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Intrauterine System


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What is it? 

An intrauterine system is a small, T-shaped plastic device that contains progestogen. It’s inserted into your womb by a specially trained health professional.

The IUS is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method. Once it's in place, it works for five years, so you don't have to think about contraception every day or each time you have sex.

The brand name of the IUS used in the UK is Mirena.

You can use an IUS whether or not you've had children.

How does it work? 

The IUS releases a progestogen hormone into the womb, which:


Purple petal    thins the womb lining so that it's less likely to accept a fertilised egg,    


Purple petal   thickens the mucus from your cervix, so it's difficult for sperm to move through and reach an egg, and


Purple petal   stops ovulation in some women.      

How effective is it?

It's more than 99% effective. This means that fewer than one in every 100 women who use the IUS will get pregnant in a year. 

Added benefits?


Purple petal    It can protect against cancer of the womb.    


Purple petal    Like the IUD, it can be taken out at any time by a specially trained health professional, and your fertility quickly returns to normal.


Purple petal   It can make your periods lighter, shorter or stop altogether, so it may help women who have heavy or painful periods.      


Purple petal   It can be used by women who can't use combined contraception (such as the combined pill), for example, those who have migraines.  


Purple petal   Once the IUS is in place, you don't have to think about contraception every day or each time you have sex.  

What else should I know?


Purple petal    Rarely some women may experience mood swings, skin problems or breast tenderness, and there's a small risk of getting an infection after it's inserted.    


Purple petal   It can be uncomfortable when the IUS is put in. Painkillers can help with this.


Purple petal   It can be fitted at any time during your menstrual cycle as long as you're definitely not pregnant. Ideally, it should be fitted within seven days of the start of your period because this will protect against pregnancy straightaway. You should use condoms for seven days if the IUS is fitted at any other time.      


Purple petal   The IUS must be removed by a trained health professional.      

By using condoms as well as the IUS, you'll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

IUS is freely available from Contraception Clinics. Use the Service Finder to find a clinic that’s most convenient for you. Or call our Central Booking line 01772 401140 for more information on this method or to book an appointment.







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