Types of Intrauterine Devices aka IUD's

The IUD is a little, t-shaped piece of plastic that gets put in your uterus that alters the way sperm can move around and prevent them from fertilizing an egg. Yay science!! It's also 99% effective. IUDs offer years of protection, typically between three and twelve years depenting on the type that you get. When you're ready to start a family and have a baby you can have the IUD removed at any time. In the U.S. there are four main types of IUDs that are widely available and becoming more popular.

With the Affordable Care Act, millions who have had to go without insurance are now insured, if you have health insurance you should have no problem getting this method of birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to you. If you don't have insurance or Medicaid, an IUD can be costly up front, however when you look at how long it lasts it becomes more cost effective over time.



The Paragard IUD is a 100% hormone-free IUD. It doesn't alter your periods, and it's made of plastic and a small amount of natural, safe copper. It can stay inside the uterus up to 12 years.

Depending on your income, you may be able to go to a low-cost clinic to get ParaGard at reduced cost or no cost through our financial assistance program. The full price for ParaGard can range from $400 - $900 dollars.

If you don't have insurance, the manufacturer offersr payment plans where you can make 4 or 12 monthly payments. Contact the manufacturer at Paragard.com or call 1-877-727-2427 to find out more info. If you need further assistance contact us at info@freeiud.org





The Mirena IUD is a plastic device that releases a small amount of the synthetic hormone progestin to help your body keep sperm from passing through your cervix. It lasts up to 6 years and many women experience lighter periods.

If you have insurance this method may be free or low-cost to you, with most medicaid plans it is covered and free under most plans from the exchange. Without insurance depending on your income, you may be able to go to a low-cost clinic such as Planned Parenthood to get Mirena at reduced cost. Bayer, the company behind Mirena, works with health care providers all over to supply a certain number of free IUDs to women who qualify. If you qualify, and need help you can ask your health care provider to help you apply or message us at info@freeiud.org

The full price of a Mirena can range from $500 - $927 dollars depending on where you're located.


Skyla IUD

This plastic IUD is the smallest one available and has been approved by the FDA for women who have not had a child. It releases a small amount of the synthetic hormone progestin to help keep sperm from passing through your cervix. It works for up to 3 years.

Skyla like the other IUDs on the U.S. market sits inside the uterus and is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It's made by the same company that makes the Mirena IUD and it works in the same way by releasing a low dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone that thickens the cervical mucus and blocks sperm.

Skyla, Mirena, and ParaGard have some important things in common. All three of these IUDs are t-shaped devices that sit in your uterus and prevent more than 99 out of 100 pregnancies in a year—which means they're among the most effective birth control methods in the world. All three IUDs can be removed at any time with a quick trip to a health care provider—and once they're out, you should be able to get pregnant right away.

There are some differences too. It’s slightly smaller, slightly lower-dose, and the tube used to place it in the uterus is slightly narrower.

For most women using Skyla, their period won’t stop altogether. Only one in 17 Skyla users stop having a period after a year, and about one in eight have no period if they use it for longer. Compare that to Mirena: about one in five Mirena users stop having a period after a year, and one in three if they use it for longer.

Unlike other hormonal methods, IUDs don’t require regular trips to the clinic or pharmacy. All IUDs are convenient like that, but Skyla’s good for a maximum of 3 years—instead of Mirena’s 5 years or ParaGard’s 12 years.

Skyla’s slightly smaller frame and narrower placement tube are intended to make it more comfortable to insert and use compared to other IUDs, especially for young women and women who haven’t had a child.

Skyla, like other prescription birth control methods, should be covered without additional out-of-pocket costs. For folks without insurance or with coverage that’s exempt from the new health care rules, we've heard Skyla can cost between$650 - $780. If you don’t have insurance and don’t think you can afford the up-front costs of an IUD, you may qualify for help through our financial assistance program. The money sounds like a lot but keep in mind that once the IUD is inserted, it lasts for up to three years, so even at full-price it's a great value.



The Liletta is the latest addition to the hormonal IUD party. As the use of IUDs rise in both awareness and use so has the number of options on the market. The latest is called Liletta, and it will be coming very soon to a healthcare provider near you. Just like other IUDs, Liletta is safe for most women to use. Very important exceptions are women with an untreated uterine infection or women with breast, uterine, or cervical cancer.

Liletta works the same way as the Mirena and Skyla IUDs by releasing a steady, low level dose of the hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus. Liletta releases approximately 19mcg [micrograms] per day for the first year vs. 20 with Mirena and 14 with Skyla. Most of the hormone stays in the uterus, but there is a measureable amount of it in the in the blood too. All of these hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by thickening the cervical mucus and blocking sperm.

WIthout insurance or any kind of discount the Liletta costs $625 dollars around the same amount as Skyla. There are a number ways people with and without insurance can get Liletta for free or at a lower price including through our financial assistance program. If you don't have health insurance, look for a Title X family planning clinic near you that offers a sliding scale fee for their services, and they can purchase a Liletta directly from the manufacturer for you for only $50. If you have insurance coverage Liletta should be covered without a co-pay. Note that it may not be covered by insurance plans immediately, since it usually takes a few months for plans to get new drugs and devices on their list of approved treatments (called a “formulary”). For Medicaid plans, it can take up to a year to get new things on the formulary.

Before getting the IUD: Talk to your provider about getting a Liletta Access Card. This is like a debit card that can only be used to purchase a Liletta. It reduces the cost of the device to somewhere between $75 and $125, depending on the details of your health insurance plan. After your health care provider has written a prescription for the IUD and given you a card, you can use the card to pay for the IUD.

After getting the IUD: If you didn't know about the Access Card and paid full price out-of-pocket for Liletta, make sure you get an “explanation of benefits” (EOB) bill from your insurance company. Once you have the EOB, call 855-706-4508 to arrange a rebate of up to $500. The total rebate will depend on how much you paid for the Liletta.



About The LARC Foundation

The LARC Foundation is a grassroots organization aimed at providing education, promoting and spreading awareness, and alleviating the financial barrier to women in low income, and high risk environments.

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