Intrauterine Devices (IUD)

Please note that the information and material on this web site is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as legal or medical advice.  Whilst the information contained in this site has been presented with all due care, Tallowwood Health does not warrant or represent that the information is free from errors or omission. Please discuss your personal health care needs with your health professional.

What is an Intrauterine Device (IUD)?

An IUD is a small ‘T’ shaped plastic device which is inserted inside the uterus.

What types are available? 

There are two types of IUDs available -hormonal and non hormonal. The hormonal ones are called Mirena and Kyleena and contain a progesterone called Levonorgestrel. They both provide contraception for 5 years. The Kyleena is slightly smaller than the Mirena and has a lower amount of the hormone, sometimes making it a more suitable choice for younger females who have never had a baby. The Mirena is also licenced for heavy periods and HRT.

The copper coil is a hormone free IUD. It can cause periods to become longer and heavier.

How does it work?

The Hormonal IUD thickens the mucus in the cervix to stop the sperm from moving into the uterus. This also thins the lining of the uterus to stop a fertilised egg from implanting, and sometimes the ovaries are stopped from releasing an egg

How effective are they?

All types of IUD are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy

What are the advantages of a hormonal IUD?

  • No need to take a pill every day.
  • Last for 5 years but can be removed at any stage you wish.
  • Periods usually become lighter and sometimes stop altogether.
  • Effective right away if it’s put in during the first five days of your period.
  • Fertility returns as soon as it’s taken out.
  • Safe to use if you’re breastfeeding
  • Very cost effective over the 5 years.

What are the disadvantages?

  • 1 in 500 chance of uterine perforation
  • Involves a minor procedure to insert and remove the IUD from the uterus.
  • Small chance it can come out by itself.
  • Small chance of hormonal side-effects such as acne and breast discomfort.
  • Initial up front cost for insertion but works out cheaper than the pill over 5 years.

How are they inserted?

Insertion involves a minor procedure which in total takes about 30 mins. You will be placed in a position similar to having a CST done. A speculum is used to help make visualisation of the cervix easier. Local anaesthetic can be used and we advise all out patients to take pain relief an hour prior to their appointment. The IUD is inserted into the uterus. We recommend you stay in the clinic for at least 15 mins after the procedure to observe you in case you experience any side effects.

Is it painful to have an IUD inserted?

Everyone’s experience of pain is different. In most instances, the procedure involves a brief period of discomfort but is not usually painful. You may experience cramping for 24 hours after similar to a period and again we recommend taking pain relief for that.

What should I do if I am interested in having one inserted?

If you are interested in having an IUD inserted firstly you should book in for a standard consultation. During this time we can have a more detailed discussion to ensure it’s the right choice for you. You will also be examined at this time and swabs taken to rule out any infection. If deemed a suitable method of contraception for you, a prescription will be given to you to obtain the IUD.

IUDs are able to be inserted at Tallowwood Health by Dr Ciara O”Carroll 

How much does it cost?

An IUD insertion will involve 3 consultations:

  •  An initial consult with Dr O’Carroll (This consultation will attract the normal fees based on whether you have a concession card or not)
  • The appointment for the insertion of the IUD. The fee for this appointment is $450, and there is a Medicare rebate available of $75.05 (at the time of writing in Feb 2024)
  • A follow-up consultation to check the position the IUD is needed 6 weeks after the insertion of the IUD. This appointment will have no out-of-pocket costs.

You will be given a script for the IUD at the first consultation. You will need to purchase the IUD from a pharmacy and bring it to the insertion appointment. The cost at a pharmacy is usually approx. $35-$40.

Where can I get further information?

You can find more information on the Family Planning New South Wales Website https://www.fpnsw.org.au/factsheets/individuals/contraception/hormonal-iud

Graphic attribution: 8 March Vectors by Vecteezy