Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that the FDA approved Skyla (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 13.5 mg, a new hormone-releasing system that is placed in the uterus for the prevention of pregnancy for up to three years.
“Research shows that nearly 50 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, which emphasizes the need for increased education and access to effective birth control options,”said Anita L. Nelson, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA. “Skyla is more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancyand may be appropriate for women who want a birth control method that they do not have to take daily. Further, Skyla may be used by women whether or not they have ever had a child, representing an important new choice for women who don’t want to become pregnant for up to three years.” Skyla is a small, flexible plastic T-shaped device containing 13.5 mg of a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel.The size of the Skyla T-body is 28mm x 30mm and the outer diameter of the placement tube is 3.8mm. Because Skyla slowly releases levonorgestrel into the uterus, only small amounts of the hormone enter the blood. During the first three to six months of using Skyla, women may experience irregular periods and an increase in the number of bleeding days. Women may also have frequent spotting or light bleeding. Some women may have heavy bleeding during this time. After using Skyla for a while, the number of bleeding and spotting days is likely to lessen, and there is a small chance that periods may stop altogether.
Women can have Skyla placed by a healthcare provider during an in-office visit. Skyla is intended for long-term use for up to three years but may be removed by a healthcare provider at any time. Women could become pregnant as soon as Skyla is removed, so they should use another method of birth control if they do not want to become pregnant. About 77% of women who want to become pregnant will become pregnant sometime in the first year after Skyla is removed.
“The approval of Skyla expands Bayer’s IUD portfolio and highlights our continued commitment to empower women with a variety of birth control options at different reproductive stages of their lives,” said Pamela A. Cyrus, M.D., Vice President and Head of U.S. Medical Affairs, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. “We are pleased to bring the first new IUD to market in the U.S. in 12 years, and to provide women who are seeking contraception with an important new and effective option to consider with their healthcare providers.” Skyla (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 13.5 mg will be available by prescription the week of February 11.