Each IUD (intrauterine device) or contraceptive implant comes with a recommended duration of use, which varies based on the type device. Fortunately, IUDs and implants do not suddenly "switch off" or stop providing contraceptive protection as of the stroke of midnight on the recommended removal date. And having your IUD or implant in place beyond that date does not immediately increase your risk of infection or other complications.
With the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) realized that people with uteruses who require contraception have faced challenges accessing reproductive health care, which includes not only starting, but discontinuing or replacing birth control, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) like IUDs or the contraceptive implant (Nexplanon). In response to this, the SOGC has published a consensus statement, which includes a recommendation that removal or replacement long-acting reversible contraception may safely be deferred for up to twelve (12) months, particularly in the case of 5-year copper IUDs and the Mirena IUS. The risk of pregnancy in the 12-month extended period is likely to be small with the lower dose hormonal IUDs such as the Kyleena (approved for 5 years) and Jaydess (approved for 3 years), but a second method of contraception, such as barrier methods (condoms), progestin only pills, or combined hormonal contraceptive (pills, patch, or rings - if no contraindications) should be added once the approved duration of Kyleena or Jaydess has passed.
Single-rod progestin contraceptive implants (Etonogestel contraceptive implant, or Nexplanon, in Canada) may also safely be used for up to twelve (12) months from the indicated duration of use.
After your IUD or contraceptive implant insertion you should have received a card with the name and lot number of your device, as well as the date of insertion, and recommendations for the approved duration of use. Here are the approved durations of the common LARCs in Canada:
Copper IUD with 380 mm2 copper - Approved duration of use for pregnancy prevention is 5 years and can be extended by 12 months if needed:
Mona Lisa® 5 Mini (NT Cu380)
Mona Lisa® 5 Standard (NT Cu380)
Mona Lisa® 10 (CuT 380A QL)
Copper IUDs with less than 380 mm2 copper - Approved duration of use for pregnancy prevention is should not be extended by 12 months without additional contraception:
Mona Lisa® N (ST Cu300) - Approved duration of use is 3 years
Flexi-T+ 300 - Approved duration of use is 5 years
Flexi-T 300 - Approved duration of use is 5 years
Hormonal Intrauterine Systems (IUS)
Mirena IUS - Approved duration of use for pregnancy prevention is 5 years, and can safely be used for up to 7 years.
Kyleena IUS - Approved duration of use for pregnancy prevention is 5 years; back-up contraception should be used beyond 5 years until it can be replaced.
Jaydess IUS (Discontinued in Canada) - Approved duration of use for pregnancy prevention is 3 years; back-up contraception should be used beyond 3 years until it can be replaced.
Nexplanon Contraceptive Implant - Approved duration of use for pregnancy prevention is 3 years, and can be extended by 12 months if needed.
IUD or Contraceptive Implant Removals at Liberty Women's Health
Appointments removal of IUDs or contraceptive implants may be booked online without an initial consultation. This is only for the removal of a device, not replacement.
IUD or Contraceptive Implant Insertions or Replacements Liberty Women's Health
If you would like to start using or replace an IUD or Implant for birth control or for regulating periods, please book a Birth Control Consultation online first to review your health history, discuss which option might be best for you, and so that the prescription can be issued; the procedure will be arranged for another day.
For an expedited, single-visit procedure, you may ask your primary care provider to provide this counselling, prescribe the desired form of LARC, and send a referral for the insertion only.