Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System Side Effects

Changes in vaginal bleeding, acne, and pelvic pain are some of the common side effects of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system. In general, reactions to this contraceptive are minor and are typically easy to treat. However, there are some potentially serious problems that require immediate medical attention, including depression, painful sex, or no menstrual period for six weeks.

An Introduction to Side Effects With Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System

As with any medicine, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (Mirena®, Skyla™) can cause side effects. However, not all women who use this contraceptive will experience problems. In fact, most women tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to: 
  • Signs of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), such as:
    • Heavy, long-lasting, or unusual vaginal bleeding
    • Unusual vaginal discharge
    • Lower abdominal (stomach) or pelvic pain
    • Painful sex
    • Fever
    • Chills
  • Fever, pain, or bleeding that lasts for longer than 30 minutes after the device is inserted
  • Severe headaches, including migraines
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Depression or low mood
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • No menstrual period for six weeks
  • Signs of an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the womb), such as:
    • Unusual vaginal bleeding
    • Severe abdominal (stomach) pain
  • An inability to feel the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system threads, or feeling more than the threads
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.

More Headlines in Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System Side Effects

‣ Common Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System Side Effects
‣ Final Thoughts
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
4 Relationship Skills for People With ADHD