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Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System Information

Available as a small, plastic device that is inserted into the uterus, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (Mirena®, SkylaTM) is prescribed to prevent pregnancy in women of reproductive age. To help ensure this form of birth control is right for you, it is important to review the prescribing information on levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system with your healthcare provider. For instance, this device may not be safe for use in women who have breast cancer, liver tumors, or certain other medical conditions. Side effects are also possible and include acne, ovarian cysts, and vaginal infections. Depending on the particular product you use, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system can remain in place for three to five years. It slowly releases the progestin hormone levonorgestrel, which prevents pregnancy in several ways, such as by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus. (Click Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine System for more information on this form of birth control. This full-length article describes in more detail how this device works to prevent pregnancy, lists possible side effects, and explains how your healthcare provider will insert it.)
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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