LEVONORGESTREL IUD is a contraceptive (birth control) device. The device is placed inside the uterus by a healthcare professional. It is used to prevent pregnancy and can also be used to treat heavy bleeding that occurs during your period. Depending on the device, it can be used for 3 to 5 years. Compare progestins.

What is Mirena?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, Skyla

Therapeutic ClassificationsContraceptive, Local

Pharmacologic ClassificationsProgestin




Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system is a device that contains the female hormone, levonorgestrel. It is placed in the uterus (womb) where it slowly releases the hormone to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years for Liletta™ or Skyla™ or up to 5 years for Kyleena™ or Mirena®. It works by stopping a woman's egg from fully developing each month. The egg can no longer accept a sperm and fertilization (pregnancy) is prevented.

Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system is also used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding in women. It works best in women who have had at least one child.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Proper UseTOP

Your doctor will give you this medicine in a hospital or clinic. The intrauterine device (IUD) is inserted into your uterus.

This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Your doctor may want to do tests to make sure you do not have an infection before putting in an IUD. The IUD is usually inserted during your monthly period or immediately after a miscarriage or an abortion in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Putting an IUD in during a monthly period also helps to make sure that you are not pregnant. You will also need to see your doctor within 4 to 12 weeks of having your IUD placed and then once a year.

Levonorgestrel IUD has a string or "tail" which is made of plastic thread. About one or two inches of this string hangs into your vagina. You cannot see this string, and it will not cause problems when you have sex. Check your IUD string every few days during the first few months that you have your IUD. After that, check the string after each monthly period. You may not be protected against pregnancy if you cannot feel the string or if you feel plastic. Do the following to check the placement of your IUD:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry them with a clean towel.
  • Bend your knees and squat low to the ground.
  • Gently put your index (pointing) finger high inside your vagina. The cervix is at the top of the vagina and feels like the tip of your nose. Find the IUD string coming from your cervix. Never pull on the string. You should not be able to feel the firm plastic of the IUD itself.
  • Wash your hands after you are finished checking your IUD.

You will need to have your levonorgestrel-releasing IUD replaced every 3 years for Liletta™ or Skyla™, or 5 years for Kyleena™ or Mirena®, or sooner if it comes out of your uterus.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of levonorgestrel in teenage females. This medicine may be used for birth control in teenage females but is not recommended before the start of menstruation.


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of levonorgestrel have not been performed in the geriatric population. This medicine is not recommended for use in elderly women.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersXStudies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Caffeine

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Abnormal or unusual vaginal bleeding or
  • Abnormally-shaped uterus or uterine fibroids or
  • Breast cancer, known or suspected, or a history of or
  • Cancer of the uterus or cervix, known or suspected or
  • Genital tract infections (eg, bacterial vaginosis, cervicitis, endometritis, vaginitis), acute and untreated or
  • Infection (eg, leukemia, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS) or
  • Liver disease, including tumors or cancer or
  • Pelvic infection (active or untreated), history of or
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (a serious pelvic infection), or history of—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every 4 to 12 weeks after insertion, but some doctors require them more often.

Call your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while you are using this medicine. You may have a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy if you get pregnant while your IUD is in place. An ectopic pregnancy can be a serious and life-threatening condition. It can also cause problems that may make it harder for you to become pregnant in the future.

An IUD can slip partly or all of the way out of your uterus without you knowing it. If this happens, you will have no protection against getting pregnant or you may have an increased risk for serious problems. This is more likely during the first year that you have your IUD, but can happen at any time. Regularly checking the string of your IUD can tell you if your IUD is still in place.

You may have some blood spotting and cramping during the first few weeks after the IUD has been inserted. These symptoms should go away within a few months. Rarely, the IUD may make a hole in the wall of your uterus when it is inserted. If this happens, check with your doctor right away.

An IUD increases your risk of a serious infection of the female organs called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can be serious, even life threatening. This infection could cause scarring of the female organs, which may make it hard for you to become pregnant in the future, and can increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Call your doctor right away if you have flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, cramps, pain, bleeding, or fluid leaking from your vagina. These may be signs that you have an infection.

This device will not protect you from getting HIV/AIDS, herpes, or other sexually transmitted diseases. Tell your doctor if you or your partner begin to have sexual intercourse with other people, or you or your partner tests positive for a sexually transmitted disease. If this is a concern for you, talk with your doctor.

This medicine may cause changes in your blood sugar levels. Also, this medicine may cover up signs of low blood sugar, such as a rapid pulse rate. Check with your doctor if you have these problems or if you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.

It is important to tell your doctor that you are using this medicine before you have a medical procedure, such as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

GoodRx is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified in its price comparisons. All trademarks, brands, logos and copyright images are property of their respective owners and rights holders and are used solely to represent the products of these rights holders. This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. GoodRx is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information on the site. GoodRx provides no warranty for any of the pricing data or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medical treatment.
The information contained in the Truven Health Micromedex products as delivered by GoodRx is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.
The use of the Truven Health products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Truven Health and GoodRx make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, TRUVEN HEALTH MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON REUTERS HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Truven Health does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Truven Health products.