Intrauterine System (IUS)

What is it?

A small T-shaped plastic device which is put into the uterus. It contains the hormone Levonorgestrel (progestogen). Intrauterine System

How does the Intrauterine System (IUS) work?

The hormone is the IUS works  by preventing  fertilisation ( joining of sperm and egg)  and preventing implantation of any fertilsed eggs in the uterus. An IUS does not cause an abortion.

How to use the Intrauterine System (IUS)

The IUS is put into the uterus by a doctor or nurse, once it is in place you do not need to do anything.  There are 2 types, which can last up to 3  or 5 years before you need a replacement.

How effective is the Intrauterine System (IUS)?

An intrauterine system is over 99% effective.

What are the advantages of the Intrauterine System (IUS)? 

It can stay in place for up to 5 years. You don’t have to think about contraception for as long as it remains in place and fertility returns to normal on removal. Your periods usually become lighter or completely stop. If fitted after 45yrs of age it can stay in place until after the menopause. It is not affected by other medications. It can be used if you are breastfeeding.

What are the disadvantages of the Intrauterine System (IUS)?

Insertion can be uncomfortable; you will need an internal examination to have an IUS fitted. There is a small risk of uterine perforation, pelvic infection, expulsion of the IUS but these risks will be fully explained by the health professional.  You require another small procedure to have the IUS removed. An IUS cannot be used as a method of emergency contraception.

Does the Intrauterine System (IUS) protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections?

No, condoms are the only form of contraception which gives protection against some infections.