The FDA Just Approved A Brand New Birth Control Option

Photo: Courtesy of Bayer.
Look out — we're about to get a whole new birth control option. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Kyleena, a new intrauterine device (IUD) from Bayer.

Kyleena, which is designed to prevent pregnancy for up to five years, will be available beginning in October. It's very similar to Mirena (which also lasts up to five years, and releases a slightly higher daily dose of hormones than Kyleena does) and Skyla (which delivers a lower dose of hormones and only lasts for three years). All three contain the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel and are made by Bayer.

But just how different is Kyleena compared to the other options? Kyleena delivers a lower dose of hormones per day (17.5 micrograms per day) compared to Mirena (20 micrograms per day), explains Yesmean Wahdan, MD associate medical director, Bayer Women’s Healthcare. "[Also,] Kyleena can be used whether or not a woman has given birth to a child," says Dr. Wahdan. "Mirena...is recommended for women who have given birth, and is also indicated for heavy menstrual bleeding in women who choose an IUD."

Along with the implant, IUDs fall into the category of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). These are considered to be some of the most effective birth control options largely because, unlike taking the pill, you don't really have to do anything for them to work (other than the initial insertion, of course). Other options include the three-year Liletta and the non-hormonal copper ParaGard IUDs.
This story has been updated to include comments from Bayer.
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