Intra-uterine System (IUS) and Copper Intra-uterine Device (IUD)
What is it?
- Small soft plastic t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus via the cervix.
- The non-hormonal Copper IUD contains copper.
- The hormonal IUS (Mirena) releases one hormone called Levonorgestrel.
How does it work?
- Copper IUD changes the chemistry in the uterus and destroys sperm.
- The hormonal IUS releases Levonorgestrel, making the lining of the uterus thinner and the cervical mucous thicker, making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus.
Where can I get an IUD or IUS?
- You must have a prescription and a health care provider must insert the IUS or IUD into the uterus.
- The IUD or IUS may cause some minor side effects such as pelvic cramping and vaginal bleeding or spotting for the first few weeks after insertion.
- Some women who have the copper IUD may have heavier periods and stronger cramps, especially in the first two to three months.
- Complications associated with the IUS are rare. Possible complications include irregular bleeding or spotting, a tear or hole in the uterus, infection and the IUS or IUD falling out.
When should I contact my health care provider?
- You cannot feel the threads
- You or your partner can feel the lower end of the IUD or IUS
- You think that you are pregnant
- You have abdominal pain, fever or unusual vaginal discharge
- You or your partner have discomfort or pain during intercourse
The IUD or IUS does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) or HIV