Overview of Kyleena IUD

Kyleena is an intrauterine device (IUD). It is manufactured by Bayer, so it's part of the same family of IUDs as Mirena and Skyla. The Kyleena IUD consists of a soft, flexible polyethylene (plastic) frame in the shape of a T. Kyleena must be inserted and removed by a qualified healthcare professional.

As a way to prevent pregnancy, this IUD slowly releases the progestin levonorgestrel into the uterus over a period of five years. Kyleena is FDA-approved for use by women whether or not they have had children.

If you're thinking about using Kyleena, understanding the facts may help you make a more confident decision. It's normal to wonder about some of the questions below.

Initial Side Effects of Using a Kyleena IUD
Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee

Uses

The Kyleena IUD helps to prevent pregnancy by getting in the way of sperm. This makes it hard for the sperm to fertilize an egg. So, basically, Kyleena hinders the movement of sperm.

The Kyleena IUD also has progestin—this hormone causes your cervical mucus to thicken, thins the lining of your uterus, and lowers the survival of sperm. Kyleena may work to prevent pregnancy in ways that the pill does, too.

The Kyleena IUD contains 19.5 milligrams (mg) of levonorgestrel. It releases 17.5 micrograms (mcg) of this hormone per day. After one year, this rate slowly declines to 9.8 micrograms daily, and then to 7.4 micrograms per day.

Who Should Get It?

Kyleena is for women who want to a long-acting, reversible form of birth control.

It can be used regardless of whether or not they have already given birth to a child, though insertion may be less uncomfortable for women who have not had a vaginal delivery before.

IUDs are not recommended for all women, however, so make sure you meet the criteria for being a good candidate and talk to your healthcare provider about any potential risks.

Placement Timing

You should have your Kyleena IUD inserted some time during the first seven days of your menstrual cycle or right after childbirth (once the placenta is out). You can also have Kyleena placed immediately after a first- or second-trimester miscarriage or abortion.

Kyleena is immediately effective if inserted in these timeframes, so you will not need to use any back-up contraception.

If you have your Kyleena IUD inserted at any other time during your monthly cycle, you will need to use another contraceptive method (such as spermicide or external or internal condoms) during the first week after having Kyleena inserted. Pregnancy protection will begin after seven days.

If you have or are suspected to have an infection in your uterus, you'll need to wait for it to clear before you can get your IUD.

Compared to Other IUDs

The Kyleena IUD works the same way as both Mirena and Skyla. There are some differences between these three hormone-releasing IUDs. All three of these IUDs are highly effective birth control methods.

They are inserted into your uterus and can be removed at any time. Your fertility should quickly return once any of these IUDs is removed.

Kyleena Mirena Skyla
Contains 19.5 mg of the progestin, levonorgestrel; releases about 17.5 mcg per day. Contains 52 mg of the progestin, levonorgestrel; releases around 20 mcg daily Contains 13.5 mg of the progestin, levonorgestrel; releases about 14 mcg each day.
Measures 28 millimeters (mm) horizontally and 30 mm vertically Measures 32 mm horizontally and 32 mm vertically Measures 28 mm horizontally and 30 mm vertically
Tube used to insert Kyleena is 3.8 mm in diameter Tube used to insert Mirena is 4.4 mm in diameter Tube used to insert Skyla is 3.8 mm in diameter
Can be used for up to 5 years Can be used for up to 7 years Can be used for up to 3 years
Over 99% effective 99.8% effective 99.1% effective
Labeling states that Kyleena can be used whether or not a woman has had a child Labeling states that Mirena is recommended for women who have had at least one child Labeling states that Skyla can be used whether or not a woman has had a child
12% chance of being period-free after 1 year 20% chance of being period-free after 1 year 6% chance of being period-free after 1 year
Can cause periods to be lighter and shorter Can cause periods to be lighter. Due to the higher progestin level, this IUD is also FDA-approved to help treat heavy and painful periods for up to 5 years Can cause periods to be shorter and lighter

Advantages

These points are in favor of Kyleena:

  • Kyleena provides continuous pregnancy prevention for up to five years.
  • It is hassle-free. Once inserted, you don’t really have anything else to do.
  • The Kyleena IUD is smaller in size and has a slimmer insertion tube than Mirena. This may make the insertion process less painful than a Mirena or ParaGard IUD insertion.
  • Kyleena can be removed anytime within its five-year use period.
  • It is completely reversible, and your fertility rapidly returns. You may become pregnant as soon as Kyleena is removed. About seven out of 10 women trying to become pregnant will become pregnant sometime within 12 months after Kyleena is removed.
  • The Kyleena IUD is FDA-approved for women who either have or have never had children.
  • Kyleena may be a good IUD option if you have only had Cesarean deliveries.
  • Kyleena is a good alternative if you cannot use estrogen-based birth control.
  • If you have a smaller uterus (such as young teens and perimenopausal women), Kyleena may be better tolerated than other IUDs.
  • Neither you nor your partner should be able to feel Kyleena during sex.
  • Kyleena is an eco-friendly birth control method.
  • Kyleena can be used if you are breastfeeding.

Disadvantages 

Most women do not have any problems adjusting to an IUD. But you may experience some pain, bleeding, or dizziness during and/or after your Kyleena IUD has been inserted. If these symptoms do not stop within 30 minutes after insertion, there could be a possibility that your Kyleena IUD was not inserted correctly.

Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider about any side effects you experience. Some women have bad cramping or backache for several days or weeks after their Kyleena IUD is inserted.

Side Effects

You may experience side effects after having your Kyleena IUD inserted. Most of the time, these will go away after the first few weeks to months. The most commonly reported Kyleena IUD side effects include:

  • Inflammation or infection of the outer part of your vagina (vulvovaginitis)
  • Ovarian cysts (diagnosed in about 22% of Kyleena users, these usually disappear on their own within one to two months)
  • Increased bleeding
  • Stomach and/or pelvic pain
  • Acne or seborrhea (greasy skin)
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps) or uterine spasms
  • Breast pain or discomfort

Changes to Your Period

During the first three to six months after insertion of your Kyleena IUD, you may have a higher chance of experiencing bleeding and spotting. Your period may become irregular, and/or your periods may be heavier or longer than usual.

Although breakthrough bleeding and spotting will most likely decrease within the first three months after insertion, your periods may continue to be irregular. 

Over time, your periods will likely become shorter and lighter. Because the progestin in Kyleena thins your uterine lining, bleeding may decrease the longer your Kyleena IUD has been in place.

Your periods may stop altogether. About 12% of women stop having periods after using Kyleena for one year.

Risks and Complications

Serious complications with Kyleena are very rare. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if any problems occur. Some more serious side effects include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Sepsis (severe, life-threatening infection)
  • Perforation or expulsion

Some side effects may be similar to other IUDs as well.

Expulsion

If your Kyleena IUD comes out on its own, there is a good possibility that you won't even notice. This is why it is important to feel for the strings—since this is the only way for you to know that your Kyleena is still in place.

If your Kyleena IUD has become partially or fully expelled, contact your healthcare provider right away (and use a backup method of contraception). If it has been partially expelled, do not try to remove it yourself.

Your healthcare provider will most likely perform a pregnancy test to make sure that you are not pregnant before inserting a new Kyleena IUD.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

You have no greater risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by having Kyleena in place than not having an IUD.

However, you should be aware that Kyleena offers no protection against STIs either.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

You are at a higher risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of your reproductive organs, with an IUD insertion. You may be even more likely to get pelvic inflammatory disease if you have an STI at the time Kyleena is inserted.

You should not get Kyleena inserted if you currently have PID or if it is suspected. You should also not use Klyeena if you have had PID in the past, unless you have a had a normal pregnancy after your PID diagnosis.

If you have symptoms of PID or other concerning symptoms after IUD insertion—including persistent low abdominal pain, irregular bleeding, foul-smelling discharge, or sores in your genital area—follow up with your healthcare provider.

Costs

Kyleena has a higher upfront cost than other birth control methods. The cost of the exam, the Kyleena IUD, insertion, and follow-up visits can cost around $500-$900.

Medicaid may possibly cover these costs. You can also check with your health insurance provider, because coverage for Kyleena should be covered with no out-of-pocket costs by all non-grandfathered insurance plans.

Effectiveness

This reversible, long-acting contraceptive method is over 99% effective. This means that out of every 100 women who use the Kyleena IUD in one year, less than 1 will become pregnant with typical use as well as with perfect use.

Most pregnancies in women using Kyleena happen because the device came out without the user realizing it. Even though while using Kyleena the chance of pregnancy is very low, it can happen.

If you become pregnant while your Kyleena IUD is still in place, contact your healthcare provider as soon as you realize that you're pregnant—since there can be possible risks associated with this type of pregnancy.

Removal

You can have your Kyleena IUD removed at any time before the five-year use period ends. You should have your Kyleena IUD removed after your five years are up. It won't disappear or dissolve into your body. You can choose to have another Kyleena IUD inserted during the same visit.

You should never try to remove Kyleena by yourself. There is a small chance that your Kyleena IUD may come out on its own—but, more likely, you will need to schedule an appointment to have it taken out.

If you want to switch to a new birth control method (and have continuous pregnancy protection) after stopping Kyleena, schedule your IUD removal to take place during the first seven days of your period and immediately start your new method.

If you have your Kyleena removed at any other time during your menstrual cycle, begin your new contraceptive method at least seven days prior to having your Kyleena removed.

If you have had sex without using an external condom, internal condom, spermicide, or the sponge within five days before having your Kyleena removed, you may be at risk for getting pregnant after your IUD is removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which IUD is the smallest—Kyleena, Mirena, or Skyla? 

Kyleena and Skyla IUDs are the same sizes—28 millimeters wide and 30 millimeters long—making them both smaller than Mirena, which is 32 millimeters wide and 32 millimeters long.

How will Kyleena affect my period? 

Initially, after Kyleena insertion, your period may become irregular and may even be heavier or longer than you are used to. Over time, however, your periods will likely become lighter and shorter, or may stop altogether after the first year.

Is there a weight limit for Kyleena?

There is no weight limit for Kyleena. Tests of IUDs containing levonorgestrel, such as Kyleena, found no difference in pregnancy prevention or side effects in women who are overweight or obese compared to women who have a normal body mass index (BMI). 

How long is the Kyleena IUD good for? 

Kyleena prevents pregnancy for five years. After five years, it should be removed and can be replaced at the same time with a new one.

Does it hurt to have Kyleena inserted or removed? 

Insertion and removal of an IUD can cause some discomfort and pain. It is sometimes recommended to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, prior to insertion or removal.

Does Kyleena IUD cause weight gain? 

No, Kyleena should not cause weight gain. Similarly, Kyleena should not cause weight loss. Weight fluctuation is not listed as a side effect of Kyleena.

A Word From Verywell

Kyleena and other IUDs can offer a safe, reliable birth control method if you're a good candidate. Remember that there are multiple birth control options available so choose one that's right for your situation.

The options can undoubtedly seem confusing, especially if details about how different methods work are fuzzy. But once you do your research and speak with your healthcare provider, you can feel confident choosing one that meets your needs.

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7 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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