Overview of Kyleena IUD

Kyleena is an intrauterine device (IUD)—a reversible form of long-term birth control. By slowly releasing hormones into the uterus, the Kyleena IUD prevents 98.6% of pregnancies for five years after it's placed.

This article will go over what you should know before getting the Kyleena IUD. It explains what the IUD is (and is not) used for, Kyleena's side effects and risks, and how the Kyleena IUD compares to other IUDs.

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

How Kyleena Works

The Kyleena IUD is a soft, flexible plastic T-shaped frame. The device prevents pregnancy by slowly releasing a type of progestin called levonorgestrel into the uterus. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone that is used in many types of birth control pills (oral contraceptives).

The IUD contains 19.5 milligrams (mg) of levonorgestrel. It releases 17.5 micrograms (mcg) of the hormone per day, beginning 24 days after it is put in.

Levonorgestrel is thought to prevent pregnancy in three ways:

  • By thickening the mucus in your cervix, which prevents sperm from entering your uterus
  • By stopping sperm from moving toward your egg, which prevents sperm from fertilizing it
  • By thinning your uterine lining, which makes it less likely for an egg to attach to your uterus

Kyleena is placed in the uterus by a qualified healthcare provider and can be left in place for five years before needing to be replaced to ensure pregnancy protection continues. However, you can have your provider remove Kyleena sooner if you want to get pregnant.

Is the Kyleena IUD Right for Me?

The Kyleena IUD is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by people with a uterus whether or not they have had children.

Kyleena and other IUDs are a good option for people who want a long-acting, reversible form of birth control—especially if they don’t want to take a daily birth control pill.

Even though you can get a Kyleena IUD whether you have had a baby or not, the IUD insertion can be a little more uncomfortable for your cervix if you've never been pregnant and given birth vaginally.

People Who Should Not Get Kyleena

Some people cannot get Kyleena or other types of IUDs, including people who:

  • Are pregnant or think they could be pregnant
  • Have a condition that affects the shape of their uterus
  • Have acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or a history of PID
  • Have cancer of the uterus or cervix, or suspect they may
  • Have breast cancer, or suspect they may
  • Have uterine bleeding or an undiagnosed uterine condition

While discussing IUDs with your provider, let them know if you have had an infection in your reproductive tract within the last three months.

You also need to tell your provider if you have had an infection that occurred before, during, or after an abortion (septic abortion), or postpartum endometritis (an infection of the mucus that lines your endometrium during pregnancy).

Can Kyleena Be Used for Emergency Contraception?

IUDs cannot be used for emergency contraception after sexual intercourse. If you think you could be pregnant, tell your healthcare provider when talking to them about your birth control options.

How Kyleena Compares to Other IUDs

The Kyleena IUD works the same way as other IUDs, like Mirena and Skyla. However, there are also some differences between these three hormone-releasing IUDs.

All three IUDs are highly effective birth control methods. Each one can be inserted into your uterus and can be removed at any time. Your fertility should quickly return once the IUDs are 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
98.6% effective Over 99% effective Over 99% effective
Labeling states that Kyleena can be used whether or not a woman has had a child Labeling states that Mirena can be used whether or not a woman has had a 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 of Kyleena

Kyleena has some advantages over other forms of birth control, including other IUDs.

  • Kyleena provides continuous pregnancy prevention for up to five years.
  • Kyleena is hassle-free—once inserted, you don’t have to do anything other than check for the strings to make sure the device remains in place.
  • The Kyleena IUD is smaller in size and has a slimmer insertion tube than other IUDs, which 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.
  • Kyleena is completely reversible, and your fertility rapidly comes back once it's taken out. You may become pregnant as soon as Kyleena is taken out. About seven out of 10 people trying to get pregnant will conceive within 12 months of having Kyleena removed.
  • Kyleena is a good alternative if you cannot use estrogen-based birth control.
  • If you have a smaller uterus (such as with young teens and perimenopausal people), Kyleena might be better tolerated than other IUDs.
  • Neither you nor your partner should be able to feel Kyleena during sexual intercourse.
  • Kyleena is an eco-friendly birth control method.
  • Kyleena can be used if you are breastfeeding.

Disadvantages of Kyleena 

Most people do not have any problems adjusting to an IUD, but you may experience pain, bleeding, or dizziness during and/or after your Kyleena IUD has been put in.

If these symptoms do not stop within 30 minutes after insertion, there's a possibility that your Kyleena IUD was not inserted correctly, so tell your provider right away.

Some people have uterine cramping or a backache for several days or even weeks after their Kyleena IUD was inserted. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects you experience, especially if they are not getting better or are getting worse.

What to Expect During Kyleena Insertion

You have a few options for having the Kyleena IUD inserted:

  • During the first seven days of your menstrual cycle
  • Right after giving birth (once the placenta is out)
  • Immediately after a first- or second-trimester miscarriage or abortion

When it's placed within these timeframes, Kyleena is immediately effective. You will not need to use any back-up contraception.

However, if you have your Kyleena IUD inserted at any other time during your menstrual cycle, you will need to use another contraceptive method (such as spermicide or external or internal condoms) during the first week after having Kyleena put in. Pregnancy protection from the IUD 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 Kyleena inserted.

Side Effects of Kyleena

You may experience side effects after having your Kyleena IUD inserted. Most of the time, these will go away after the first few weeks but some can last for months.

The most commonly reported Kyleena IUD side effects are:

  • Inflammation or infection of the outer part of your vagina (vulvovaginitis)
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Increased bleeding
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Acne or greasy skin
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)or uterine spasms
  • Breast pain or discomfort

Does Kyleena Cause Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are diagnosed in about 22% of Kyleena users, but they usually disappear on their own within one to two months.

Does Kyleena Change Your Period?

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

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

Over time, your periods will likely become shorter and lighter. The progestin in Kyleena thins your uterine lining, which means menstrual bleeding can decrease the longer your Kyleena IUD has been in place.

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

Kyleena Risks and Complications

Serious complications from using Kyleena are very rare. However, IUDs do come with risks, including:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • A severe, life-threatening blood infection (sepsis)
  • Perforation of the uterus or expulsion of the IUD

Can Kyleena Come Out?

If your Kyleena IUD comes out on its own (expulsion), you probably won't notice. It's very important to feel up against your cervix for the IUD strings regularly. Checking for the strings is the only way for you to know that your IUD is still in place.

If your Kyleena IUD has become partially or fully expelled, call your healthcare provider right away and use a backup method of contraception.

If the IUD has only come out part way, do not try to remove it yourself. Wait until you can see your provider and have it removed safely.

Your provider will most likely perform a pregnancy test to make sure that you are not pregnant before they put in a new IUD.

Does Kyleena Protect Against Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Kyleena does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). While it will help prevent pregnancy, you still need to practice safe sex to avoid STIs.

That said, using Kyleena does not increase your risk for STIs compared to what your risk would be if you didn't have an IUD.

Can Kyleena Cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Having an IUD inserted puts you at higher risk of an infection of your reproductive organs (pelvic inflammatory disease or PID). You're also more likely to get PID if you have an STI when Kyleena is put in.

You should not get Kyleena inserted if you currently have PID or if your provider thinks you might have it. You should also not use Kyleena if you have had PID in the past, unless you have a had a normal pregnancy after you were diagnosed with PID.

If you have symptoms of PID after IUD insertion—including persistent low abdominal pain, irregular bleeding, foul-smelling discharge, or sores in your genital area—tell your provider right away.

How Much Does Kyleena Cost?

Kyleena costs more than other forms of birth control. The cost of the exam, the Kyleena IUD, the insertion procedure, and follow-up visits can add up to between $500-$900.

Medicaid may cover these costs. You can also check with your health insurance provider to see how much they will pay for. Coverage for Kyleena should be covered with no out-of-pocket costs by all non-grandfathered insurance plans.

How Effective Is Kyleena for Contraception?

Reversible, long-acting contraception like the Kyleena IUD is over 99% effective. This means that out of every 100 people who use the Kyleena IUD in one year, less than 1 will become pregnant with typical use as well as with perfect use. The rate over five years is 98.6%.

Most pregnancies in people using Kyleena happen because the device came out without them realizing it.

The chance of pregnancy is very low while using Kyleena, but it can still happen. If you become pregnant while your Kyleena IUD is still in place, contact your provider as soon as you realize that you’re pregnant. There are risks of getting pregnant with an IUD in place.

Getting Kyleena Removed

You'll need to have your Kyleena IUD removed after it's been in place for five years, after which time it's no longer as effective for preventing pregnancy. You can have another Kyleena IUD inserted when you go in to have your old one removed.

You can also have your Kyleena IUD removed at any time before the five-year use period ends if you decide that you want to get pregnant.

Never try to remove Kyleena by yourself. You will need to make an appointment with your provider to have it taken out.

If you want to switch to a new birth control method and have continuous pregnancy protection after you stop using Kyleena, schedule your IUD removal during the first seven days of your period and immediately start using 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 before having your IUD taken out.

If you have had sexual intercourse without using an external condom, internal condom, spermicide, or sponge within five days before having your Kyleena removed, you could get pregnant once the IUD is out.


Kyleena is a hormonal IUD that releases a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel into the uterus, which makes it nearly impossible for sperm to reach or fertilize an egg. Kyleena is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to five years.

Kyleena can have mild side effects, such as painful menstrual cramps, but they should go away within weeks. All IUDs, including Kyleena, also come with risks and are not right for everyone.

IUDs are also not meant to be used as emergency contraception. If there is any chance you could be pregnant, either before you get an IUD or while you have one, tell your provider right away.

A Word From Verywell

The Kyleena IUD is a safe, reliable, long-term birth control method. If you're not sure if you can get an IUD or if it will be the best contraception for you, talk to your provider. They can help you decide if Kyleena is a good option or if there's another birth control method that's better suited to your needs.

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. Both IUDs are smaller than Mirena, which is 32 millimeters wide and 32 millimeters long.

  • How will Kyleena affect my period?

    Right after you have Kyleena put in, your period may become irregular and may even be heavier or longer than it usually is.

    Over time, your periods will likely become lighter and shorter. After the first year that you have Kyleena, you may stop having periods.

  • Is there a weight limit for Kyleena?

    Kyleena does not have a set weight limit and was tested on people at a range of weights. Research on IUDs containing levonorgestrel, including Kyleena, found no difference in pregnancy prevention or side effects in people who are overweight or obese.

  • Does it hurt to have Kyleena inserted or removed?

    The insertion and removal of an IUD can cause some discomfort and pain. It is sometimes recommended to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, prior to insertion or removal. However, since Kyleena is smaller than other IUDs, some people find it's less uncomfortable.

  • Does Kyleena IUD cause weight gain?

    Kyleena should not cause weight gain or weight loss. Weight changes are not listed as a side effect of the Kyleena IUD.

  • How common is acne with Kyleena?

    Acne or oily skin can be a side effect of IUDs, including Kyleena.

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.
  1. Bayer. A closer look at Kyleena.

  2. National Library of Medicine: DailyMed. Kyleena - levonorgestrel intrauterine device [label].

  3. Bayer. Frequently asked questions about Kyleena.

  4. Costescu DJ. Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems for long-acting contraception: current perspectives, safety, and patient counseling. Int J Womens Health. 2016;8:589-598. doi:10.2147/IJWH.S99705

  5. Bayer. What to expect when getting Kyleena.

  6. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Kyleena Prescribing Information.

  7. Bayer. Kyleena Dosing and Efficacy.

Additional Reading

By Dawn Stacey, PhD, LMHC
Dawn Stacey, PhD, LMHC, is a published author, college professor, and mental health consultant with over 15 years of counseling experience.