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FSRH Guideline (March 2023) Intrauterine contraception

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1 Purpose and scope

This document updates previous Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) guidance and aims to summarise the available evidence and expert opinion on intrauterine contraception (IUC). The guideline is intended for use by healthcare practitioners (HCPs) providing IUC care and advice.

2 Identification and assessment of the evidence

This guideline was developed in accordance with standard methodology for developing FSRH clinical guidelines. The recommendations made within this document are based on the best available evidence and the consensus opinion of experts and the guideline development group (GDG). The methodology used in developing this guideline and a list of GDG members and other contributors can be found in Appendix 1.

Appendix 1


The recommendations included should be used to guide clinical practice but are not intended to serve alone as a standard of medical care or to replace clinical judgement in the management of individual cases.

3 Introduction

Intrauterine contraception (IUC) is a highly effective, reversible method of contraception used by approximately 159 million users worldwide.1 This guideline provides information and recommendations on IUC and considers the two categories of IUC available in the UK at the time of publication: copper intrauterine devices (Cu-IUDs) and levonorgestrel intrauterine devices (LNG-IUDs).

The guideline is designed to enable clinicians to support individuals to make informed decisions about choosing and using IUC. It includes information on assessing suitability of IUC use for contraception, the risks and benefits of IUC and guidance for IUC procedures, complications and follow-up.

4 Summary including changes to existing guidance

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are long-acting, reversible, highly effective methods of contraception. In the UK there are two types of IUD available: copper IUDs (Cu-IUDs) and levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs (LNG-IUDs). All Cu-IUDs in the UK have a copper surface area ≥300 mm2. Three different doses of LNG-IUD are currently available in the UK containing 52 mg, 19.5 mg or 13.5 mg of levonorgestrel (LNG).

The LNG-IUDs were …

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  • Correction notice Since this set of guideline were published online the following changes have been made:

    July 2023Section 8.1 Breast cancer updated to reflect newly published evidence.