The Web Health


Levonorgestrel intrauterine system

Generic name: levonorgestrel intrauterine system [LEE-voe-nor-JES-trel-IN-tra-UE-ter-ine-SIS-tem]
Brand names: Liletta (Kyleena), Skyla, and Mirena
Dosage form: intrauterine device (13.5 mg; 19.5 mg; 52 mg)}
Drug classes: contraceptives, progestins

What is Levonorgestrel intrauterine system?

Levonorgestrel can cause changes to your cervix or uterus. The Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System or Intrauterine Device (IUD) is placed inside the uterus, where it slowly releases the hormone.Levonorgestrel is an intrauterine system used to prevent pregnancy. Mirena can also be used to treat heavy bleeding among women who use an intrauterine birth control form.Levonorgestrel is not oestrogen-containing and therefore should not be used for emergency contraception.Levonorgestrel intrauterine may be used in other ways not mentioned in this guide.

Side effects of Levonorgestrel intrauterine system

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face, lips, or throat.If you experience severe pain on your side or lower stomach, seek emergency medical attention. This could be an indication of a tube pregnancy.IUDs can become embedded in the uterine wall or perforate the uterus. In this case, the IUD may not prevent pregnancy, or it could move outside of the uterus, causing scarring, infections, or damage to the other organs. The device may have to be surgically removed by your doctor.

Levonorgestrel intrauterinely may cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Severe cramps or pelvic pain; pain during sexual intercourse;
  • Extreme dizziness, or a feeling of being light-headed;
  • Severe headache
  • Heavy or continuous vaginal bleeding; sores on the vaginal area; or unusual vaginal discharge (watery, smelling, or other abnormal).
  • Pale skin, weakness or easy bruising, fever, or chills
  • Jaundice
  • A sudden feeling of numbness (especially on one side), problems with vision, or sensitivity to lights

Some of the common side effects associated with levonorgestrel are:

  • Changes in menstrual patterns, pain or discomfort, or bleeding pattern;
  • Itching or infection
  • The IUD may cause temporary discomfort, bleeding, or dizziness.
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloating;
  • Headache, migraine, depression, mood changes;
  • Breast tenderness or pain;
  • Weight gain, acne, oily or dry skin, hair changes, and loss of interest in sexual activity;
  • You may experience puffiness on your hands, feet, ankles, or face.

There may be other side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report adverse effects, you can contact the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Do not use during pregnancy. If you become pregnant, inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Before you take this drug

Iuds can increase the risk of serious pelvic infections, which could threaten your life and your future ability to have a child. This is something you should discuss with your doctor.Do not use during pregnancy. This IUD can cause serious infection, miscarriage, or premature birth. The hormone contained in the IUD can also have unwanted effects on a newborn female.If you fall pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Watch for symptoms such as fevers, chills, and cramps.

This device should not be used if:

  • Undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding;
  • Uncontrolled or untreated pelvic infection (vaginal, cervical, or uterine);
  • Endometriosis, or a serious infection of the pelvis following a pregnancy or an abortion within the last 3 months.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, unless you have had a normal pregnancy after the infection has been treated and cleared.
  • Uterine fibroid tumours or conditions that alter the shape of the uterus
  • Cancer in the breast, cervix, or uterus, past or present
  • Liver disease (or liver tumour, benign or malignant);
  • A condition that weakens the immune system, such as HIV, leukaemia, or IV drug abuse.
  • If you already have an intrauterine device in place,
  • If you have had an abortion, miscarriage, or loss of pregnancy in the last 6 weeks,
  • If you have given birth in the last 6 weeks,

Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • High pressure or heart problems; a heart attack or a stroke.
  • Bleeding problems
  • Migraine headaches
  • A vaginal, pelvic, or sexually transmissible disease.

Inform your doctor if breastfeeding is a concern.

How to take Levonorgestrel intrauterine system?

A doctor inserts the levonorgestrel intrauterine device (IUD) through the vagina.You may experience minor bleeding or discomfort during the insertion of your IUD. If these symptoms persist for more than 30 minutes, tell your doctor.IUDs should not interfere in any way with sexual activity, the use of tampons or menstrual cups, or other vaginal medication.After a few days, your doctor should check to see if the IUD is still in position. You'll also need to have pap smears and pelvic exams every year.Your periods may be irregular for three to six months. You may have a lighter or heavier flow, and you may not get a period for several months. If you have not had a period in 6 weeks or you suspect you may be pregnant, tell your doctor.It may fall out on its own. You should still be able to feel the removal string at the opening of the cervix after each period.If you can't feel the strings or you believe the IUD is slipping lower or out of your uterus and you are also experiencing pain or bleeding, call your doctor immediately. You can use a birth control method that does not contain hormones (condom, cervical cap, diaphragm, or contraceptive foam) until your doctor can replace the IUD.Tell your care providers that you are wearing an IUD before you undergo an MRI.You can remove your IUD at any time if you stop using birth control. Mirena is to be removed 8 years after the start of use, while Liletta has to be removed 6 years later. Kyleena is to be removed in 5 years, and Skyla after 3 years. If you want to continue using birth control, your doctor can insert another device. Only your doctor can remove the IUD. Remove the IUD only with your doctor's help.You may have to begin using a new method of birth control a week prior to the removal of your IUD.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Levonorgestrel is not missed when the IUD releases it continuously.

What happens if I overdose?

It is unlikely that an overdose will occur from levonorgestrel being released into the intrauterine system.

What should be avoided?

Avoid having more than a single-sex partner. IUDs can increase the risk of a pelvic infection that is usually caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Levonorgestrel is not a protection against sexually transmissible diseases, including HIV or AIDS. A condom can help prevent these diseases.If your partner has HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases, or if there is a change in your sexual relationship, you should call your doctor.

Interaction with other drug

Levonorgestrel may be affected by other drugs, such as vitamins and herbal remedies. Inform your doctor of all the other medications you take.




Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

CSA Schedule*
Related Drugs
Related Stories