New Long-Term Birth Control Kyleena Approved: Here's What You Need To Know

By Angela Laguipo , Sep 20, 2016 05:50 PM EDT

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants a green light for Bayer's long-term birth control intrauterine device (IUD), Kyleena.

"Data show that the use of effective, long-acting birth control methods including intrauterine devices - or IUDs - have helped to reduce unintended pregnancies in the United States but we still have a long way to go," said Dr. Anita L. Nelson, Professor and Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Western University of Health Sciences in California.

"Kyleena is highly effective at preventing pregnancy and may be an appropriate choice for women who want a low-dose, non-daily birth control method," she added.

What Is Kyleena And How Is It Inserted?

Kyleena, a small and flexible T-shaped IUD, can prevent pregnancy for up to five years, the German company announced on Sept. 19.

The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system is expected to be available in October. Kyleena contains 19.5 mg of levonorgestrel and slowly releases it into a woman's uterus, allowing small amounts of the hormone to enter the bloodstream.

A healthcare provider will insert the intrauterine device during an in-office visit. The healthcare provider can also remove the device at any time, depending on the request of the patient.

How Effective Is Kyleena For Birth Control?

The new IUD is expected to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. IUDs work in two ways: first, they can thicken the mucus found on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm. Second, they release hormones that stop the eggs from leaving the ovaries, dubbed as ovulation.

Some women may experience shorter periods of bleeding and spotting, while others may have no periods at all.

Kyleena is a type of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LARC devices are more effective than other contraceptives like patches and pills. In fact, they are as effective as sterilization.

Hormonal IUDs like Kyleena, which releases hormones into the uterus, are also more effective than copper IUDs. 

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