What it is?
An IUS is a small plastic ‘T’ shaped contraceptive device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is also called Mirena. It is effective for up to five years.
How it works
The IUS contains the female hormone progestogen, which it slowly releases into the body. This thickens the mucus from the cervix making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. It also thins the lining of the uterus to prevent an egg from implanting. In some cases it can stop a woman from ovulating.
A trained doctor or nurse should fit the device. They will usually fit it during or just after your menstrual cycle to ensure that a pregnancy is not present. The procedure can take between 5 and 15 minutes and may cause some discomfort. Painkillers or a local anaesthetic can be requested prior to the procedure.
The IUS will have one or two fine threads that come through the cervix opening and sit at the top of the vagina. This enables you to make sure that the device is still in place and should be checked on a monthly basis.
- Does not interrupt sex
- Works immediately
- Your periods normally become lighter, shorter, less painful and can stop completely after 12 months of use
- Works 3- 5 years depending on the device fitted and can be removed at any time
- Fertility will return to normal once the device is removed
- Is not affected by other medicines
Some of the temporary side effects that can occur are:
- Light bleeding or spotting between periods
- Mood changes
- Breast tenderness
How effective is it?
Over 99% effective.
All methods are available at our clinics – please discuss with us you your options following treatment.
For more information on different forms of contraception, go to our contraception advice page.