Intra-Uterine System (IUS)

Uploaded by SheffieldUHS on 20.12.2009

This is a University of Sheffield health service screencast.
Welcome to this screencast on the contraceptive method called the intra-uterine system.
We'll cover what it is, how it works, how effective it is, its advantages,
and its disadvantages. The intra-uterine system is a member of a group
called the Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (or LARC's for short).
We'll first cover the general features of LARC's first and then go onto talk
specifically about the intra-uterine system thereafter.
There are 4 different types of long acting reversible contraceptives.
The first is the copper intra-uterine device called IUD or copper coil.
Then there is the intrauterine system or IUS. Thirdly there are contraceptive injections.
And lastly there is the contraceptive implant.
LARC's are suited for women for women who want contraception without having to remember
to take it daily or at the time of intercourse.
Their effects are also reversible so there's no long-term effect on your fertility.
It has been found that women who use LARC's have less unwanted pregnancies than
those who use the pill, because the pill is only 99% effective if its used perfectly.
LARC's are particularly suited to those women who
have a body mass index (or BMI) over 30, have diabetes or migraines - with or without aura,
and those who can't take oestrogen-containing contraceptives.
It should be remembered that LARC's do not provide protection against sexually transmitted
infections so use a condom in addition if you think you are at risk.
The intra-uterine system is a small plastic device that's fitted in the uterus.
It slowly releases progestogen. It acts primarly by preventing implantation of the fertilized egg.
Studies show that the intra-uterine system is more than 99% effective.
The advantage of the intra-uterine system is that it gives immediate contraceptive protection
if its inserted within the first 7 days of a period. If not, condoms or abstinence is needed
for the week after insertion. Its also effective for 5 years.
Once its removed, fertility returns back to its previous levels immediately.
The potential disadvantages are as follows -
its likely that you’ll feel discomfort during and after the insertion.
There is also a small risk of the uterus being punctured or perforated during the procedure.
Irregular vaginal bleeding and spotting is common in the first 6 months of use
but by 1 year most women either don’t have a period or have very infrequent bleeds.
There is a higher risk of pelvic infection in the first 20 days following insertion
but this falls back down to your background level thereafter.
If your underlying risk of catching an STI is high and hence your chance of developing
a pelvic infection, you should consider using condoms in addition to the IUS.
You can discuss this with your doctor further.
Expulsion of the device, or when it’s pushed out of the uterus, can occur in up to 1 in 20 women.
This happens mostly in the first year of use and especially during the first 3 months after insertion.
You’ll be given instruction on how you can check for yourself, that the device is still in place.
If the IUS fails, there is a risk that the resulting pregnancy may implant outside of the uterus
– called an ectopic pregnancy however this risk is less than if no contraception was used at all.
It is uncommon for women to discontinue the IUS due to hormonal side effects.
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This is the end of the screencast on the intra-uterine system.
(End of narration)