Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems for long-acting contraception: current perspectives, safety, and patient counseling

Int J Womens Health. 2016 Oct 13;8:589-598. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S99705. eCollection 2016.


Unintended pregnancy is a significant global problem. In 2008, there were over 100 million unplanned pregnancies worldwide, representing approximately 41% of global conceptions. Family planning strategies in many countries are shifting from increasing the uptake of contraception among nonusers to increasing the uptake of the most effective methods among users of less effective methods. One of the most effective and acceptable methods of contraception is the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG IUS); however, its uptake varies widely by country. This article reviews the currently available LNG IUSs, the rationale for increasing uptake of these methods, and evidence regarding safety, and discusses counseling strategies to best inform women about this option for contraception.

Keywords: LNG IUS; contraception; family planning; intrauterine contraception; levonorgestrel; long-acting contraception.

Publication types

  • Review