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Mirena vs. Skyla

Are Mirena and Skyla the Same Thing?

Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device) and Skyla (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) are forms of birth control that are hormone-releasing systems placed in your uterus (intra-uterine device, or IUD) to prevent pregnancy.

A difference is Mirena is effective for up to 5 years, while Skyla is effective for up to 3 years.

Mirena is also used for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in women.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Mirena?

Side effects of Mirena include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Skyla?

Common side effects of Skyla include:

  • pain,
  • bleeding,
  • dizziness,
  • inflammation or itching of the vulva or vagina,
  • abdominal or pelvic pain,
  • irregular menstrual periods,
  • changes in menstrual periods,
  • acne,
  • dry skin,
  • ovarian cysts,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • bloating,
  • weight gain,
  • depression,
  • mood changes,
  • headache (including migraine),
  • changes in hair growth,
  • hair loss,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • breast tenderness/pain/discomfort,
  • vaginal discharge,
  • genital infection,
  • back pain, and
  • hypersensitivity reactions (rash, hives, skin swelling).

SLIDESHOW

Choosing Your Birth Control Method See Slideshow

What is Mirena?

What is Mirena?

  • Mirena is a hormone-releasing system placed in your uterus by your healthcare provider to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.
  • Mirena can also lessen menstrual blood loss in women who have heavy menstrual flow and who also want to use a birth control method that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
  • Mirena can be removed by your healthcare provider at any time.
  • Mirena is recommended for women who have had at least one child.

Mirena is a small flexible plastic T-shaped system that slowly releases a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel that is often used in birth control pills. Because Mirena releases levonorgestrel into your uterus, only small amounts of the hormone enter your blood. Mirena does not contain estrogen.

Two thin threads are attached to the stem of Mirena. The threads are the only part of Mirena you can feel when Mirena is in your uterus; however, unlike a tampon string, the threads do not extend outside your body.

What is Skyla?

What is Skyla?

  • Skyla is a hormone-releasing system placed in your uterus by your healthcare provider to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years.
  • Skyla can be removed by your healthcare provider at any time.
  • Skyla can be used whether or not you have had a child.

Skyla is a small, flexible plastic T-shaped system that slowly releases a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel that is often used in birth control pills. Because Skyla releases levonorgestrel into your uterus, only small amounts of the hormone enter your blood. Skyla does not contain estrogen.

Two thin threads are attached to the stem of Skyla. The threads are the only part of Skyla you can feel when Skyla is in your uterus; however, unlike a tampon string, the threads do not extend outside your body.

What if I need birth control for more than 3 years?

Skyla must be removed after 3 years. Your healthcare provider can place a new Skyla during the same office visit if you choose to continue using Skyla.

What if I want to stop using Skyla?

Skyla is intended for long-term use but you can stop using Skyla at any time by asking your healthcare provider to remove it. You could become pregnant as soon as Skyla is removed, so you should use another method of birth control if you do not want to become pregnant.

What if I change my mind about birth control and want to become pregnant in less than 3 years?

Your healthcare provider can remove Skyla at any time. You may become pregnant as soon as Skyla is removed. About 3 out of 4 women who want to become pregnant will become pregnant sometime in the first year after Skyla is removed.

How does Skyla work?

Skyla may work in several ways including thickening cervical mucus, inhibiting sperm movement, reducing sperm survival, and thinning the lining of your uterus. It is not known exactly how these actions work together to prevent pregnancy.

What Drugs Interact With Mirena?

Mirena may interact with insulin, blood thinners, or steroids

What Drugs Interact With Skyla?

No drug-drug interaction studies have been conducted with Skyla.

QUESTION

Which of the following are methods for contraception? See Answer

How Should Mirena Be Taken?

Mirena contains 52 mg of levonorgestrel (LNG). Initially, LNG is released at a dose rate of approximately 20 mcg/day. This rate decreases progressively to half that value after 5 years. Mirena must be removed by the end of the fifth year and can be replaced at the time of removal with a new Mirena if continued contraceptive protection is desired. Drug interactions and warnings include potential interactions with insulin, warfarin (Coumadin) and steroids. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Mirena should not be used during pregnancy. This device can cause severe infection, miscarriage, premature birth, or death of the mother if it is left in place during pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while using the Mirena intrauterine system. Small amounts of progestins such as those in Mirena pass into breast milk. If you have recently had a baby and are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least 6 weeks old before you start using Mirena.

How Should Skyla Be Taken?

Skyla is available as one sterile intrauterine system with a 13.5 mg levonorgestrel dose. Skyla must be removed or replaced after 3 years. Other drugs may interact with Skyla. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Patients should avoid grapefruit juice while using Skyla. Women who have a current pelvic infection, get infections easily, or have certain cancers should not use Skyla. Pregnancy while using Skyla is uncommon but can be life threatening and may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility. Progestins, hormones found in Skyla, do pass into breast milk. No side effects of Skyla have been found to affect breastfeeding or the health, growth, or development of infants.

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References
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

SOURCE:

RxList. Mirena Medication Guide.

https://www.rxlist.com/mirena-drug.htm#medguide

RxList. Skyla Side Effects Drug Center.

https://www.rxlist.com/skyla-side-effects-drug-center.htm
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