What is the hormonal IUD?
A hormonal intrauterine device (IUD), sometimes also called an intrauterine system (IUS) is a small T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into the woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy.
It releases hormones into the uterus so that you don’t get pregnant.
The IUD has a string at the end that helps a woman check that the device is in place. It also makes removal easy
How does it work?
Hormonal IUD releases hormones so you don't get pregnant.
The ring works in the following ways:
- It blocks ovulation. This is the release of an egg from the ovaries. Without an egg there is no pregnancy
- It thickens the cervical mucus. This makes it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
- It thins the lining of the uterus. This makes it harder for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterine walls.
How effective is it?
The hormonal IUD is one of the most effective contraceptives available.
Is the hormonal IUD safe?
Many women use the hormonal IUD without any problems. But that isn’t true for everybody. Like every medication, the hormonal IUD carries some risk, and certain conditions might increase the probability of side effects.
It is therefore important to report every condition you have to your doctor. Let him or her evaluate whether the hormonal IUD is the right contraceptive for you.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the hormonal IUD?
The hormonal IUD is very effective against pregnancy
Protection against pregnancy starts as soon as the hormonal IUD is put place
The hormonal IUD puts contraception fully in the hands of the woman.
Neither partner can feel the hormonal IUD
Once inserted, the device can be left in place for up to 5 years.
It gives you lighter and shorter periods
Every month after her period, the woman needs to manually verify that the hormonal IUD is still in the right position
The hormonal IUD may cause temporary side effects such as nausea, headaches and increased appetite
You may have irregular bleeding
The hormonal IUD must be inserted and removed by a healthcare professional
The hormonal IUD might increase the risk of local infections for the first few weeks
Where can I get it?
You can get the hormonal IUD in private or public health clinics. Find a clinic near you in the clinic finder here (Link)
Does it offer STI protection?
The hormonal IUD doesn’t offer any protection against STIs.
If you have sex and want protection against STIs, always use a condom.
Also test for STIs at the beginning of the relationship.
Avoid changing partners frequently.