An intrauterine system (IUS) is a form of hormonal birth control that prevents pregnancy by slowly releasing the hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus. The IUS is a T-shaped device that is intrauterine which means it is inserted into the uterus and can remain there for up to five years.
An intrauterine system is 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancy.
IUS not available through the sexual health clinic, only prescription and referral can be provided. The IUS is available through a pharmacy. Contact your pharmacy for cost. Condoms are available at no charge at the health unit.
How it works
- It thickens the cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
- It causes changes in the lining of the uterus that helps to prevent implantation.
- In some women, it may prevent the ovary from releasing an egg.
- Safe, simple and convenient.
- Provides very effective, long-lasting pregnancy protection.
- Can be used for up to 5 years.
- Does not contain estrogen.
- May stop or decrease periods.
- May reduce period cramps.
- May reduce your risk of certain kinds of cancer.
- You cannot feel the IUS threads.
- You or your partner can feel the lower end of the IUS.
- You think that you are pregnant.
- You experience persistent abdominal pain, fever, or unusual vaginal discharge.
- You or your partner feel pain or discomfort during intercourse.
- You experience a sudden change in you menstrual periods.
- You wish to have the device removed or you want to get pregnant.
Hormonal birth control and STIs
The IUS protects against pregnancy, not STIs or HIV/AIDS. It is best to always use a condom when having sex even if you are using birth control. Free condoms are available through the Northwestern Health Unit.