Skyla: The Latest IUD Targeted to Teens – Is it Worth the Risk?

Holy Hormones JournalSynthetic hormones are bad for your health.  Period.  Synthetic hormone contraception is a risk to your health. Period. The Mirena IUD has posed many health problems to young women.  Will the Skyla IUD do the same?

I am so grateful to my father who passed recently from Alzheimer’s when he shared some sage wisdom with me at a very young age: ‘DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING THAT IS ADVERTISED.” My father was a sales rep for a pharmaceutical packaging plant in New Jersey. I think he knew exactly what he was talking about. My first job at sweet 16 – by the way was working on the plant’s line packaging birth control pills.  Life is a hoot.

That being said – what is it with Pharma and their ‘aggressive’ advertising campaigns on innocent adolescent girls, teens and women?  Is pharma advertising all a part our society’s sexualized and objectified  ‘view on women‘ ?

The Truth About Skyla

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research
re: CyclingJune 4, 2013

by Holly Grigg-Spall

Do women using the Mirena hormonal IUD have their period?

Does it suppress the hormone cycle for all women or just some?

How does it work to prevent pregnancy exactly?

It seems these questions can’t be answered even by the assumed experts. We are told the Mirena “partially” suppresses ovulation and that some women will bleed mirenaand some won’t bleed at all. Mostly we hear that the impact must be limited to the reproductive organs because the level of synthetic hormone used is so low.

In an article entitled ‘Mirena: The Other Side of the Story’, AAA Ewies, a consultant gynaecologist at a UK NHS hospital wrote, “The argument used that serum concentration of LNG is extremely low and that its influence on ovarian function is limited has been disputed recently by many investigators. Xiao et al. found that Mirena was associated with substantial systemic absorption of the synthetic progesterone and recorded levels equivalent to two synthetic progesterone-containing ‘minipills’ taken daily on a continuous basis. A study documented that 21% of Mirena users experienced progestogenic adverse effects. Wahab and Al-Azzawi reported that Mirena suppresses oestrogen production, inducing a clinical situation similar to a premature menopause in at least 50% of treated women.”

In an effort to cut through the confusion, Bayer Pharmaceuticals went ahead and released the Skyla hormonal IUD in February of this year. Skyla is smaller than the Mirena, lasts three instead of five years, but contains the same synthetic progesterone and is also 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

It was interesting timing, considering the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) almost simultaneously released a recommendation that doctors provide the IUD (it didn’t specify if they meant the hormonal or copper device in the statement) as “first-line contraceptive options for sexually active adolescents”. Teens often struggle with heavier or painful periods and are far more likely to be offered the Skyla, which is said to lighten bleeding, than the Paragard copper IUD, which is thought to increase bleeding. Not to mention the Skyla costs significantly more, has a shorter span of use, and is backed by a Bayer’s marketing department. The Mirena has been advertised heavily since its release in 2001 and the aggressiveness of the campaign – with television commercials proclaiming Mirena would make a woman “look and feel great” – was reprimanded by the FDA.

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.