Hormone intrauterine devices (IUDs), also known as intrauterine systems (IUS), include the Mirena and Jaydess. Like any other contraceptive, they have their advantages and disadvantages.
- It works for 5 years (Mirena) or 3 years (Jaydess).
- It's one of the most effective forms of contraception available in Malta.
- It does not interrupt sex.
- Your periods can become lighter, shorter and less painful – they may stop completely after the first year of use.
- It's safe to use an IUS if you're breastfeeding.
- It's not affected by other medicines.
- It may be a good option if you cannot take the hormone oestrogen, which is used in the combined contraceptive pill.
- It's possible to get pregnant as soon as the IUS is removed.
- There's no evidence that an IUS will increase the risk of cervical cancer, womb (uterus) cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Your periods may become irregular or stop completely, which may not be suitable for some people.
- Some people experience headaches, acne and breast tenderness after having the IUS fitted due to the hormone contained in it, but these usually settle with time.
- Some people experience changes in mood.
- An uncommon side effect of the IUS is that some people can develop small fluid-filled cysts on the ovaries – these usually disappear without treatment.
- An IUS does not protect you against STIs, so you may need to use condoms as well.
- If you get an infection when you have an IUS fitted, it could lead to a pelvic infection if it's not treated.