IUDs (IntraUterine Devices)

In Canada, we currently have 4 IUD options available (L to R not to scale): Copper, Mirena, Jaydess, and Kyleena)

In Canada, we currently have 4 IUD options available (L to R not to scale): Copper, Mirena, Jaydess, and Kyleena)

An Intrauterine Device or IUD is a long acting, highly effective and reversible contraceptive method. The IUD is a small, flexible plastic device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.

In Canada there are 4 types of IUDs available:

  1. Copper IUD (non-hormonal)
  2. Mirena IUD (with progestin type hormone)
  3. Jaydess IUD (with progestin type hormone)
  4. Kyleena IUD (with progestin type hormone)

Pros:

  • Highly effective: Copper – 99.8% – Mirena/99.6% – Jaydess/99% – Copper
  • Continuous protection for up to 3 years (Jaydess) or 5 years (Copper, Mirena, Kyleena). All you have to do is check for the strings each month.
  • Can be used by people with medical issues with estrogen (such as migraine with aura, blood clots, etc.)
  • Private and discreet
  • Low cost (over time)

Cons:

  • An internal exam is required to insert IUD
  • There is often brief discomfort (cramping) during the insertion.
  • Potential for increased menstrual cramping and blood flow with copper devices and irregular bleeding for a few months after the insertion of a Mirena, Kyleena and Jaydess.
  • Users need to be comfortable enough with their genitals to check the strings monthly.

How effective is the IUD?

  • The Mirena IUD is 99.8% effective in preventing pregnancy. It can be used for up to 5 years continuously.
  • The Jaydess IUD is 99.6% effective. It can be used for up to 3 years continuously.
  • The Kyleena IUD is 99.7% effective. It can be used up to 5 years continuously.
  • The Copper IUD is 99% effective against pregnancy. It can be used for up to 5 years continuously.

 IUDs do not provide any protection against STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). The use of condoms with an IUD is recommended to reduce the risk of STIs.

How do IUDs work?

The main way that an IUD works is to prevent fertilization. An IUD cause changes inside the uterus which affects the movement of sperm and prevents fertilization.

Copper IUD

The copper IUD has a T-shaped plastic frame wrapped in copper wire. The copper causes changes in the uterus and can directly inhibit sperm motility, to prevent pregnancy. Ovulation is not affected in users. It can be used up to 5 years for contraception.

Copper IUD as emergency contraception:

The copper IUD can be inserted within 7 days after intercourse and is 99% effective against pregnancy. One of the other benefits of using Copper IUD as emergency contraception is that it can remain in the uterus for up to 5 years. This option is not available as a drop-in service and is only available with an appointment at our Quadra Street location. Call 250-592-3479 to set up an appointment.

Mirena IUD

The Mirena IUD has a T-shaped plastic frame containing a progestin hormone that is released slowly while it’s in the uterus. This hormone (levonorgestrol) is a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone that the ovaries produce. It can be used up to 5 years for contraception.

How it works:

  • thickens cervical mucus (making it difficult for sperm to move into the uterus)
  • inhibits sperm movement in the uterus
  • thins the lining of the uterus.
  • Ovulation may be inhibited in some users.

Kyleena IUD

The Kyleena IUD has a T-shaped plastic frame containing a progestin hormone that is slowly released while it’s in the uterus.  This hormone (levonorgestrol) is a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone that the ovaries produce. It can be used up to 5 years for contraception.

  • thickens cervical mucus (making it difficult for sperm to move into the uterus)
  • inhibits sperm movement in the uterus
  • thins the lining of the uterus.

Note: Kyleena and Jaydess have the same physical frame size but contain different amounts of medication that is why duration of effective use varies

Jaydess IUD

The Jaydess IUD has a T-shaped plastic frame containing a progestin hormone that is slowly released while it’s in the uterus.  This hormone (levonorgestrol) is a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone that the ovaries produce. It can be used up to 3 years for contraception.

  • thickens cervical mucus (making it difficult for sperm to move into the uterus)
  • inhibits sperm movement in the uterus
  • thins the lining of the uterus.

How do I get an IUD?

A prescription from a Doctor to get an IUD. Many clinics require two appointments to get an IUD. The appointments usually happen about 2 weeks apart. The first appointment is for education and to ensure that you will be able to use an IUD safely. During this appointment you will have a pre-screen exam to ensure there are no infections present prior to your insertion. You will also receive your prescription for your IUD at this appointment. The second appointment is the insertion appointment which will last for about 1 hour although the actual insertion process takes less than 5 minutes. It’s a good idea to return to the clinic that inserted your IUD for a check up 3-4 weeks following insertion for a follow up check.

What are the risks of an IUD?

IUDs are safe methods for most users but like any other method risks are possible. Being educated about the IUD, following instructions and having a clinic specializing in IUDs will reduce risks.

  • There is a 1 in 20 risk of the IUD being expelled, usually in the first year of use.
  • There is a 1 in 1000 risk of uterine perforation at the time of insertion.
  • There is a 1 in 100 risk of pelvic infection in the 20 days following insertion but the risk is the same as a non-IUD user thereafter.