IUS

What is an IUS ?
How does the IUS work ?
How reliable is the IUS ?
Who is suitable to use the IUS ?
Can the IUS be used for Emergency Contraception like the IUD?
Who is NOT suitable to use the IUS ?
Are there any benefits from using the IUS apart from preventing pregnancy ?
How is an IUS fitted ?
When does the IUS start to work ?
For how many years can I use the IUS ?
Do diarrhoea, vomiting and antibiotics affect the IUS ?
Should I stop using an IUS and give my body a break ?
Will the IUS control my periods or make them heavier or lighter ?
What should I be aware of if my girlfriend’s using an IUS ?
Can I use tampons with an IUS ?
Do recreational drugs affect reliability of the IUS ?
Will the IUS make me put on weight ?
Will the IUS protect me from pregnancy AND infection?
Is the IUS reversible ?
Do I have to have sex to use the IUS ?
Can I use the IUS safely if I smoke ?
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What is an IUS ?

IUS is the acronym for Intra-Uterine System – also known as Mirena®/Levonova®.
An IUS is a contraceptive device, similar to the IUCD/Coil, but differs in that it uses a slow release hormone (progestogen) to prevent pregnancy instead of copper.

How does the IUS work ?

TheIUS releases the hormone to the lining of your womb and alters its conditions to prevent you from becoming pregnant.
It thickens the mucus at your cervix, which prevents sperm entering your womb.
It prevents some women from ovulating or releasing an egg – although most women continue to ovulate.

How reliable is the IUS ?

The IUS is very reliable indeed.
Almost 100% of pregnancies are prevented for users of the IUS.
It’s so good that commonly it’s offered to prevent pregnancy instead of a sterilisation.

Who is suitable to use the IUS ?

The IUS is suitable for women who’ve given birth.
Others can have it inserted with or without local anaesthetic.

Can the IUS be used for Emergency Contraception like the IUD?

No, the IUS should not be used as Emergency Contraception.

Who is NOT suitable to use the IUS ?

Women who are pregnant must not use the IUS.
Women who have or have had:
Active liver infection or growth.
Undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Infection, or are at risk of infection.
A history of heart or circulatory disease.

Are there any benefits from using the IUS apart from preventing pregnancy ?

There are a number of benefits from using the IUS apart from preventing pregnancy.
It can help some – but not all – women who get very heavy periods due to fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus) depending on the fibroid. Periods are usually far less painful, lighter and shorter.

How is an IUS fitted ?

An IUS is inserted under sterile conditions by a specially trained medical practitioner or healthcare professional – usually in the first week of your period.

When does the IUS start to work ?

TheIUS starts to work as soon as it’s in place.
Depending where you are in your cycle, you may be asked to use 7 days extra protection before relying on it for contraception.

For how many years can I use the IUS ?

The Mirena®/Levonova® is licensed for 5 years’ use.
It can be removed sooner if you want to get pregnant.

Do diarrhoea, vomiting and antibiotics affect the IUS ?

Diarrhoea, vomiting and antibiotics do not affect the IUS.

Should I stop using an IUS and give my body a break ?

You do not need to stop using an IUS to give your body a break.

Will the IUS control my periods or make them heavier or lighter ?

The IUS won’t control the timing but your periods will become lighter and less painful.
You may experience irregular bleeding or spotting in the first few months of use.

What should I be aware of if my girlfriend’s using an IUS ?

Your girlfriend’s outward appearance doesn’t change when she’s using the IUS, so it’s up to you to help her check that it’s still in place before you have sex.
You can do this during foreplay by gently checking that you can feel the threads of the IUS at her cervix.
Remember: your girlfriend is not protected from sexually transmitted infections when using the IUS on its own.
So, if you’re unfaithful to her, you could put her at risk if you don’t use a condom.
The only way to protect yourself fully from unplanned pregnancy AND infection is to use a condom during sex, at all times.

Can I use tampons with an IUS ?

You can use tampons with the IUS – but wait and use sanitary towels (pads) until after your first period incase the IUS comes out with your first period.
If you use tampons after your first period: ALWAYS check the thread(s) afterwards to make sure the IUS hasn’t come out during menstruation.

Do recreational drugs affect reliability of the IUS ?

As far as is known, recreational drugs do not affect the reliability of theIUS.

BUT drug scan be bad for your long-term physical and mental health and can increase your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
If you dehydrate you are more likely to get thrombosis (blood clots).

Will the IUS make me put on weight ?

As far as is known, the IUS will not make you put on weight.

Will the IUS protect me from pregnancy AND infection?

The IUS won’t protect you from infection.
The only way is to use a condom.

Is the IUS reversible ?

The IUS is completely reversible, upon removal.

Do I have to have sex to use the IUS ?

You do not have to have sex to use the IUS.
The IUS can help some – but not all – women who get very heavy periods due to fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus) depending on the fibroid.
Periods are usually far less painful, lighter and shorter.

Can I use the IUS safely if I smoke ?

The IUS can be used safely even if you smoke.

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