Original research article| Volume 75, ISSUE 1, P37-39, January 2007

Experience with the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system among HIV-infected women



      Safe and effective contraception is needed for women infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) is an effective long-term contraceptive that reduces menstrual bleeding and may reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. Yet, little is known about LNG-IUS use in HIV-infected women.

      Subjects and Methods

      Six HIV-infected women had the LNG-IUS inserted between March 1998 and October 2002, and were systemically followed for a mean of 45 months. Indications for LNG-IUS use were contraception in four women and menorrhagia in two women.


      The LNG-IUS was well tolerated, and menstrual bleeding was reduced in all women. Blood hemoglobin levels increased in each subject, with mean levels being 123 g/L (SD=11.7) before LNG-IUS insertion and 135 g/L (SD=8.7) at 1 year (p=.01). Levels of circulating CD4 lymphocytes and Pap smear findings remained unchanged.


      Our limited experience with LNG-IUS use in HIV-infected women is encouraging. The LNG-IUS may be used as an alternative to uterine surgery in HIV-infected women with menorrhagia.


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