Kyleena side effects and how to avoid them

Kyleena is manufactured by Bayer. It is classed as a synthetic progestin hormone and is used for birth control. While Kyleena is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Kyleena include pelvic pain and ovarian cysts. Less common, but more serious side effects, can include life-threatening sepsis.

Learn more about the side effects of Kyleena and what you can do to avoid them.

What is Kyleena (levonorgestrel)?

There are two types of intrauterine devices available in the U.S. Copper IUDs (ParaGard) and hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Liletta, Skyla, and Kyleena). All of these devices are effective hormonal birth control methods. Kyleena is FDA-approved for birth control to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 to 6 years. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progestin hormone and does not contain estrogen.

How exactly Kyleena and its release of levonorgestrel (LNG) within the uterus has a contraceptive effect is not fully understood. It is thought that Kyleena and similar LNG products have several methods of action. These include:

  • Thickening of the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for the sperm to pass into the uterus
  • Preventing sperm from maturing into sperm that are able to fertilize an egg
  • Making it more difficult for the sperm to survive in the uterus
  • To alter the lining of the uterus wall (endometrium)

Kyleena’s effects are completely reversible, and your fertility will rapidly return. You can become pregnant as soon as Kyleena is removed.

Kyleena dosage

Kyleena is a T-shaped plastic intrauterine device (IUD) inserted through the vagina and placed into the uterus. It will be inserted by a healthcare professional. The Kyleena hormonal IUD device releases levonorgestrel into the uterus, causing changes in your cervix and uterus. Kyleena may be used alone or with other medications. It is important to understand that Kyleena should not be used for emergency contraception. Your healthcare provider can help you decide which birth control options are best for you and if an IUD is right for you, and if so, which one is best for you. Kyleena does not protect against HIV or STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

This device can move out of place or come out by itself. If it comes out, contact your healthcare professional immediately for medical advice and use backup birth control such as condoms and spermicide to prevent pregnancy until you are advised otherwise.

Kyleena side effects

The most common side effects of Kyleena or adverse events include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Vulvovaginitis – inflammation or infection of the outer part of your vagina
  • Cramps or painful periods
  • Vaginal itching or infection
  • Missed, irregular menstrual periods (especially during the first 3 to 6 months), heavy bleeding, or changes in your bleeding patterns
  • Temporary pain, bleeding, or dizziness during IUD insertion
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating
  • Migraine headaches
  • Depression, mood changes
  • Back pain
  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Changes in hair growth
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Puffiness in your face, hands, ankles, or feet

In rare instances, Kyleena can cause more serious side effects. These can include:

  • Severe infection or sepsis (a rare but life-threatening infection) can occur within the first few days
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • An ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy not in the uterus) – if this should occur remove the intrauterine system as leaving it in place can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and preterm labor
  • Increased risk of intrauterine pregnancy
  • Perforation – the intrauterine device may go into the wall of the uterus or through the wall of the uterine cavity
  • Severe cramps or abdominal pain
  • Severely dizzy or lightheaded
  • Confusion, vision problems, sensitivity to light
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding, vaginal sores, unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pale skin, weakness, easily bruised or bleeding, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Increased risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Symptoms may include sudden numbness or weakness, severe headache, or chest pain.

Your doctor will assess the benefits of using Kyleena against your risk of possible side effects. If you experience any of these serious side effects, stop taking Kyleena and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Kyleena drug interactions

Kyleena can interact with other medications which can affect your blood levels of levonorgestrel and make this form of birth control less effective. These include:

  • Antivirals – amprenavir, boceprevir, fosamprenavir, telaprevir
  • Anticancer treatment – brigatinib, dabrafenib, encorafenib, pexidartinib
  • Anticonvulsants – carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, felbamate
  • Etretinate – for the treatment of severe psoriasis
  • St. Johns wort

This list is not exhaustive and other drugs may interact with Kyleena. Call your doctor for further medical advice. Before taking Kyleena, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.

Kyleena warnings & precautions

You should not use Kyleena if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient levonorgestrel
  • Have had an allergic reaction to any of the other ingredients in Kyleena
  • Have abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Have an untreated pelvic or genital infection
  • Have endometriosis or a serious pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) after a pregnancy or abortion in the last 3 months
  • Have had PID in the past unless you have had a normal pregnancy after the infection went away
  • Have cervix, or uterine cancer
  • Have breast cancer or any other cancer sensitive to progestin, now or in the past
  • Have uterine fibroid tumors
  • Have liver problems such as liver disease or a liver tumor
  • Have a weak immune system due to conditions such as AIDS or leukemia
  • If you have another IUD device in place
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant

Talk to your doctor before using Kyleena if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Kyleena
  • Have or have ever had high blood pressure, heart problems, or a stroke
  • Have any bleeding problems
  • Suffer from migraines or headaches
  • Have a vaginal or pelvic infection, or have a sexually transmitted disease
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – Kyleena is unlikely to affect the quality or amount of your breast milk or the health of your nursing baby. However, a small number of cases of a reduction in milk production have been reported

You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Kyleena, to make sure it is safe for you.

Do I need to avoid alcohol with Kyleena?

Alcohol will not affect IUDs, implants, patches, the ring, or the effectiveness of the pill.

Is weight gain a side effect of Kyleena?

Kyleena can cause weight gain associated with water retention caused by progestin, rather than an increase in body fat percentage

Does Kyleena have emotional side effects?

Kyleena can cause depression and mood changes. Speak to your doctor for medical advice if you experience these side effects.

How long do Kyleena side effects last?

Side effects may last from a couple of weeks up to 6 months, depending on who you listen to or what you read. The general advice is to give the side effects time to pass. However, if you do have persistent troublesome side effects it is always best to speak to your healthcare provider.

What is the cost of Kyleena?

Kyleena prices without insurance will vary depending on where you buy it. As a guide, Kyleena intrauterine device 19.5 mg usually costs $1,050 for 1 device.

How to avoid Kyleena side effects

The best way to avoid side effects is to take Kyleena as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not take more or less than prescribed.

If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.

1. Stick to the recommended dosage

Take your prescribed dose of Kyleena that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.

2. Monitor your blood sugar levels

If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Kyleena. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.

3. Drink plenty of fluids

Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.

4. Don’t skip meals

Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).

5. Check your feet

If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience any problems with your feet while taking Kyleena.

6. Know the signs and symptoms of Kyleena side effects

Signs and symptoms of side effects include depression and changes in mood. If you experience any of these symptoms contact your doctor for medical advice.

7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking

Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Kyleena.

8. Get regular medical check ups

It is important to get regular medical check ups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your side effects and may adjust your dose of Kyleena as needed.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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Sources (2)

  1. FDA - highlights of prescribing information for Kyleena

  2. - Kyleena

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.