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Skyla - Intrauterine Contraception

Skyla (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) is a hormone-releasing IUD that prevents pregnancy for up to 3 years.

What is Skyla?

Skyla is a type of intrauterine device, also known as an IUD. But what is that, exactly?

An IUD is a small, t-shaped device that’s placed in your uterus by your OB/GYN during a routine visit.

Getting an IUD is nonsurgical and typically takes just a few minutes. Once in place, it provides continuous, highly effective birth control.

Everyone is different, and some women may experience discomfort or spotting during or after placement. These symptoms should go away shortly. If they don’t, contact your OB/GYN. Within 4 to 6 weeks, you should return for a follow-up visit to make sure that everything is okay.

Skyla is a hormone-releasing IUD that is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to 3 years.

No daily pills, monthly refills, or trips to the pharmacy. You should make sure Skyla is in place with a simple monthly check. Your healthcare provider can show you how

  • Made of soft, flexible plastic
  • Completely reversible and can be removed by your OB/GYN at any time if you change your mind, so you can try to get pregnant right away
  • It may be smaller than you think (Actual size: 1.18”)

Skyla is FDA-approved and can be used whether or not you have had a child. It is available by prescription only.

How does Skyla work?

Skyla releases small amounts of a progestin hormone locally into your uterus at a slow and continuous rate. It is estrogen-free and works continuously for up to 3 years.

Skyla thickens your cervical mucus, inhibits sperm movement, reduces sperm survival and thins the lining of your uterus. These actions work together to prevent pregnancy.

Skyla - Intrauterine Contraception

Because Skyla is in your uterus, not your vagina:

  • You can still use tampons
  • You shouldn’t be able to feel it
  • You and your partner should not feel it during sex. If this happens, your OB/GYN may be able to help
  • You should make sure Skyla is in place with a simple monthly self-check. Your OB/GYN can show you how

Some common side effects include:

  • Pain, bleeding or dizziness: These symptoms may occur during and after placement. If they do not stop within 30 minutes, Skyla may not have been placed correctly
  • Skyla may come out by itself. This occurs in about 3% of women, and you may become pregnant if this happens. If you think that Skyla may have come out, use a back-up birth control method (such as condoms and spermicide)
  • Ovarian cysts: About 14% of women using Skyla develop a cyst on the ovary. These cysts usually disappear on their own in a month or two, but can cause pain and at times require surgery

If you experience any of these side effects or want more information, talk to your OB/GYN.

How effective is Skyla?

Skyla is one of the most effective birth control options. It’s over 99% effective and works continuously for up to 3 years.

Generally the less you have to do, the more effective the birth control method tends to be.

Some serious risk considerations about Skyla:

  • Although pregnancy while using Skyla is uncommon (less than 1 in 100), it can be serious. If you think you may be pregnant, call your OB/GYN right away as it could be an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that is not in the uterus). Unusual vaginal bleeding or stomach pain may be a sign of this condition, which can be life threatening, may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility, and can cause internal bleeding. There can also be similar complications if a pregnancy occurs inside the uterus with an IUD in place, and it is important to talk with your OB/GYN to understand your options and risks in this situation. Severe infection, premature delivery and even death can occur with pregnancies that continue with an IUD
  • Sepsis (a rare but life-threatening infection) can occur within the first few days after Skyla is placed. Call your OB/GYN immediately if you develop severe pain or fever shortly after getting Skyla
  • Less than 1% of users get a serious pelvic infection called PID. More serious cases of PID may require surgery. A hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is sometimes needed. In rare cases, infections that start as PID can even cause death
  • Less than 0.1% of users experienced perforation in clinical trials. If perforation occurs, Skyla may move outside the uterus and can cause internal scarring, infection, or damage to other organs, and you may need surgery to have Skyla removed

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