Known as IUD, Mirena, T
Medical names Hormonal IUD, Mirena® (brand), Kyleena® (brand)
Effectiveness Over 99%
It lasts It works for up to 6 years
Fertility Fertility returns when it is removed
Who can use it? People with a vagina and uterus of any age from the first period till menopause
Hormones Contains progestogen
Visibility Very discreet
STIs No protection
Side effects irregular bleeding, no bleeding, headaches, acne, mood changes. Allow 6 months to adjust to the hormone
Cost Between $6 and $220 depending if you have a Health Care card, Medicare card or private script. With a script and Medicare card, the device can be purchased for around $30. Additional costs for the procedure
Where to get it Visit a reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor. You may need to visit a pharmacy to pick up a prescription


Hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD)

A hormonal IUD is a plastic object that is inserted into the uterus and contains progestogen hormone.
There are 2 options for a hormonal IUD; Mirena and Kyleena. The Kyleena is a slightly smaller device with a lower dose of hormones than the Mirena.

A graphic image of an IUD. It is a short purple T shape with an orange cover across the bottom, and a string hanging from the bottom.



Hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD)

How does it work?

The hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy by slowly releasing progestogen hormone which thickens the cervical mucus, preventing any sperm from entering the uterus. For some people, it can also stop the ovaries from releasing eggs.  

Both the Kyleena and the Mirena contain a progestogen called levonorgestrel. However the Kyleena has a lower dose of the hormone than the Mirena. 

IUDs do not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), so you should still continue to use condoms to protect yourself from these.


What’s it like to use?

The hormonal IUD is inserted by a trained clinician through the cervix and into the uterus. The clinician may use a local anaesthetic to reduce the pain and discomfort you will feel during the procedure. There are no cuts or stitches, so there is no scarring. It is also possible to have an IUD inserted under sedation.

It is very discreet. Nobody will be able to tell that you have an IUD.  

The hormonal IUD can cause a change in your bleeding patterns. Some people do not experience any bleeding and others may experience light, irregular bleeding.

A thin piece of nylon thread will be left at the end of the hormonal IUD, which can be felt if you try to feel for your cervix which is located at the top of the vagina.

What if I forget about it?

Both the Mirena and Kyleena are known as "set-and-forget" contraceptive methods that have high reliability and efficacy. They do not require the user to do anything once they have been inserted, unlike hormonal birth control pills or condoms. IUD's maintain a high degree of protection over many years.  

If you’d like to replace your hormonal IUD, it can be taken out and replaced with a new one all in the same procedure. 


Who can use it?

People with a vagina and uterus of any age, from the first period till menopause.

The hormonal IUD is suitable for people who have never been pregnant and for use as contraception after pregnancy. 

The hormonal IUD is suitable for people with a family history of breast cancer. It is not suitable for people who have current breast cancer or have experienced breast cancer in the past.  

You may not be able to get an IUD if you have an STI that hasn't been treated or you have unexplained vaginal bleeding. 


Side effects

You may experience discomfort, like lower abdominal cramping (similar to period pain), on the day of the procedure and possibly up to 1-2 days after. You may also experience irregular bleeding for up to 3-6 months after insertion.  

During the first 6 months your body can take time to adjust to the hormones. The most commonly reported side effect is altered bleeding patterns. Most people who have an IUD experience bleeding lighter than their usual period. Some will have no bleeding at all (amenorrhoea).

Other hormonal side effects such as headaches, acne, breast tenderness, weight gain, and mood changes have been reported by users but are not common. Learn more about your reproductive organs and sexual health and hormonal contraceptives. 


Perforation at time of insertion (happen in about 2 in every 1000 insertions or 0.2%)

IUD falls out (1 in 20 or about 5%)

Infection after insertion (1 in 300 or 0.3%)

Failure to prevent pregnancy (happens to 2 people out of 1000 people who use IUDs or 0.2%)

Overall hormonal IUDs are very safe. There are possible risks with any IUD, but serious problems are rare. You can talk to your healthcare provider to understand more about potential risks. 

If at any point you feel that this contraceptive method is making you feel uncomfortable or unwell, get advice from a doctor or medical professional. If it is an emergency, call an ambulance on 000. 


How and where to get it

A trained clinician like a nurse or GP can do a health assessment, provide the IUD, and do the insertion. You may require more than 1 appointment. Some reproductive and sexual health clinics do not have IUDs in stock, so you may need to get a prescription and pick it up from the pharmacy. 

The cost of a hormonal IUD can vary depending on whether you are a concessional card holder, have a Medicare card or if you're purchasing on a private script. The cost can be as low as around $7 for concession card holders to up to over $200 for people without Medicare. With a Medicare card, the cost of the device is around $30. There may also be consultation fees for the assessment and insertion. You can ask for a quote when you book an appointment. 

If you are an International Student, your insurance provider can provide details on the health cover you will receive and your options for accessing care. This will depend on your policy and location.


What if you change your mind

Any time you want to have your IUD removed, you can visit a reproductive and sexual health clinic, or your GP to have it removed. It does not need to be the same clinician who did the insertion. Your fertility will return immediately once the IUD is removed. 


More about hormones Reproduction & Contraception Further Support & Advice