The Kyleena IUD is a long-term, reversible levonorgestrel-releasing hormonal IUD. It can be inserted non-surgically for up to 5 years to prevent pregnancy, regardless if you have or haven’t a baby. However, it can be removed at any time by a healthcare practitioner.
At 1.18 inches, the Kyleena IUD is the smallest IUD on the market. However, it is over 99% effective. This means that out of 100 women, less than 1 can get pregnant.
This IUD can only be used as contraception. This is because it does not protect against HIV/AIDS and other STIs. As such, be sure to also use non-hormonal barrier contraception such as a condom or a female condom during intercourse to prevent the spread of STIs.
The Kyleena IUD is a small, plastic, and flexible T-shaped device that continuously releases a low dose of hormones into the uterus. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Kyleena dosage:
- The Kyleena IUD contains 19.5 mg of levonorgestrel, a type of progestin.
- It slowly releases 17.5 mcg of the hormone per day after 24 days.
- After one year, it releases 9.8 mcg per day.
After 5 years, the Kyleena IUD should be removed by a healthcare practitioner. It can be replaced with a new Kyleena IUD if there are no complications.
This IUD doesn’t contain any estrogen. Therefore, the Kyleena IUD is a good option for women who cannot take estrogen-based hormonal contraception.
The IUD is thought to work by:
- Making the uterine lining thinner.
- Thickening the cervical mucus.
- Slowing sperm movement and reducing sperm survival.
The Kyleena IUD must be inserted by a healthcare practitioner. It can be inserted during a routine visit and takes only a few minutes as it doesn’t require any surgery.
Before getting the Kyleena IUD inserted, you will typically schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine if the IUD is suitable for you.
During the Kyleena insertion appointment, your healthcare provider will do the following:
- Examine your pelvis to determine the shape, size, and position of your uterus.
- Insert a speculum into the vagina.
- Cleanse the cervix and vagina with an antiseptic solution.
- Measure the depth of the uterus.
- Insert the Kyleena IUD into the uterus through the vagina and cervix.
- Ensure the IUD is properly positioned.
- Remove the inserter, leaving the IUD in the uterus.
- Trim the threads to an appropriate length.
It is common to experience some pain and discomfort during the Kyleena insertion. You can also have some bleeding and dizziness. However, if these symptoms do not stop 30 minutes past the insertion, inform your healthcare practitioner. This is because the IUD could be placed incorrectly.
After one month of insertion, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. This is to ensure there are no complications.
Furthermore, you will also need to do a monthly check to ensure the IUD is still in place. This is typically after your period.
In order to check, you will have to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before doing so. Then, you will need to reach up to the top of your vagina and feel for the threads.
If you do not feel the threads or you feel more than the threads, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. This is because the IUD can be displaced which can limit its effectiveness. In this event, be sure to use backup non-hormonal protection during intercourse.
When checking the threads, do not pull on them. This is because it can displace the Kyleena IUD and can make it ineffective.
It’s also important to point out that the IUD’s threads will not extend outside of your vagina. It will only extend outside of your uterus. As such, your partner should not be able to feel them during intercourse. However, if your partner does feel them, inform your healthcare provider.
Kyleena Side Effects
The Kyleena IUD is FDA-approved and safe to use. However, some women can experience these common Kyleena side effects:
- Missed periods (around 12 out of 100 women stop menstruating after 1 year of using the Kyleena IUD).
- Bleeding and spotting between periods, typically during the first 3 to 6 months of use.
- Heavier bleeding at first.
- Irregular or lighter periods after 3 to 6 months of use.
- Cysts on the ovaries.
- Inflammation or infection around the outer part of the vagina.
- Pain in the pelvis or abdomen.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Painful periods.
- Sore or tender breasts.
Some of the more serious Kyleena side effects can include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- Life-threatening infection (contact your doctor immediately if you have severe pain or fever shortly after insertion).
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Intrauterine pregnancy.
Not everyone will experience these side effects. However, contact your doctor immediately if you have questions or concerns before or after the Kyleena IUD has been inserted.
Drugs or herbal products that induce or inhibit levonorgestrel metabolizing enzymes could decrease or increase the IUD’s effectiveness.
However, the Kyleena IUD works by releasing the hormone directly into the uterine cavity. Therefore, those drugs or herbal products are unlikely to affect the IUD’s function.
Always be sure to inform your doctor about the medications you are taking. Furthermore, do not use any other hormonal contraceptives while using the Kyleena IUD.
Kyleena Pros and Cons
Before you opt for this IUD, it’s important to make an informed decision. Here’s a breakdown of the Kyleena pros and cons to help determine if this IUD is suitable for you:
Pros of the Kyleena IUD
- Long-term, reversible birth control.
- Low hormone dosage.
- Over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
- Does not need to be taken daily.
- Continuous protection for up to 5 years.
- Safe for women who are breastfeeding.
- Does not impact fertility or chances of conceiving post removal.
Cons of the Kyleena IUD
- Can experience mild to severe side effects.
- Painful or uncomfortable insertion.
- Unsafe for women with PID.
- Unsafe for women who are susceptible to infections.
- Unsuitable for women with uterine or cervical cancer.
- Unsuitable for women who have or have had breast cancer or other progestin-sensitive cancers.
How Much Does Kyleena Cost?
When considering the Kyleena IUD, check with your insurance provider to see if they will cover all of the costs associated with the IUD. This includes insertion and removal of the device.
Upon calling your insurance provider, inform them that the Kyleena IUD is a healthcare provider-administrated birth control method.
Ask them to see if the IUD is covered at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.
If asked for one, provide them with the drug code: 50419-424-01.
In the event that the Kyleena IUD is only partially covered, ask your insurer how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket.
If you do not have insurance, the Kyleena cost can range from $500 to $900. However, check to see if you qualify for Bayer’s ARCH Patient Assistance Program. If eligible, this program can help you acquire a Bayer IUD at no cost.
Based on 164 user reviews on Drugs.com, the Kyleena IUD received an average rating of 7.9 out of 10, or 4 out of 5 stars.
The most common complaints include irregular or heavy periods, painful cramps, and acne. However, for the most part, reviews are positive. Among these positive reviews, women enjoy the effectiveness and convenience of the IUD. They also experienced little to no side effects.
When considering the Kyleena IUD, keep in mind that it may not be suitable for everyone.
If only want a hormonal IUD, you can also consider the Mirena IUD, Skyla IUD, and Liletta IUD. Learn more about the Paragard IUD if you’d prefer a non-hormonal option. Don’t forget to check your other birth control options as well!