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.

Side effects

  • 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