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What is a hormone-releasing intrauterine device (IUD)?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

The hormone-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped device made of flexible plastic. It is inserted into the uterus, where it releases a low daily dose of a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel. Hormone-releasing IUDs available in the US include Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla. These are available by prescription and must be inserted and removed by a doctor. The hormone-releasing IUD is also known as the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system, or LNG-IUS.

The hormone-releasing IUD can reduce a women's menstrual bleeding and pain. It has been used to treat symptoms related to endometriosis, adenomyosis, and uterine fibroids. It may also prevent endometrial hyperplasia, an abnormal growth of cells in the lining of the uterus. And it may help protect against endometrial cancer.

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A hormone releasing intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T shaped device that sits in the uterus and slowly releases a hormone called levonorgestrel. The device is most commonly used to prevent pregnancy, but can also be used to control heavy periods.

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