The main difference between hormone intrauterine systems (IUS) and copper intrauterine devices (IUD) is that hormone IUSs have hormones and copper IUDs do not. The hormones in IUSs can have beneficial effects, as well as side effects.
Advantages of hormone IUSs (such as Mirena and Jaydess) compared to copper IUDs:
- Hormone IUSs reduce the flow of periods and may even stop periods completely after a few months. This is particularly useful for women with usually heavy periods. Copper IUDs, on the other hand, may increase the flow and pain of periods especially in the first few months.
Disadvantages of hormone IUSs compared to copper IUDs:
- Hormone IUSs can produce side effects such as acne, headache, breast tenderness, and mood changes because of the hormone contained in them. These usually settle with time. Copper IUDs do not have these side effects because they do not contain hormones.
- Some women, such as those with breast cancer, cervical cancer or womb (uterus) cancer, liver disease, unexplained bleeding between periods or after sex, or arterial disease or a history of serious heart disease or stroke should not use hormone IUSs. Copper IUDs, however, are safe.