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Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System and Pregnancy

Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you become pregnant while using levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system. This contraceptive is classified as a pregnancy Category X medication, which means it poses definite problems for a fetus, such as miscarriage or birth defects. Also, make sure to seek immediate medical treatment if you have stomach pain, unusual vaginal bleeding, or other signs of an ectopic pregnancy.

Can Pregnant Women Use Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System?

Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (Mirena®, Skyla™) is a progestin hormone-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) used for long-term contraception. It is considered a pregnancy Category X medication, which means it should not be used during pregnancy.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category X?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medicines that show problems to the fetus in animal studies or in human use of the medication. With this category, the potential risks clearly outweigh the potential benefits.
 
Although pregnancy is rare with levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, generally occurring in less than 1 percent of women using the medication each year, if pregnancy does occur, the medication can cause problems. For example, there is an increased risk for a life-threatening type of pregnancy known as an ectopic pregnancy in women using the contraceptive. Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system can also cause problems during normal (nonectopic) pregnancies.
 
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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