You are about to exit this MSD website.

MSD makes no warranties or representations of any kind as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability or usefulness of any information contained in third party sites and shall have no liability for any loss or damage of any kind that may arise from your use of such content or information.

Inclusion of any third party link does not imply an endorsement or recommendation by MSD.

Some NHS services may not be available during this period due to limitations caused by COVID 19.

GB-NON-02457 | Date of Preparation: April 2020



The IUS is a small, T-shaped plastic device that's inserted into your uterus by a doctor or nurse.1


IUS key facts

It releases the hormone progestogen to stop you getting pregnant.1 It may also make your periods lighter, shorter or stop altogether, so it may help if you have heavy or painful periods.2 Once fitted, you don't have to think about contraception for up to five years.1


The IUS is a small plastic device inserted in the uterus1


Once fitted, an IUS lasts for 3–5 years (depending on the type fitted)1


Contains hormone progestogen to prevent pregnancy1

  • More than 99% effective when inserted correctly1
  • After the IUS is removed your fertility should return to your normal level1
  • Your period might change or stop, which doesn’t suit everyone1
  • A doctor or nurse must insert and remove the IUS, which may be uncomfortable or painful1

The pros and cons listed are not exhaustive. Talk to your doctor or nurse for more information.

Common questions

Who can’t use this type of contraception?

People who have problems with their uterus or cervix, or people with pelvic infections. As with all types of contraception it is important to discuss your choices with your nurse or doctor.1

How is the IUS fitted?

A doctor or nurse will examine inside you to find the size and position of your uterus before they insert the IUS.1 The IUS is passed through the cervix, and the actual insertion takes around 5 minutes.1 This can be uncomfortable or painful for some women and you may be offered a local anaesthetic.1 Your doctor or nurse can advise you about this. After the IUS is fitted, you may get period-type pain – painkillers can help.1

Similar contraceptive types

This contraceptive is a type known as long-acting – for more contraceptives like this, click below


Tell me more


Tell me more


Tell me more

So what do I do now?

Now you have a few options for types of contraception that might be right for you, you should have a chat with a GP/doctor or nurse.


Sexual health clinic

Find and visit a contraception clinic near you for information about your available choices.

Find out more


Pop into your local pharmacy and ask about your options.

Find a pharmacy

GP clinic

Make an appointment with your nurse or doctor so you can chat about what options are best for you.

Find a GP

You may want to download information on your options to help with your discussion.

Download now

PDF - 0.5MB

Reporting of Side Effects: If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.


  1. NHS contraception guide: IUS. Available at: (Last accessed May 2019).
  2. Merriam-Webster medical dictionary. Available at: (Last accessed September 2019).
  1. NHS. Pelvic inflammatory disease. Available at: (Last accessed September 2019).

Contraceptive Match is an awareness campaign which has been fully funded and developed by MSD.

Images on this site are for illustrative purposes only.