use*
  • Reversible
  • Administered every 12 weeks
  • May reduce risk of endometrial cancer

RISKS

  • May cause irregular menstrual bleeding or cessation of periods
  • May cause weight gain and hormonal side effects like headache, acne, decreased libido, nausea and breast tenderness
  • May take up to 9 months after the last injection for fertility to return

*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.