Rebecca Vineyard
September 19, 2016 5:38 pm

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new contraceptive device made by Bayer. This new, hormonal method of birth control is called Kyleena, and it can prevent pregnancy for up to five years.

According to Reuters, it’s an IUD, or intrauterine device, and a small, T-shaped piece of flexible plastic. Kyleena releases the hormone levonorgestrel, which prevents the lining of the womb from thickening so that you can’t get pregnant. This long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) might be a good option for those already looking at using an IUD or implant to prevent pregnancy.

IUDs are a very effective method of birth control that’s more popular than ever. They come in copper, which is non-hormonal and lasts longer than hormonal IUDs – but may be slightly less effective – and hormonal varieties.

Kyleena works a little differently than other popular hormonal IUDs, though. Planned Parenthood has the rundown on these:

“The hormones in Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1) they thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm, and 2) the hormones also sometimes stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (called ovulation), which means there’s no egg for a sperm to fertilize. No egg, no pregnancy.”

Bayer also makes Mirena and Skyla; They are currently on the market, while Kyleena will become available to consumers in October. Bayer has said that after using Kyleena for a while, they will likely experience shorter periods, and some may stop bleeding altogether.

We’ll probably learn more details about Kyleena after October, when it’s available to the general public; however, we’re excited about it. More methods of birth control, especially LARCs, being on the market is a good thing, because it gives us more options and more agency over our bodies and our reproductive health. Three cheers for that!