Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system--the discontinuing story

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct;25(10):668-73. doi: 10.1080/09513590903159656.


Levonorgestrel-releasing Intrauterine System (LNG-IUS) is licensed for use as a contraceptive, for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding and during estrogen replacement therapy. It is publicized as a local source of progestogen with minimal systemic adverse effects. However, there is overwhelming evidence of elevated serum and tissue levels of levonorgestrel, and high discontinuation and dissatisfaction rates amongst users. The guidelines of The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), United Kingdom recommended that the healthcare professionals should be aware that upto 60% of women discontinue using LNG-IUS within 5 years because of unscheduled bleeding, pain, and/or systemic progestogenic adverse effects. This article highlights these issues to healthcare professionals to ensure that the rates of adverse effects are not underestimated, and full information are made available to women to enable them making an informed choice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated / adverse effects*
  • Levonorgestrel / adverse effects*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • United Kingdom


  • Levonorgestrel