Hormonal IUD – Long Lasting Contraception for Women

Gynaecology Centres Australia (GCA) is proud to offer a comprehensive range of women’s health services, including access to the most appropriate methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy. Long-acting reversible contraception is just one option – and the hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) is the most popular of these.

Hormonal IUDs – a Popular Choice

It’s easy to understand why so many women opt for hormonal IUD contraception:

  • Extremely reliable (99% effective at preventing pregnancy)
  • Remains in place for several years – “set and forget”
  • No risk of forgetting to take a pill or change a vaginal ring
  • Effectiveness is not compromised by vomiting or diarrhoea (unlike contraceptive pills)
  • Suitable for women who can’t use oestrogen
  • Suitable for women who are breastfeeding
  • Fertility returns to natural levels quickly after removal
  • Ideal for women who are in perimenopause
  • Effectively treats conditions including menorrhagia
  • Protects against endometrial hyperplasia in women using menopausal hormone therapy or MHT (i.e. hormone replacement therapy or HRT)

Hormonal IUDs are inserted by a doctor and positioned high in the uterus. They remain in place and release the hormone levonorgestrel (progestin); they are easy to remove at any time by a doctor and fertility is quickly restored (to former levels) after their removal.

Hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by:

  • Minimising the monthly development of the endometrial (uterus) lining so that it is not thick enough to support pregnancy
  • Thickening the natural mucous in the cervical canal, preventing sperm from passing through to fertilise the egg
  • Influencing the behaviour of any sperm that do make it to the uterus
  • In some women, preventing ovulation from occurring
  • Altering the environment within the uterus

Until now, hormonal IUDs in Australia required replacement every five years. As of June 2024, this period has been extended.

Hormonal IUD Lifespan Extended

In June 2024, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Association) announced that, specifically, the 52mg levonorgestrel-releasing Mirena® IUD has been approved for an extended lifespan for contraceptive use.

Now, rather than requiring replacement every five years, it can safely and effectively be left in place for eight years. This makes it the longest-lasting long-acting reversible contraception available to women in Australia.

The change to these recommendations is based on Phase III results of a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 223 women used the IUD for eight years and it was found to be 97% effective between the sixth and eighth year of use. It is considered to be safe and well-tolerated, with 87% of women reporting being very satisfied with its extended use.

Note: *Non-hormonal IUD longevity recommendations remain unchanged. Furthermore, for women who use this hormonal IUD to prevent endometrial hyperplasia (overly thickened lining of the uterus) or to treat idiopathic menorrhagia (heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding), replacement recommendations remain at five years.*

Greater Convenience for Women

This announcement from the TGA brings Australian recommendations in line with the UK and the USA and will be welcome news to many Australian women. Moreover, doctors expect (and hope) that it will encourage more women to consider this form of contraception.

The availability of using the most effective form of reversible contraception for eight years without replacement during that time reduces overall costs for women, not just in terms of device and insertion cost but also for a range of quality-of-life considerations.

Unfortunately, few GPS offer effective IUD insertion, and certainly not with adequate pain relief. Even in-office gynaecologist IUD insertions rarely provide the best experience for women. Public hospital wait times for insertions under sedation are very lengthy.

Gynaecology Centres Australia, however, is different.

IUD Insertion at GCA

Here are GCA, the wellbeing, optimised care, comfort of our patients, and access to the right individual contraceptive options are our priority.

We are wholly committed to providing women with the very best options and outcomes, and this looks different for every patient. This includes enabling every woman to be fully informed to make the right decisions about her body for herself – including contraceptive alternatives.

Most GPs do not discuss IUDs and other long-acting reversible contraceptives with their patients, especially younger women, and conversations about female contraception tend to be limited to Pill and barrier methods. This is arguably not optimal patient-centred care.

Contrary to common belief, women who have not yet had a baby can use an IUD – and our approach to IUD insertion at GCA facilitates this most comfortably for women of all ages and stages of life.

All IUD insertions at GCA are performed under intravenous sedation – at no extra cost.

This represents the gold standard of medical care and prioritises patient comfort and well-being – and we stand by our belief that women deserve nothing less.

Understand more about our IUD insertion process here.

Contact Us Now for a Consultation

Say hello to the freedom IUD birth control offers at Gynaecology Centres Australia.

With clinics located in Greater Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford, Wollongong, and Queanbeyan, Gynaecology Centres Australia provides prompt access to unparalleled women’s health and gynaecology services in a confidential, compassionate, non-judgemental environment. We also perform vasectomies for men.

Please get in touch with us for contraceptive advice, options, and pain-free IUD insertion. Contact us online or call (02) 9585 9599.