Kyleena is a prescription birth control device that contains the drug levonorgestrel. It’s FDA-approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age. (Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant.)

Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are small devices that are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Levonorgestrel, Kyleena’s active drug, belongs to a group of drugs called progestins. (Progestins are lab-created forms of the hormone progesterone.) Kyleena prevents pregnancy by releasing levonorgestrel into your uterus.

Each Kyleena IUD is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. But after 5 years, it’s no longer effective. Your doctor can remove Kyleena from your uterus after it’s no longer effective, or whenever you’d like to stop using it within the 5-year period. After 5 years, you can ask your doctor to replace it with another Kyleena IUD if desired.

Kyleena can be used by both females who haven’t been pregnant in the past and those who have.

Effectiveness

In clinical studies, Kyleena was effective in preventing pregnancy. For example, the 5-year pregnancy rate for adult females who used Kyleena was 1.45 pregnancies in every 100 women. In other words, Kyleena prevented pregnancy for 5 years in 98.6% of women who used it.

To learn more about the effectiveness of Kyleena, see the “Kyleena for birth control” section below.

Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel. It’s available only as a brand-name medication. Kyleena doesn’t currently come in generic form. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.)

Kyleena can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while using Kyleena. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Kyleena, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Kyleena, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Kyleena can include:*

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Kyleena. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or visit Kyleena’s patient brochure.
† This mild side effect is discussed further in the “Side effect details” section below.
‡ Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Kyleena aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Blood clots. Symptoms can include:
    • pain in your chest, arm, or leg
    • skin redness or warmth
    • swelling of your arm or leg
    • trouble breathing
  • Increased blood pressure, which may not cause any symptoms except in severe cases. Symptoms of severe high blood pressure can include:
    • chest pain
    • confusion
    • headache
    • trouble breathing
    • urinating less than usual
    • weakness in your arms, legs, or face
    • vision changes, such as loss of vision or blurry vision
  • Pelvic infection, which can lead to a more serious condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Symptoms of PID can include:
    • lower belly pain
    • chills
    • vaginal discharge that looks or smells different than usual
    • unusual vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding that occurs during sex, between periods, or lasts longer or is heavier than usual
  • Perforation (when an IUD pokes into the wall of your uterus), which may not always cause symptoms. But possible symptoms of perforation can include:
    • lower belly pain
    • vaginal bleeding
  • Severe infection that leads to sepsis (a life threatening response to infection by your immune system). Symptoms of sepsis can include:
    • chills or shivering
    • confusion
    • severe pain
    • sweaty or clammy skin
    • trouble breathing
  • Stroke. Symptoms can include:
    • confusion
    • trouble seeing, speaking, or walking
    • weakness in your face
    • weakness in your arm or leg, which usually occurs on just one side of your body
  • Allergic reaction.*
  • Depression or anxiety.*

* This serious side effect is discussed further in the “Side effect details” section below.
† Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Side effects in children

Kyleena is approved for use in females of childbearing age. Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant. It begins when she gets her first period, which typically happens around 12 years of age.

However, clinical studies of Kyleena didn’t include females who were younger than 18 years of age. So it’s not known whether side effects of Kyleena in adolescents are similar to those in adults using the drug.

If you have questions about side effects of Kyleena given your age, talk with your doctor.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction while using Kyleena. But it’s not known how often allergic reactions occur in people who use Kyleena.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Kyleena. But call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Acne

Some people using Kyleena may experience acne. Symptoms of acne can include skin lesions, such as:

In clinical studies of adult females who used Kyleena:

  • 14.1% to 15% had acne
  • 2.3% stopped using Kyleena because of acne

The percentage of women who had acne while using drugs other than Kyleena during these studies isn’t known.

If you’re concerned about acne while you’re using Kyleena, talk with your doctor. They may recommend treatment options to help reduce your acne. Or they may suggest a birth control method other than Kyleena for you.

Cramps

It’s possible to have cramps or painful periods while you’re using Kyleena. In clinical studies of adult females who used Kyleena:

  • 10% had both cramps and painful periods
  • 2.4% had cramps
  • 8% had painful periods
  • 1.3% stopped using Kyleena because of cramps or painful periods

It’s not known how many women had cramps or painful periods while using drugs other than Kyleena in these studies.

Keep in mind that cramps may occur while Kyleena is being inserted into your uterus. And you may continue to have cramps for several minutes after Kyleena has been placed. It’s also possible to have occasional cramps or painful periods during the first several months after Kyleena was inserted.

While you’re using Kyleena, tell your doctor right away if you have severe cramps that are bothersome or don’t go away. This may be a sign that Kyleena isn’t positioned correctly inside your uterus. Your doctor may need to examine you and determine if Kyleena needs to be adjusted or removed.

Depression or anxiety

Some people have had symptoms of depression while using Kyleena. Symptoms of depression may include:

  • changes in your appetite, such as eating more or less than usual
  • fatigue (lack of energy)
  • irritability (feeling annoyed or agitated)
  • lethargy (feeling sluggish)
  • loss of interest in usual activities
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping

In clinical studies of adult women using Kyleena, up to 4.4% had symptoms of depression. It’s not known how many women had symptoms of depression while taking drugs other than Kyleena in these studies.

Anxiety wasn’t reported in clinical studies of Kyleena. However, anxiety and depression can cause similar symptoms in some people. In addition to those listed above, symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • feelings of worry
  • nausea
  • nervousness

If you have any symptoms of depression or anxiety while you’re using Kyleena, tell your doctor right away. They may suggest ways to help improve your symptoms.

Bleeding or brown discharge

During the first several months after Kyleena is placed into your uterus, you may have brown vaginal discharge. It’s also possible to have vaginal bleeding between periods. At first, the vaginal bleeding may be heavier than usual. But it typically lessens over time.

Of adult females using Kyleena during clinical studies:

  • 7.9% to 8% had increased vaginal bleeding
  • 4.5% had vaginal discharge
  • 4.5% stopped using Kyleena because of increased bleeding

It’s not known how many women had bleeding or brown vaginal discharge while using drugs other than Kyleena in these studies.

In some cases, vaginal bleeding or discharge can indicate serious side effects of Kyleena. These side effects include pelvic infection or uterine perforation. (With perforation, the IUD* pokes into the wall of your uterus.)

Because vaginal bleeding and discharge can be signs of serious side effects, it’s important to call your doctor right away if you:

  • continue to have heavy bleeding after you’ve used Kyleena for 6 months
  • have heavy bleeding after you’ve had only light bleeding for several months with Kyleena

* Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Stopped periods

Stopped periods (amenorrhea) are a common side effect of Kyleena. In fact, during clinical studies of adult females, after Kyleena was inserted:

  • less than 1% didn’t get their period in the first 90 days
  • 5% didn’t get their period between 90 days and 180 days
  • 12% stopped getting their period by the end of the first year
  • 20% stopped getting their period by the end of the third year
  • 23% stopped getting their period by the end of the fifth year

It’s not known how many women had amenorrhea while using drugs other than Kyleena in these studies.

If you don’t have a period for 6 weeks while you’re using Kyleena, talk with your doctor. They may recommend that you take a pregnancy test to make sure that Kyleena is working to prevent pregnancy.

Also, keep in mind that once Kyleena is removed, your periods should return to normal.

Hair loss

Hair loss (alopecia) may occur while you’re using Kyleena. For example, in clinical studies, 1% of adult females who used Kyleena had hair loss. The percentage of women who had hair loss while using drugs other than Kyleena in these studies isn’t known.

Hair loss from Kyleena may be caused by changes in your hormone levels. (Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel, which is a lab-created form of the hormone progesterone.) Hair loss from Kyleena is reversible. So once Kyleena is removed from your uterus, your hair should start to grow normally again. But it may take several months for you to notice the hair regrowth.

If you’re concerned about hair loss while you’re using Kyleena, talk with your doctor.

Weight gain or weight loss (not a reported side effect)

Changes in body weight weren’t reported during clinical studies of Kyleena.

However, Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel, which is a type of progestin. (Progestins are lab-created forms of the hormone progesterone.) And clinical studies have shown some weight gain in people using birth control options other than Kyleena that contain progestins.

In addition, weight gain has been reported as a side effect with IUDs* other than Kyleena. So it’s possible that some people may have weight gain while using Kyleena.

If you’re concerned about weight changes while you’re using Kyleena, talk with your doctor. They’ll suggest ways to help you manage a body weight that’s healthy for you.

* An intrauterine device (IUD) is a form of birth control that is inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

You may wonder how Kyleena compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta are alike and different.

Ingredients

Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta all contain the same active drug: levonorgestrel. This drug belongs to a group of medications called progestins. (Progestins are lab-created forms of the hormone progesterone.)

Note: Skyla is another birth control drug that contains the active drug levonorgestrel. But in this article, we’re comparing only Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta.

Drug forms and administration

Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta are all intrauterine devices (IUDs). An IUD is a form of birth control that’s inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

IUDs can be left inside your uterus for the maximum amount of time that they’re effective. Your doctor can remove an IUD from your uterus after the IUD is no longer effective, or whenever you’d like to stop using it within the effectiveness period.

Uses

Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta are all approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age.

Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant. It begins when she gets her first period, and it ends at the time of menopause. This time span usually occurs between ages 12 years and 51 years.

The length of time that IUDs are approved to prevent pregnancy varies. For instance:

  • Kyleena and Mirena are approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.
  • Liletta is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 6 years.

Mirena is also approved to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. It’s approved for this use in females who want to use an IUD as their form of birth control.

Side effects and risks

Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta all contain levonorgestrel. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Kyleena, Mirena, or Liletta, or with all the IUDs (when they’re used individually).

Serious side effects

Examples of serious side effects that can occur with Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta include:

Effectiveness

Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta have different approved uses, but they’re each used to prevent pregnancy.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. But separate studies have found Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta to each be effective in preventing pregnancy.

Costs

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Kyleena costs about the same as Mirena costs. But Kyleena generally costs more than Liletta costs. The actual price you’ll pay for these drugs depends on your insurance plan and the medical office where you have an IUD placed.

Kyleena, Mirena, and Liletta are all brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of these drugs available. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.)

Kyleena is approved to prevent pregnancy. But keep in mind that except for abstinence, no contraceptive method is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.

In a clinical study, Kyleena prevented pregnancy for 5 years in 98.6% of adult women who used it. So, there’s only a small chance you may become pregnant while you’re using Kyleena.

If you do become pregnant while you’re using Kyleena, your doctor will help you decide if it’s safe for you to continue with the pregnancy.

Possible symptoms of pregnancy may include:

If you think you may be pregnant while you’re using Kyleena, tell your doctor right away. They may recommend that you take a pregnancy test. Doing so can show whether Kyleena is working to prevent pregnancy or not.

Risks of using Kyleena during pregnancy

Kyleena isn’t meant to be used while you’re pregnant. In fact, using Kyleena during pregnancy increases your risk of:

Kyleena and fertility

Kyleena works to prevent pregnancy while it’s placed inside your uterus. After Kyleena is removed from your uterus, your fertility (ability to become pregnant) should return to normal.

In a clinical study of adult women who used Kyleena, 71% were able to become pregnant within 1 year after having Kyleena removed.

If you’re concerned about your ability to become pregnant after having Kyleena removed, talk with your doctor.

Kyleena is approved to prevent pregnancy. Typically, you shouldn’t need to use other forms of birth control along with Kyleena to prevent pregnancy.

In a clinical study, when Kyleena was used alone, it was 98.6% effective in preventing pregnancy in adult females.

Kyleena and emergency contraception

Kyleena shouldn’t be used as emergency contraception. And you don’t need to use emergency contraception along with Kyleena.

Emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy after you’ve had sex without birth control. But if you’re using Kyleena, you’re protected from becoming pregnant during sex.

An example of emergency contraception is Plan B, which is also called the morning after pill.

Kyleena and contraception for STI prevention

It’s important to note that Kyleena doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also commonly referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STIs are infections that pass from one person to another during sexual activity.

To help prevent the transmission of STIs, you could use another birth control method, such as a condom or other barrier method, during sexual activity.

Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel. In clinical studies, small amounts of this drug were found in the breast milk of women using intrauterine devices (IUDs)* that contained levonorgestrel. However, negative effects from the drug weren’t seen in infants who were breastfed by these women.

It’s important to note that you may have an increased risk of perforation if you have Kyleena placed into your uterus while you’re lactating (producing breast milk). With perforation, the IUD pokes into the wall of your uterus. In addition, you may produce less breast milk than usual if you’re using Kyleena while breastfeeding.

If you have questions about using Kyleena while breastfeeding, talk with your doctor. They can discuss with you the risks and benefits of using this method of birth control.

* An IUD is a form of birth control that is inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Kyleena for certain uses. Kyleena may also be prescribed off-label for other uses. (Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved for one purpose is used for a different purpose.)

Kyleena is a birth control method that’s FDA-approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age. Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant. It begins when she gets her first period, and it ends at the time of menopause. This time span usually occurs between ages 12 years and 51 years.

Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider. Kyleena can be used by both females who haven’t been pregnant in the past and those who have.

Each Kyleena IUD is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. After 5 years, it’s no longer effective to prevent pregnancy. Your doctor can remove Kyleena from your uterus after it’s no longer effective or whenever you’d like to stop using it within the 5-year period.

If you and your doctor determine that Kyleena is safe and effective for you, you can continue using this drug for longer than 5 years. However, in that case, you’d need to have your Kyleena IUD replaced every 5 years. This is because each Kyleena IUD is only effective for up to 5 years.

Kyleena prevents pregnancy by releasing a hormone into your uterus. To learn more about this, see the “How Kyleena works” section below.

Effectiveness for birth control

In clinical studies, Kyleena was effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 5 years.

During the studies, adult females used Kyleena for 3 to 5 years. In each year of the studies, for every 100 women who used Kyleena, the following pregnancy rates were reported:

  • 0.16 pregnancies in the first year
  • 0.38 pregnancies in the second year
  • 0.45 pregnancies in the third year
  • 0.15 pregnancies in the fourth year
  • 0.37 pregnancies in the fifth year
  • 1.45 pregnancies over all 5 years of use

Overall, Kyleena prevented pregnancy for 5 years in 98.6% of women who used it. The pregnancy rate for women who used other birth control drugs in these studies isn’t known.

Off-label uses for Kyleena

In addition to the use listed above, Kyleena may be used off-label for other purposes. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved for one or more uses is prescribed for a different one that’s not approved. Below is an example of off-label use for Kyleena.

Effectiveness for endometrial hyperplasia

Kyleena isn’t approved to treat endometrial hyperplasia. But sometimes it’s used off-label for this condition.

With endometrial hyperplasia, the lining of your uterus thickens. And this can lead to heavy or irregular vaginal bleeding.

A clinical study found that Kyleena was effective in treating endometrial hyperplasia within the first year after the IUD was placed. But more research is needed to determine the role of using Kyleena to treat this condition.

If you’d like to know about treatment options for endometrial hyperplasia, talk with your doctor.

Kyleena and children

Kyleena is approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age.

Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant. It begins when she gets her first period, which typically happens around 12 years of age.

However, clinical studies of Kyleena didn’t include females who were younger than 18 years of age. So Kyleena’s effectiveness in adolescents isn’t known for sure. In any case, Kyleena should only be used by females who’ve started having periods.

If you have questions about using Kyleena given your age, talk with your doctor.

Kyleena is approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age. (Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant.)

Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are small, T-shaped plastic devices. They’re inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Each Kyleena IUD is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. After 5 years, it’s no longer effective to prevent pregnancy. After 5 years, you can ask your doctor to replace it with another Kyleena IUD if desired.

Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel. It belongs to a group of drugs called progestins. (Progestins are lab-created forms of the hormone progesterone.)

How does pregnancy occur?

Pregnancy occurs when a female’s egg is fertilized by a male’s sperm.

Eggs are released from your ovary each month during ovulation. After an egg has been fertilized, it travels from your fallopian tubes into your uterus. There, it implants in the tissue that lines your uterus. If the fertilized egg implants successfully, pregnancy results.

How does Kyleena prevent pregnancy?

Kyleena prevents pregnancy by releasing levonorgestrel into your uterus. The exact way that progestins, such as levonorgestrel, work to prevent pregnancy isn’t known for sure. However, progestins may work in several different ways, such as:

  • thickening your cervical mucus to stop sperm from entering your uterus during sex
  • thinning the lining inside of your uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting there
  • reducing the movement and survival of sperm inside your uterus to lower the likelihood of fertilization

How long does Kyleena last?

Each Kyleena IUD is effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 5 years. It can remain inside your uterus for the maximum amount of time that it’s effective.

Your doctor can remove Kyleena from your uterus after it’s no longer effective or whenever you’d like to stop using it within the 5-year period.

How long does it take for Kyleena to work?

The amount of time it takes for Kyleena to start working depends on when it’s placed. For example:

  • if it’s placed during a period, Kyleena starts working right away
  • if it’s placed after a period, Kyleena takes about 7 days to start working

So, if Kyleena is placed more than 7 days after your period started, you should use a backup birth control for at least 7 days. However, if Kyleena is placed within 7 days of your period starting, a backup form of birth control typically isn’t needed.

For more information about Kyleena placement, see the “How Kyleena is placed” section below. And be sure to talk with your doctor if you have questions about the best time to have Kyleena placed.

There aren’t any known interactions between Kyleena and alcohol. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to drink while you’re using Kyleena.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions related to Kyleena, which is a form of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are a form of birth control that are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Can I use tampons if I have a Kyleena IUD?

Yes, you can use tampons if you’re using Kyleena.

Keep in mind that Kyleena is placed inside your uterus. Tampons, on the other hand, are inserted into your vagina. So, it’s possible to use tampons without disturbing Kyleena.

Will my partner be able to feel my Kyleena IUD during sex?

No, that’s not likely. Kyleena is placed inside your uterus, not inside your vagina. So if you’re having vaginal intercourse, your partner won’t feel Kyleena inside your vagina. However, it’s possible that your partner may feel threads from Kyleena during vaginal sex.

Kyleena has threads attached to it, which pass out of your uterus and into your vagina. Your doctor uses these threads during pelvic exams to make sure that Kyleena is placed inside your uterus. And your doctor uses the threads to remove Kyleena from your uterus when you want the device taken out.

In rare cases of expulsion, you or your partner may feel Kyleena inside your vagina. (With expulsion, the IUD falls out of your uterus on its own.) But this complication isn’t likely with Kyleena.

If you or your partner has pain or discomfort during sex, talk with your doctor. They may check to see if Kyleena is properly placed inside your uterus.

Do I need to check to make sure my Kyleena IUD is in place? How will I know if it has moved?

Yes, you’ll need to check to make sure Kyleena is in place. You should do this at least once each month by feeling for Kyleena’s threads inside your vagina. (Kyleena has threads attached to it, which pass out of your uterus and into your vagina.)

To feel for Kyleena’s threads, start by washing your hands with soap and water. Then insert clean fingers into your vagina and try to locate the threads.

If you can’t feel Kyleena’s threads, the IUD may have moved from its correct position inside your uterus. And if Kyleena has moved, it may not be effective in preventing pregnancy.

Because of this, it’s important to see your doctor for an exam if you’re not able to feel Kyleena’s threads.

Will Kyleena protect me from sexually transmitted diseases?

No, Kyleena doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), commonly referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STIs are infections that pass from one person to another during sexual activity. Examples of STIs include chlamydia, herpes, and HIV.

To help prevent the spread of STIs, you should use a condom or other barrier method during sexual activity. For more information about staying protected from STIs, talk with your doctor.

Is it safe to have an MRI or X-ray if I have a Kyleena IUD?

Yes, if your doctor recommends an MRI scan or X-ray, it’s generally safe to have one while you’re using Kyleena.

However, before having an MRI scan or X-ray, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you’re using Kyleena. They may see Kyleena on certain imaging tests, so it’s helpful if they’re aware that you have the IUD.

Are there any nonhormonal birth control options?

Yes, there are several nonhormonal birth control options available. These include:

In addition, there’s an IUD available that’s made with copper instead of hormones. This IUD is called Paragard. Like Kyleena, it’s placed inside your uterus to prevent pregnancy. But each Paragard IUD is effective for up to 10 years, unlike each Kyleena IUD, which is only effective for up to 5 years.

If you’d like to know more about nonhormonal birth control options, talk with your doctor. They can recommend birth control options that may be right for you.

Other drugs are available that can prevent pregnancy. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Kyleena, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Examples of drugs or devices other than Kyleena IUD* that may be used for birth control include:

* Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

You may wonder how Kyleena compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Kyleena and Nexplanon are alike and different.

Ingredients

Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel, while Nexplanon contains the active drug etonogestrel. Both medications belong to a group of drugs called progestins. (Progestins are lab-created forms of the hormone progesterone.)

Drug forms and administration

Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Nexplanon is a type of birth control called an implant. It’s inserted under the skin of your upper arm by a healthcare provider.

Uses

Kyleena and Nexplanon are both approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age.

Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant. It begins when a female gets her first period, and it ends at the time of menopause. This time span usually occurs between ages 12 years and 51 years.

Each Kyleena IUD is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. Each Nexplanon implant, on the other hand, is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years.

Side effects and risks

Kyleena and Nexplanon both contain a type of drug called progestins. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Kyleena, with Nexplanon, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Kyleena:
    • expulsion (when an IUD falls out of your uterus on its own)
  • Can occur with Nexplanon:
    • weight gain
  • Can occur with both Kyleena and Nexplanon:
    • dizziness
    • changes in vaginal bleeding patterns

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Kyleena, with Nexplanon, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

The only use that both Kyleena and Nexplanon are used for is prevention of pregnancy.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. But separate studies have found both Kyleena and Nexplanon to be effective in preventing pregnancy.

Costs

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Kyleena generally costs more than Nexplanon costs. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan and the medical office where you have the IUD or implant placed.

Kyleena and Nexplanon are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.)

The following information describes the typical dosage of Kyleena. Because this drug only comes in one strength, everyone using Kyleena will receive the same dosage of the drug.

Drug forms and strengths

Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

Kyleena prevents pregnancy by releasing the drug levonorgestrel inside your uterus. Each Kyleena IUD contains a total of 19.5 milligrams (mg) of levonorgestrel.

Dosage for birth control

Kyleena IUDs are approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. So if you have a Kyleena IUD placed, it can be used for up to 5 years. But if you’d like the IUD removed before 5 years have passed, your doctor can remove it for you.

The dose of levonorgestrel that’s released from the Kyleena IUDs varies over time. For example:

  • Kyleena releases about 17.5 micrograms (mcg) of levonorgestrel each day after 24 days of use
  • The amount of levonorgestrel that’s released decreases to:
    • 9.8 mcg each day after 1 year of use
    • 7.4 mcg each day after 5 years of use

On average, Kyleena releases about:

  • 12.6 mcg of levonorgestrel each day over the first year
  • 9 mcg of levonorgestrel each day over 5 years of use

Pediatric dosage

Kyleena is approved to prevent pregnancy in females of childbearing age.

Childbearing age is the time during which a female is able to become pregnant. It begins when she gets her first period, which typically happens around 12 years of age.

The Kyleena dosage used for females younger than 18 years of age is the same as it is for adults. See the “Dosage for birth control” section just above for more information.

What if I miss a dose?

Kyleena is inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider. And Kyleena can remain in your uterus for up to 5 years. It’s not possible to miss a dose of Kyleena while the device is inside your uterus.

However, it’s possible that perforation and expulsion may occur while you’re using Kyleena. And if perforation or expulsion occurs, Kyleena won’t be working to prevent pregnancy. (With perforation, an IUD pokes into the wall of your uterus. And with expulsion, an IUD falls out of your uterus on its own.)

Because of this, it’s important to check each month and make sure your Kyleena IUD is in place. To do this, you’ll feel for Kyleena’s threads inside your vagina. For more information on checking for your IUD threads, see the “Common questions about Kyleena” section above.

Additionally, you should see your healthcare provider once a year for an IUD check.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Kyleena can be used as a long-term birth control option if needed. In fact, each Kyleena device is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.

If you and your doctor determine that Kyleena is safe and effective for you, you can continue using this drug for longer than 5 years. However, in that case, you’d need to have your Kyleena IUD replaced every 5 years. This is because each Kyleena IUD is only effective for up to 5 years.

It’s possible to use Kyleena for birth control until you go through menopause and no longer need contraception.

Kyleena can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Kyleena and other medications

Below are lists of medications that can interact with Kyleena. These lists don’t contain all the drugs that may interact with Kyleena.

Before using Kyleena, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Kyleena and certain medications that affect how your body metabolizes Kyleena

Certain drugs can affect how your body metabolizes (breaks down) levonorgestrel, which is the active drug in Kyleena. We describe these possible interactions below.

However, Kyleena is released directly into your uterus, so the drug is less likely to be affected in how it’s broken down. This means the drugs listed below are at a low risk of affecting how Kyleena works.

Kyleena and CYP3A4 inhibitors

CYP3A4 inhibitors are a group of drugs that inhibit (block) the activity of an enzyme called CYP3A4. Your body uses this enzyme to break down levonorgestrel.

Blocking CYP3A4 can raise the level of levonorgestrel in your blood. And this can increase your risk of side effects from Kyleena. (To learn more about these side effects, see the “Kyleena side effects” section above.)

The following drugs are examples of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors:

  • certain antivirals, such as:
    • atazanavir (Reyataz)
    • ritonavir (Norvir)
  • certain antibiotics, such as:
    • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
    • erythromycin (Ery-Tab)
  • certain antifungals, such as:
    • ketoconazole
    • voriconazole (Vfend)
  • certain blood pressure medications, such as:
  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac)
  • verapamil (Calan, Verelan)

If you take any of the drugs listed above, talk with your doctor before using Kyleena. Even though the risk of these interactions may be low, your doctor may adjust your dosage of the drugs listed above. Or they may recommend that you take medications other than those listed here.

Kyleena and CYP3A4 inducers

CYP3A4 inducers are a group of drugs that induce (increase) the activity of an enzyme called CYP3A4. Your body uses this enzyme to break down levonorgestrel.

When CYP3A4’s activity is increased, the level of levonorgestrel in your blood can be lowered. And this might make Kyleena less effective in preventing pregnancy.

The following drugs are examples of strong CYP3A4 inducers:

If you take any of the drugs listed above, talk with your doctor before using Kyleena. Even though the risk of these interactions may be low, your doctor may adjust your dosage of the drugs listed above. Or they may recommend that you take medications other than those listed here.

Kyleena and herbs and supplements

Taking the herb St. John’s wort while using Kyleena may lower Kyleena’s effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.

If you’re taking St. John’s wort or any other herbs or supplements, talk with your doctor before using Kyleena. And be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any herbs or supplements while you’re using Kyleena.

Kyleena and foods

Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using Kyleena may raise the level of levonorgestrel in your blood. (Levonorgestrel is the active drug in Kyleena.) And this can increase your risk of side effects from Kyleena. (To learn more about possible side effects of Kyleena, see the “Kyleena side effects” section above.)

If you have questions about eating certain foods while using Kyleena, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Kyleena can vary. To find current prices for a Kyleena in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan and your location. Also, keep in mind that Kyleena is placed by healthcare providers. So there will likely be additional charges related to getting Kyleena placed. To find out how much Kyleena will cost, talk with your doctor or their office staff.

Before approving coverage for Kyleena, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Kyleena, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Kyleena, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Because Kyleena is a birth control drug, the cost of the medication may be covered under the Affordable Care Act. For information on contacting your insurance company to see if Kyleena is covered, visit the manufacturer’s website.

Generic version

Kyleena isn’t available in a generic form. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.)

Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). It’s inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider. This insertion procedure can be performed during an office visit, and it takes only a few minutes to complete.

To place Kyleena, your doctor has you lie down on an exam table and place your feet into stirrups. (This is the position you’re usually placed in during a pelvic exam.) Your doctor places a speculum into your vagina, so that they’re able to see your cervix. Then, your doctor cleans your cervix and inserts Kyleena through your cervix into your uterus.

It’s possible to have pain and cramping while Kyleena is being inserted into your uterus. And these symptoms may last for a little while after the IUD has been placed. But if you have severe pain or cramping that doesn’t stop within 30 minutes after Kyleena has been inserted, tell your doctor right away. This could be a sign that Kyleena wasn’t placed correctly.

In some cases, your doctor may need to examine you and determine if Kyleena needs to be adjusted or removed.

When it can be placed

The appropriate timing for Kyleena insertion depends on several factors. These include whether or not you’ve:

  • been using certain other birth control methods
  • had a recent abortion or miscarriage, and in which trimester of pregnancy it happened
  • recently given birth

Kyleena can be inserted any time your healthcare provider is able to determine that you’re not pregnant. For example, your healthcare provider may be able to insert Kyleena:

  • during the first 7 days of your menstrual cycle*
  • right after an abortion or miscarriage that occurred during the first 3 months of pregnancy
  • at least 6 weeks after an abortion or miscarriage that occurred during the third to the sixth month of pregnancy
  • at least 6 weeks after childbirth

Before placing Kyleena, your healthcare provider may have you take a pregnancy test. This way, they can make sure you’re not pregnant before inserting Kyleena into your uterus.

Talk with your doctor about the best time for you to start using Kyleena.

* Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of a period. In other words, day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the first day you have period bleeding.

Before taking Kyleena, talk with your doctor about your health history. Kyleena may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Breast, uterine, or cervical cancer. If you’ve had or currently have cancer in your breasts, uterus, or cervix, you shouldn’t use Kyleena. This is because Kyleena contains a hormone called levonorgestrel. And some cancers may be encouraged to grow with hormones. Before using Kyleena, be sure to tell your doctor about any forms of cancer you have or have had in the past.
  • Pelvic or vaginal infection. You shouldn’t use Kyleena if you’ve had or currently have a vaginal infection, pelvic infection, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Using Kyleena may increase your risk of getting another infection. Before using Kyleena, talk with your doctor about your risk of infection.
  • Recent birth or abortion. If you’ve recently given birth or had an abortion, you may have an increased risk of perforation or expulsion while using Kyleena. (Perforation occurs when an IUD,* such as Kyleena, pokes into the wall of your uterus. And expulsion occurs when an IUD falls out of your uterus on its own.) After giving birth or having an abortion, you should wait at least 6 weeks before using Kyleena. Talk with your doctor about the best time to have Kyleena inserted given your unique situation.
  • Blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. Using Kyleena may increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Before using Kyleena, tell your doctor if you have a history of any of these conditions.
  • High blood pressure. Using Kyleena may increase your risk of high blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have problems with your blood pressure. They may recommend a birth control option other than Kyleena for you.
  • Problems with your immune system. Kyleena may increase your risk of certain types of infections. If you have problems with your immune system, your body may be less likely to fight off infections. Before using Kyleena, be sure to tell your doctor about any problems you have with your immune system.
  • Problems with your liver. Kyleena contains the active drug levonorgestrel, which is a progestin drug. (Progestins are lab-created forms of the hormone progesterone.) Supplementing your body’s natural progesterone may cause liver damage in some people. Before using Kyleena, tell your doctor if you have a history of liver problems.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Kyleena or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t use Kyleena. Ask your doctor what other birth control options are better options for you. If you’re not sure about your medication allergies, talk with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy. Kyleena is meant to prevent pregnancy. You shouldn’t use Kyleena while you’re pregnant. For more information, please see the “Kyleena and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. There may be several risks related to using Kyleena while breastfeeding. For more information, please see the “Kyleena and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Kyleena, see the “Kyleena side effects” section above.

* Kyleena is a type of birth control called an intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are inserted into your uterus by a healthcare provider.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Kyleena is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy for up to 5 years in females of childbearing age.

Administration

Kyleena is an intrauterine device (IUD). It contains 19.5 mg of levonorgestrel, which is released into the uterus as 17.5 mcg per day for 24 days. The administered dose decreases to 9.8 mcg per day after 1 year and to 7.4 mcg per day after 5 years.

Kyleena should be removed by the end of the fifth year of use. It can be replaced with a new Kyleena device if continued contraception with this method is desired.

Mechanism of action

Levonorgestrel’s mechanism for pregnancy prevention is not completely understood. It is thought to work by altering the endometrium, thickening cervical mucus, and inhibiting the movement or survival of sperm.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Levonorgestrel is administered into the uterus. Low serum concentrations of levonorgestrel have been observed, with a maximum observed concentration of 302 pg/mL after 7.5 days.

Levonorgestrel is metabolized primarily by CYP3A4.

Contraindications

There are several contraindications to the use of Kyleena:

  • past or current breast cancer
  • current intrauterine device in place
  • distortion of the uterine cavity
  • endometritis or infected abortion within 3 months prior to Kyleena insertion
  • hypersensitivity to any ingredients of Kyleena
  • infection of the lower genital tract
  • current liver disease or tumor
  • past or current pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), unless a successful pregnancy has happened since PID occurred
  • pregnancy or suspected pregnancy
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • current uterine or cervical neoplasia
  • current placement of an IUD

Storage

Kyleena should be stored at room temperature (77°F/25°C). Temporary deviations in temperature are allowed between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.