The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system: Safety, efficacy, and patient acceptability
Megan N Beatty, Paul D Blumenthal
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Abstract: The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) is a safe, effective and acceptable form of contraception used by over 150 million women worldwide. It also has a variety of noncontraceptive benefits including treatment for menorrhagia, endometriosis, and endometrial hyperplasia. The LNG-IUS has also been used in combination with estrogen for hormone replacement therapy and as an alternative to hysterectomy. Overall, the system is very well tolerated and patient satisfaction is quite high when proper education regarding possible side effects is provided. However, despite all of the obvious benefits of the LNG-IUS, utilization rates remain quite low in the developed countries, especially in the United States. This is thought to be largely secondary to the persistent negative impressions from the Dalkon Shield intrauterine experience in the 1970s. This history continues to negatively influence the opinions of both patients and health care providers with regards to intrauterine devices. Providers should resolve to educate themselves and their patients on the current indications and uses for this device, as it, and intrauterine contraception in general, remains a largely underutilized approach to a variety of women’s health issues.
Keywords: Mirena®, levonorgestrel-releasing, intrauterine system, intrauterine contraceptive device
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