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Implanon and Mirena

Implanon     IUDs:    Mirena    Copper IUD   


The contraceptive implant is a hormonal implant the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin at the inner side of the upper arm. This four cm-long implant contains etonogestrel, a progesterone-like hormone that stops ovulation. The implant steadily releases a small amount of hormone. This helps to prevent pregnancy for three years. The contraceptive implant is more than 99.9 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy.

  • Effective contraception for three years.
  • You don't have to remember to use contraception every day.
  • Low cost.
  • 20% of women stop having periods.
  • Can be used while breastfeeding

  • Women using implants have changes to their periods. Most women have less bleeding than before the implant, but some have more frequent or longer periods.
  • Some women have side effects that may include headaches and acne.


The IUD is a small contraceptive device that is placed inside the uterus. There are two kinds of IUD in Australia: Copper IUD and Mirena. Both types are very effective methods of contraception and can stay in place up to five to ten years.

Mirena IUD

Mirena progestogen IUD is a small T-shaped device with a cylinder containing progestogen around its stem. It is 99.8% effective.

  • Considered one of the most effective forms of reversible birth control
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • No preparations needed before sex, though routine checking of the device strings by patient and physician is advised to ensure proper placement remains intact
  • May experience lighter periods (some women stop having periods completely, see also amenorrhea)
  • Effective for up to five years
  • Have an effect that is rapidly reversible once device is removed
  • Very cost effective
  • Provides good alternative to sterilisation

In addition to birth control, hormonal IUD are used for prevention and treatment of:
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain
  • Adenomyosis and dysmenorrhea
  • Anaemia
  • In some cases, use of a hormonal IUD may prevent a need for a hysterectomy.

  • Irregular periods and spotting between periods often occurs after insertion
  • Other adverse effects associated with hormones

Copper IUD

The copper IUD is a small plastic device with copper wrapped around its stem. It is at least 99.4% effective.
  • Does not have any potential adverse hormone effects
  • Can be used to provide emergency contraception if inserted within 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse
  • It's immediately effective in action

  • Possibility of heavier menstrual periods and more painful cramps