Treats Irregular Periods
Less Painful Periods
Decreases Heavy Periods
Decreases Monthly Blood Loss
Decreases Risk of Ovarian Cysts
Decreases Risk of Ovarian Cancer
Decreases Risk of Endometrial Cancer
Decreases Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Do NOT use if allergic to estrogen or progestin. Discuss use with a doctor before breastfeeding, may decrease milk volume.
Levonorgestrel is a type of progestin hormone. When taken orally, Levonorgestrel can be used as emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected heterosexual intercourse. It works by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) and makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg. If an egg does become fertilized by a sperm, then Levonorgestrel can also prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus (womb) by making changes in the lining of the uterus.
Levonorgestrel is also found in levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs) like Mirena, which are inserted into the uterus. IUDs containing Levonorgestrel can be used as non-emergency birth control and can even be used to help women dealing with heavy and painful periods.
Levonorgestrel side effects aren’t experienced by all women taking this medication. In women using a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD like Mirena, side effects may include nausea, vomiting, irregular menstrual periods, vaginal itching, bloating, headaches, pelvic, back, or stomach pain, mood changes, swelling of the hands and feet, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, changes in hair growth, and acne. We know that sounds like a lot to worry about. Fortunately, Levonorgestrel side effects tend to get better over time, if they occur at all.
Private, secure, confidential, and convenient birth control ordering online with free delivery—yes, it’s true! At Pandia Health, our women-founded, women-led team are changing the rules when it comes to accessing safe and effective birth control. Our Patient Care Advisors can connect you with a licensed doctor in your area who can prescribe and insert a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD like Mirena, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena (IUDs must be inserted by a doctor at a doctor’s office). With insurance, the cost of your IUD could be as low as $0. We also offer many payment options to fit your needs!
If you need Levonorgestrel as part of an emergency contraception, you can get this without a prescription at a pharmacy for about $40 to $50, although coupons are often available to help cut the cost.
Some women notice a mild increase in weight after getting a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD inserted. While weight gain is listed as a possible side effect of Levonorgestrel, it’s often due to water retention rather than actual body fat.
All medications come with a risk of potential adverse reactions or allergies. While the risk of this is low, you should be aware of signs of an allergic reaction to the Levonorgestrel pill, including rashes, itching, and dizziness. If you experience swelling in the throat, tongue, or lips and have trouble breathing, call 911 immediately. If you have a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD like Mirena and experience symptoms like unusual vaginal bleeding or pain during sex, talk to your doctor.
You should always chat with your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and recreational drugs you’re currently taken, since some of these may interact with Levonorgestrel and make it less effective at preventing pregnancy. This includes certain medications used to treat HIV, seizures, and hepatitis C. In addition to reviewing your current medication list, you should also review your medical history and whether you have any chronic health conditions.
Did you know? It’s normal for your next period to begin later than expected after taking Levonorgestrel, but if it’s delayed for more than a week, you should call your doctor and take a pregnancy test.
If you’re taking Levonorgestrel as an emergency contraceptive (like the “Plan B” pill), then you should head to a pharmacy and take it as soon as possible within 72 hours after having unprotected heterosexual intercourse. Be sure to take the medication exactly as instructed on the label. Never hesitate to ask your pharmacist or one of our Patient Care Advisors for more information if you need help. That’s what we’re here for!
It’s important to resume using your regular birth control method after taking a morning after pill.
Levonorgestrel in the form of an emergency contraceptive is very easy to get. You can buy it over the counter at any pharmacy without a prescription from a doctor. If you’re interested in getting a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD like Mirena, you’ll need to schedule an in-office appointment with a doctor in your area, such as an OB/GYN. Your doctor will review your medical history and current medications and can explain more about how IUDs work. Once you and your doctor have determined that a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD is right for you, your doctor will be able to insert it in the office.
When taken as an emergency contraceptive, Levonorgestrel prevents a pregnancy by thickening the vaginal fluid and preventing sperm from reaching an egg. Levonorgestrel can also prevent an egg from attaching to the uterine wall by changing the lining of the uterus.
Levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs like Mirena prevent pregnancies for as long as the device is inside a woman’s uterus by slowly releasing Levonorgestrel. In addition to making the above changes, IUDs containing Levonorgestrel will also prevent an egg from being released from an ovary.
There’s no evidence showing that Levonorgestrel or any other type of birth control cause infertility. When taken as an emergency contraceptive, Levonorgestrel also does not end an existing pregnancy. It may take a few cycles for your fertility to return to normal after getting an IUD removed, but if you want to become pregnant simply schedule an appointment with your doctor to have it taken out.
Watch this video by our Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Sophia Yen to learn more about birth control and fertility.