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Skyla and Breastfeeding

It is generally considered safe to breastfeed while using Skyla. The manufacturer of the device recommends women wait at least six weeks after they have their baby to use Skyla to allow the uterus enough time to return to its pre-pregnancy shape and size. However, there may also be times where Skyla may be inserted immediately after childbirth.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Skyla?

Skyla™ (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) is a prescription, low-dose intrauterine device (IUD). It is a reversible form of birth control that is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. Once in the uterus, the device slowly releases the hormone levonorgestrel for up to three years. Skyla is generally considered safe for use by nursing women.
 

More Information on Skyla and Breastfeeding

Skyla is a progestin-only contraceptive. It does not contain estrogen. If a breastfeeding woman is going to use a hormonal form of birth control, progestin-only products are generally preferred. This is because progestin-only contraceptives are unlikely to affect the quality or amount of breast milk produced. However, there have been reports of decreased milk production in some women who took progestin-only birth control pills.
 
Skyla is implanted directly into the uterus, where it produces the majority of its effects. Some of the hormone released by the device does reach the bloodstream, however, and can pass through breast milk to a nursing infant. Studies have shown that women using hormone-releasing IUDs, such as Skyla, can pass the hormone to their nursing child through breast milk. Even so, progestin-only contraceptives, such as Skyla, have not been shown to adversely affect a nursing child's health, growth, or development.
 
The manufacturer of Skyla recommends women wait at least six weeks after they have their baby to use Skyla. This is to give the uterus enough time to return to its pre-pregnancy size and shape. Inserting Skyla when the uterus has not completely returned to a non-pregnant state increases the risk that the device will perforate (break through) the uterus wall or come out on its own (known as expulsion).
 
In some countries, IUDs are commonly inserted immediately after childbirth (within a few minutes of delivering the placenta). While not a common practice in the United States and not officially recommended by the manufacturer of Skyla, it may be an acceptable alternative in some cases.
 
The risk for uterine perforation is also increased when Skyla is inserted during breastfeeding. Because of this, your healthcare provider may recommend you wait until Skyla is inserted to begin nursing. If you will be starting Skyla treatment after having a baby, talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to start breastfeeding.
 
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