The intrauterine system (IUS) is:
What is it?
IUS stands for intrauterine system. It is a small plastic device placed in the woman’s womb that releases the artificial progestogen hormone called levonorgestrel.
There are three different kinds of IUS or hormone coil available in Ireland: Mirena, Kyleena and Jaydess.
How does it work?
It works in several different ways. It:
- stops the man’s sperm from reaching the woman’s egg
- delays the egg getting to the womb
- prevents the egg from implanting in the womb
Before you decide if you would like to try an IUS, it is important that you talk to a doctor. They will help you assess what contraceptive option is best for you.
- It does not interrupt sex.
- If you take medication, the hormone coils will NOT be affected as they work locally.
- It works as soon as it is inserted and usually within one week.
- You can use the IUS even if you have never been pregnant or if you have delivered a baby by C section.
- The IUS can be used by young women.
- It can stay safely inside you for three years (Jaydess) to five years (Mirena & Kyleena).
- It can be left inside you until after a menopause if you are 45 years old at the time it is fitted.
- The Mirena coil is a common alternative to surgical correction of heavy periods in older women.
- If you have menopause symptoms and are older you can use the Mirena coil as part of your hormone replacement treatment.
- The coil may cause irregular bleeding for the first few months, but after that time you may have lighter and often no periods.
- Inserting and removing an IUS must be done by a specially trained doctor.
- It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections.
- It may be uncomfortable for you to have one inserted. This varies from woman to woman.
- If you do not have a medical card, you will have to pay to have the coil inserted.