Mirena Poster

Dr Diana Mansour answers your questions

  • Are women concerned about the possibility of side effects associated with a long acting contraceptive?
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Side-effects

All medicines have side-effects, and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are no different. This section provides details on the very common (more than 10 per 100 women) and common side-effects (occurring in 1-10 per 100 women) that you may experience when using a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). If you are concerned about any of the side-effects listed here you should ask your healthcare professional for advice.

Intrauterine system (IUS)

Changes to your periods

More than 10 in every 100 women are likely to experience changes to their periods following placement of the intrauterine system.

The intrauterine system can affect your periods in different ways. You may experience spotting (a small amount of blood loss), and the length of your periods and amount of bleeding may differ1. Overall, there will be a reduction in the number of bleeding days and in the amount of blood lost each month. Some women eventually find that their periods stop altogether1. When the intrauterine system is removed, periods return to normal. (See section on Issues with my periods for further information).

Other side-effects1

Very common and common side-effects

Very common side-effects in more than 1/10 women Common side-effects in more than 1/100 women
  • headache
  • abdominal/pelvic pain
  • vulvovaginits (inflammation of the external genital organs or vagina)
  • genital discharge
  • depressed mood/depression
  • migraine
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • hirsutism (excessive body hair)
  • acne
  • back pain
  • upper genital tract infection
  • ovarian cysts (small fluid-filled sacs that develop in the ovaries that usually disappear on their own but sometimes cause mild abdominal pain. On rare occasions they may lead to more serious problems).
  • dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
  • vaginal discharge
  • breast pain
  • intrauterine contraceptive expelled (complete and partial)

For a comprehensive list of side-effects, including those that are uncommon and rare, as well information on specific areas of concern, go to the side-effects: intrauterine system (IUS) page.

Note: The intrauterine system (IUS) is also known as the ‘hormonal coil’.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

Changes to your periods

There may well be changes to your periods following placement of the intrauterine device (also known as ‘the coil’ or copper IUD). The number of bleeding and spotting (a small amount of blood loss) days may increase. Additionally, bleeding may be heavier2. (See section on Issues with my periods for further information).

Other side-effects include:

  • abdominal pain (for a short time after placement of the intrauterine device)
  • allergic skin reactions
  • anemia (a reduction of the amount of iron in the blood) due to increased menstrual blood loss

For further information on other areas of concern go to the side effects: intrauterine device (IUD) page.

Note: The intrauterine device (IUD) is also known as ‘the coil’ or copper IUD.

3-monthly contraceptive injection

Changes to your periods

A 3–monthly contraceptive injection may cause a variety of changes to your periods. (See section on Issues with my periods for further information).

Other side-effects3

Very common and common side-effects

Very common side-effects in more than 1/10 women Common side-effects in more than 1/100 women
  • abdominal pain or discomfort
  • headaches
  • bloating
  • nausea
  • vaginitis
  • appetite decrease or increase
  • backpain
  • dizziness
  • amenorrhea (absence of periods)
  • breast pain/tenderness
  • intermenstrual bleeding
  • menometrorrhagia (excessive and prolonged uterine bleeding occurring at irregular, frequent intervals)
  • menorrhagia (abnormally long and heavy periods)
  • pelvic pain
  • leucorrhoea (white discharge from the vagina)
  • hot flushes
  • acne
  • alopecia (loss of hair)
  • rash
  • fatigue
  • injection site reactions (such as pain or abscess)
  • asthenia (loss or lack of strength)
  • paraesthesia (abnormal skin sensation)
  • anorgasmia (unable to achieve orgasm)
  • depression
  • nervousness
  • emotional disturbance
  • libido decreased
  • mood disorder
  • irritability
  • insomnia

For a comprehensive list of possible side-effects, including uncommon and rare, as well as information on specific areas of concern, go to the side-effects: 3-monthly contraceptive injection page.

Contraceptive implant

Changes to your periods

You may experience a variety of changes to your periods after having a contraceptive implant, such as irregular bleeding4. (See section on Issues with my periods for further information).

Other side-effects4

Very common and common side-effects

Very common side-effects in more than 1/10 women Common side-effects in more than 1/100 women
  • acne
  • headache
  • increase in body weight
  • breast tenderness
  • pain and infection of the vagina
  • hair loss
  • dizziness
  • depressive moods
  • emotional lability
  • nervousness
  • decreased sexual drive
  • increased appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • gas in stomach and intestines
  • painful menstruation
  • decrease in body weight
  • influenza-like symptoms
  • pain
  • fatigue
  • hot flushes
  • implant site pain
  • implant site reaction
  • ovarian cysts (small fluid-filled sacs that develop in the ovaries that usually disappear on their own but sometimes cause mild abdominal pain. On rare occasions they may lead to more serious problems).

For a comprehensive list of side-effects, including those that are uncommon, as well as information on specific areas of concern, go to the side-effects: contraceptive implant page.