Intra Uterine Device IUD - Hormonal

More than 99% effective – one of the most effective forms of contraception. A Fit & Forget Contraception. There are two funded hormonal IUDs in New Zealand – Mirena and Jaydess.


There are two main types of IUDs – hormonal and non-hormonal. This page provides information on the hormonal IUD. For information on non-hormonal IUDs, click here.

The hormonal IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device which contains the hormone progestogen.  It slowly releases this hormone into the uterus. 

It is placed in the uterus. 

There are two funded hormonal IUDs in New Zealand, Mirena and Jaydess.

Key Facts

How it Works

The hormonal IUD uses a hormone called levonorgestrel. It slowly releases this hormone into the uterus.

It prevents pregnancy by preventing the egg being fertilised by sperm, by:

  • Damaging or killing sperm to stop fertilisation.
  • Changing the uterus lining to prevent a fertilised egg from growing.
  • Partially stopping ovulation (when ovaries release an egg), although most women continue to ovulate.
  • The hormonal IUD can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 5 years, depending on the type, or until you have it taken out.
  • You can get it at any point in your menstrual cycle, if you’re sure you’re not

A trained nurse, midwife, or doctor fits the IUD in your uterus.

The image shows the position of the IUD in the uterus. The strings from the IUD will not be visible.


There are loads of things about Hormonal IUDs that are good for your body as well as your sex life.

  • You can really Fit & Forget it! No more worrying about missing a pill, injection, etc.
  • No sex interruptions.
  • Hormonal IUDs are at least 99% effective. Only 1 in 100 people will get pregnant each year.
  • Once you have had it fitted, it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 years.
  • It is reversible – you can get it taken out when you like.
  • Your fertility will return to normal after the hormonal IUD has been removed. 
  • Your periods may be lighter, shorter, or they may stop.
  • There is no evidence that the hormonal IUD causes additional weight gain.
  • It can be taken by some wāhine/women+ who cannot use contraception that contains oestrogen, such as the combined pill, contraceptive patch and the contraceptive vaginal ring.
  • The IUD is not affected by vomiting, diarrhoea or other medicines like other methods of contraception.
  • The hormonal IUD does not affect breastfeeding and can be fitted after the birth of your child.


Lots worry about negative side effects, but for many people, they’re not a problem. Most people adjust to having a hormonal IUD pretty quickly but give yourself time. It could take a few months.

  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • It may cause irregular bleeding at first.
  • It can cause temporary side effects such as skin problems, headaches or breast tenderness.
  • There is a small risk of getting an infection after the IUD is inserted.
  • There is a small risk of the IUD becoming pushed out or the IUD becoming displaced.
  • There is a very small risk of perforation of the uterus.
  • If you do become pregnant while you are using the IUD there is a small risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  • You will need to see a nurse, midwife or doctor to have the hormonal IUD fitted.


A hormonal IUD needs to be fitted by a nurse, midwife or doctor who has been specially trained. It is available FREE* from a range of services.

Most people can use an IUD, including those who are young and those who have not been pregnant before. Your nurse, midwife or doctor will advise you of the best option for you to choose.

An appointment will typically include:

  • A few questions about your medical and family history, to work out what method would suit you best.
  • Before the IUD is fitted, you will need to have a vaginal examination. The doctor, midwife or nurse will pass a small instrument into your womb (uterus) to check its size and position.
  • They will also check for any signs of infection, sometimes you may also be given antibiotics.
  • Some services may be able to fit it at the same appointment, or you may need a second appointment.


Fitting the IUD (shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes):

  • You’ll be asked to lay on the bed.
  • Remove the lower half of your clothing (e.g. trousers/skirt and underwear).
  • Open your legs and bend your knees so the nurse, midwife or doctor can use a speculum to slightly widen your vagina to help insert the IUD into your uterus.
  • The IUD is fitted using a small plastic insertion device. The arms on the IUD are flexible and fold inside the insertion device.
  • The nurse, midwife or doctor may discuss painkiller tablets/using local anaesthetic to make the fitting more comfortable.

You are likely to get some period-type pain and possibly some light bleeding for a few days afterwards.

The IUD has two threads which hang through the opening at the entrance of your uterus (cervix). You could check the threads a few times during the first month and then at least once a month.

Once the IUD is fitted, you may need to go back to the doctor, midwife or nurse after three to six weeks for a check up.

It is very unlikely that the IUD will come out but if you are worried and can feel the IUD itself, or cannot feel the threads you should see a nurse or doctor straight away.

You will then only need to go back when the IUD needs to be replaced (3 to 5 years depending on the type).

You should go back to the nurse, midwife or doctor if you notice any of the below symptoms:

  • Severe or prolonged stomach pains, especially if you feel unwell, hot and clammy
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding with or without clots.

The hormonal IUD can be fitted at any time in your cycle if it is certain that you are not pregnant.

As soon as the hormonal IUD is fitted then you will be protected immediately. You will be asked to take a pregnancy test before the IUD is fitted and another three weeks later if there is a pregnancy risk.

The hormonal IUD must be removed by a trained nurse, midwife or doctor, the procedure
should be less painful and quicker than having the IUD fitted. Your nurse or doctor can take out
your IUD by putting a speculum into your vagina and gently pulling on the IUD strings.

If you are not going to have another IUD you will need to use additional contraception, such as
condoms, for the seven days before the IUD is taken out if you do not want to become

Your fertility should return to normal as soon as the hormonal IUD is removed.

While using the IUD you can use tampons and/or sanitary pads.

No neither you or your partner should feel your IUD. An IUD is positioned in the uterus. You may be able to feel the strings in your vagina and your partner may notice the strings during sex. The strings of the IUD usually get softer over time, but if they’re really a problem, talk to your doctor, midwife or nurse about adjusting them or cutting them shorter.

Non-Hormonal IUD – Copper

A non-hormonal (Copper) IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device which contains copper. It is put into the uterus (womb). A Copper IUD does not contain hormones. The copper IUD can also be used as an Emergency Contraception.


Hormonal IUD - Mirena | Jaydess

A Hormonal IUD is a small, T-shaped plastic device, which contains the hormone progestogen to control your fertility. The device is put into the uterus (womb).


Implant – Jadelle

Two small, flexible plastic rods that are placed just under the skin in the upper arm. The implant releases the hormone progestogen to control fertility.