Hormonal IUD and periods : effects on cycle and menstrual flow

The hormonal IUD is a contraceptive method used by many women to avoid pregnancy or to regulate their menstrual flow l. What impact does this contraception have on women? periods ?

What is a hormonal IUD?

The hormonal IUD is placed in a woman's uterus. It's a small, highly flexible piece of plastic resembling the letter T, containing a dose ofsynthetic hormones which are released over a period of 5 years, with a contraceptive efficacy of almost 99.9%. The hormones released are progestins similar to those found in certain pills. This contraceptive will therefore have an impact on the production of the uterine mucous membrane and on uterine secretions, to prevent pregnancy through the implantation of an embryo. Levonorgestrel makes the uterine mucosa very thin. This makes implantation impossible. The IUD and periods are linked by their impact on uterine tissue.

This method of contraception is inserted by a healthcare professional. The IUD is inserted using a speculum. Insertion is generally painless. The IUD is removed by a healthcare professional, using a thread.

The hormonal IUD is an internal contraceptive, like the copper IUD, the diaphragm and the female condom.

Is there a difference between IUD models?

The hormonal IUD is very different from the copper one. Many women refer to the hormonal version as the periods -free IUD. But what are the differences between all the IUDs on the market, and what are their effects and impacts?

There are four main brands of hormonal intrauterine device on the market. Your gynecologist or midwife will suggest an IUD based on your state of health, weight, menstrual periods and previous history.

Most devices on the market all dispense a progestin called levonorgestrel. Here's a table summarizing each IUD model and its properties.








52 mg




13.5 mg




19.5 mg




52 mg

What are the effects of the hormonal IUD on periods ?

This contraceptive method has a direct impact on the various menstrual phases. In fact, by releasing hormones, it has an impact on the creation of the endometrium, which lines the cervix and thickens over the course of the month to accommodate a pregnancy. Like the contraceptive pill, it will potentially have an impact on bleeding at periods. While the copper IUD will increase the volume of menstrual periods, the hormonal IUD will considerably reduce them.

Little or no periods

When a hormonal IUD is inserted, women tend to experience the following periods symptoms:

  • Amenorrhea, absence of menstruation
  • Very light menstrual flow
  • Blood loss outside the menstrual period, also known as spotting

The reason is that this contraceptive does not preventovulation, but acts on thethickness of the uterine mucosa, making it very thin. This prevents an embryo from taking hold. As the uterine tissue is thinner, there is less blood loss at periods , as there is less tissue to evacuate.

Bleeding after fitting

After inserting the IUD, you may experience some spotting due to the doctor's insertion.

  • Spotting may occur during the first few months, as the uterine lining takes on a new consistency. 20% of women experience no bleeding at all after a few months' use.
  • Other menstruating people will have a very light discharge of light-colored blood (because the blood will dilute with the thicker cervical mucus), brown because the blood in smaller quantities will take longer to s'eliminate and will have time to s'oxidize.

You may also experience cramps and pain after fitting.

Other effects: greater risk of acne

When taking hormonal contraception, especially when it contains progestins, it's possible to experience acne flare-ups. In fact, the IUD is contraindicated for anyone with a history of severe acne.

The hormonal IUD can also have undesirable effects, such as :

  • chest pain and breast swelling,
  • nausea and migraines,
  • decreased libido.

Some menstruating women may experience dizziness, chronic fatigue and altered irritability.

When is it not advisable to wear a hormonal IUD?

As you can see, the hormonal IUD has a significant impact on the menstrual cycle and on periods. It also has an impact on the entire endocrine and hormonal system. It is therefore important to discuss any contraindications to using a hormonal IUD with your gynecologist or midwife.
It is contraindicated in cases of :

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge: periods or spotting, for example.
  • Diseases such as thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, phlebitis, uterine cancer and neurological migraines.
  • It cannot be used in cases ofuntreated STIs orSTIs that have been untreated for less than three months.
  • All women who have had an infection following childbirth, abortion, aspiration or curettage will not be able to wear an IUD for three months.
  • It will never be fitted before 6 weeks after childbirth.
  • Finally, all women with anexcessively large cervix

What are the advantages of a hormonal IUD compared with a copper device?

The positive points of a hormonal IUD compared with a copper-bearing IUD should be discussed with your midwife, doctor or gynecologist. Each woman is unique and will have different needs. The main advantages of both forms are ease of use and 99.9% protection against unwanted pregnancy.

  • The hormonal IUD will have an impact on the periods by reducing or eliminating them altogether. People suffering from heavy periods, endometriosis or adenomyosis will have fewer symptoms.
  • The main advantage of the copper IUD is that it contains no hormones, so it does not increase the risk of arterial disease or thromboembolism. It will have an effect on spermatozoa. It is also suitable for nursing mothers.

The FAQ for hormonal IUDs and periods

Why do I have periods with a hormonal IUD?

It is possible to menstruate with a hormonal IUD. If your uterine lining tends to thin out, you may continue to produce it. When the menstrual period arrives, the uterus eliminates it.

What are the side effects of the hormonal IUD on periods ?

One of the side effects of the hormonal IUD on periods isamenorrhea. The absence of periods at the time of menstruation is completely normal.

Is bleeding normal with a hormonal IUD?

It is perfectly normal and possible to have light blood loss when you have an intrauterine device. The spotting will be light, very light in color, black or brown.


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