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  • Gynaecology | Resources
  • 08.12.23

Choosing the right IUD – what you need to know

Contraceptives have made great advancements in the past few decades, offering women a wide array of options to tailor their choices to their specific needs. Contraceptives serve a broader purpose beyond preventing pregnancy. They can also help manage and alleviate various health conditions such as heavy or painful periods, acne, and hormone-related disorders, providing women with greater control over their reproductive health and overall well-being.

What is an IUD? 

IUD is short for intrauterine contraceptive device. It involves placing a small device inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy, treat heavy painful periods, endometriosis, PCOS or help with perimenopause or menopause. There are different types of IUDs, including hormonal and non-hormonal versions. Hormonal IUDs release the hormone progestogen (levonorgestrel) into the uterus. 

IUDs are long-lasting and reliable, and depending on the type, can provide contraception for up to 10 years, but can be removed at any time. They prevent pregnancy but can also be used to manage heavy and painful periods, help with endometriosis and PCOS, and be used for menopause management.. 

Inserting the IUD is a simple procedure carried out by our Specialist Women’s Health GPs. It’s placed in the uterus with its  strings extending into the cervix for easy removal when needed. Most women only experience  a small amount of discomfort during the procedure. 

Benefits of using an IUD

Some of the benefits of IUDs include: 

  • A reduction in menstrual bleeding.
  • Less menstrual pain. 
  • A reduced risk of endometrial cancer when using a hormonal IUD.
  • They do not contain oestrogen so are suitable for women who are unable to use oestrogen containing contraceptives such as migraine with aura. 
  • Cost-effective as they are long-lasting. 
  • Unlike the contraceptive pill or condoms, you don’t need daily or per-use reminders. 

Please note that IUDs do not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases. 

Comparing types of IUDs

When it comes to your reproductive health, it’s important to have all the information to make an informed decision. Our Specialist Women’s Health GPs Dr Anna Alderton, Dr Frances Knight and Dr Elise Turner have years of experience with IUDs and will help you make the right decision for your unique needs. Here’s our comprehensive breakdown of the most common IUDs, Mirena, Kyleena and Copper. 

Mirena IUD

Probably one of the most well-known IUDs available, Mirena can be used for long-term birth control, treatment of heavy painful periods or for menopause management. This T-shaped plastic device is placed inside the uterus, gradually releasing the hormone progestin.


  • Long-lasting (up to five years of effective contraception and symptom management).
  • Often prescribed to ease the symptoms of endometriosis, such as pain and heavy bleeding.
  • A contraceptive success rate of 99%
  • Can be used for menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) to manage the changes associated with menopause.


  • Some women experience side effects such as headaches, breast tenderness and mood swings. 
  • In some cases, women experience temporary discomfort or cramping after insertion. 
  • Irregular bleeding can be common in the first few months, but many women will go on to have no periods, or very light infrequent periods 

Kyleena IUD

Also used for long-term birth control, Kyleena is a slightly smaller, low-maintenance contraceptive method. It releases a hormone called levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancy. 


  • Effective contraceptive method with a small, comfortable design.
  • Lasts up to five years. 


  • Can have side effects.
  • Some women experience discomfort upon insertion.

Copper IUD

Copper is a non-hormonal IUD. Its copper content makes it an effective contraceptive, and unlike hormonal IUDs, it doesn’t release hormones.


  • A hormone-free alternative.
  • Some copper IUDs can provide contraception for up to 10 years. 
  • Fertility returns to normal as soon as the IUD is removed. 


  • Copper IUDs can cause increased menstrual bleeding and cramping.
  • Not suitable for women with endometriosis.
  • Some women experience discomfort upon insertion. 

Choosing the right IUD

When it comes to choosing the right IUD for your contraceptive needs, you’re not alone. Our Grace Private Specialist Women’s Health GPs are here to provide expert guidance and support, helping you make an informed choice tailored to your unique needs.

Your reproductive health matters, make an appointment with one of our Specialists Women’s Health GPs today and get the personalised advice and care you deserve. 

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