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The Tale of Two IUDs: Mirena vs Skyla

by Dr. Sharon Orrange on May 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Two doses of progesterone-releasing IUDs are now available and are popular new options for birth control. Levonorgestrel (synthetic progesterone) IUDs are used for contraception and to control heavy menstrual bleeding. Women like these IUDs because you have little to no menstrual cycles and they are in place for years.

Mirena vs. Skyla, which one is better for you?

The benefits of Mirena:

• Has been around longer than Skyla.

Mirena is approved for up to five years of use, but appears to be effective for up to seven years.

• It works. The probability of pregnancy is 0.1 percent

The benefits of Skyla:

• Just approved this year, Skyla is a lower dose progesterone-releasing IUD.

• It is smaller in size than the Mirena and has a smaller diameter so there is less pain during insertion.

• Because of the lower progesterone dose, it is approved for up to three years (instead of five like Mirena).

• It also works. The probability of pregnancy is 0.41

What do they have in common?

• With both, the progestin effect is primarily local meaning not much progesterone goes in to the system, unlike taking a pill.

• Both Mirena and Skyla can be detected by x-ray, and do not contain latex.

• Both Mirena and Skyla result in amenorrhea meaning you don’t really get a period. Many women like this. Amenorrhea is less common with Skyla than Mirena.

• Spotting and irregular bleeding in the first months after insertion occur with both, and usually resolve.

Both are great, and it’s good to see new birth control options.

Dr O.


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