Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUDs) Appear To Have Systemic Effects on the Body

Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUDs) Appear To Have Systemic Effects on the Body (

This week, a new study about the systemic effects of IUDs will be presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).  The author of the study used Breast MRI  to show that  (LNG-IUS) has effects not only in the uterus but also systemic effects.

Levonorgestrel-releasing  (LNG-IUS) is used by millions of women worldwide and appears to have systemic effects on the body like those of hormone replacement therapy.  “It has been claimed that IUDs have a purely local effect on the uterus,” said Luisa Huck, M.D., a radiology resident in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. “Our study results suggest that this is not true.”

LNG-IUS works by releasing a small amount of progestins into the uterus. It was believed that any side effects would be confined to the reproductive system. However, this study suggests that LNG-IUS can be associated with systemic side effects similar to those of systemic hormonal contraception.

The author of the study concluded that “IUDs appear to be a very safe means of contraception and are generally well-tolerated,” she said. “However, if women with an IUD in place experience unexplainable side effects, they should talk to their doctor and consider using other types of contraception.”

A recent study has found that women who currently or recently used the LNG-IUS had an increase of 21% in the risk of breast cancer compared to women who had never used hormonal contraceptives.


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