Side Effects (see Managing Any Problems)

Some users report the following:

  • Most commonly, changes in bleeding patterns, including:
    • Lighter bleeding and fewer days of bleeding
    • Infrequent bleeding
    • Irregular bleeding
    • No monthly bleeding
    • Prolonged bleeding

Bleeding changes are normal and not harmful. If a woman finds them bothersome, counseling and support can help. 

  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness or pain
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes

Other possible physical changes:

  • Ovarian cysts

Known Health Benefits

Known Health Risks

Help protect against:

  • Risks of pregnancy
  • Iron-deficiency anemia

May help protect against:

  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cervical cancer 


  • Menstrual cramps
  • Heavy monthly bleeding
  • Symptoms of endometriosis (pelvic pain, irregular bleeding)
  • Risk of ectopic pregnancy


  • In the short term PID may occur if the woman has gonorrhea or chlamydia at the time of insertion.







  • Puncturing (perforation) of the wall of the uterus by the LNG-IUD or an instrument used for insertion. Usually heals without treatment.

Very rare:

  • Miscarriage, preterm birth, or infection in the very rare case that the woman becomes pregnant with the LNG-IUD in place.


For definitions of bleeding patterns, see “vaginal bleeding” in the Glossary.