- What is it?
Hormonal IUS (Intrauterine System) Is a small T-shaped device made of flexible plastic. The IUS releases progestogen hormone into the womb thickening cervical mucus and preventing fertilisation of the egg and sometimes it also stops ovulation in some women. This is a long –acting and reversible contraceptive method. There are three brands used in the UK.
- Who can use it?
Most women can use it, including women who have never been pregnant and those who are HIV positive. It may not be suitable for women who have had breast or cervical cancer. Your GP or clinician will be able to advice you if the IUS is the most suitable form of contraception according to your medical history.
- What are the advantages?
- The IUS is more than 99% effective as a contraceptive.
- It works for three to five years (depending on the brand), so you don’t have to think about contraception every day or each time you have sex.
- It’s not affected by other medicines and can be used safely if you’re breastfeeding.
- It may be useful for women who have heavy or painful periods by making it lighter, shorter and less painful.
- Your fertility will return to normal when the IUS is removed.
- What are the disadvantages?
- Some women experience headaches, acne and breast tenderness after having the IUS fitted.
- It can also cause irregular bleeding, spotting and irregularities on their periods.
- The IUS doesn’t protect against STIs so you may also have to use condoms when having sex.
- Some risks that may occur when the IUS is fitted that rarely occur during the first six months can be Damage to the womb, Pelvic infections or rejection.
- Where can you get it?
Most types of contraception are available for free in the UK through the NHS. Talk to your GP or practice nurse for more information. Also reach Community contraception clinics or sexual health clinic services for more advices and detailed information.
You can use the service finder to find a service near you.
Please note that if you choose to come to the Leeds Sexual Health Service to have either a copper IUD (coil) or a hormonal IUS fitted you will need to come to clinic first for counselling and completion of the consent form. You will then be given an appointment to have the coil or IUS fitted with one of our doctors. This will be need to be at the right time in your monthly cycle.