Birth Control/Skyla IUD

Has anyone used Skyla for birth control? What was your experience and how, if any, did it seem to affect your diabetes?

I used the Skyla for a little over 2 years before I had it removed early. This was before I used a cgm. At that time, I did not notice a difference in my bg control while using Skyla.

My control was overall good, but not good enough for me to able to confidently say that it had no effect.

I stopped using the Skyla because the spotting never went away. It got better after about 6 months, but it was very inconsistent and inconvenient. I much preferred the Nuvaring because it was more consistent. Every woman is different, so you may have a totally different experience.

I got a cgm while using the Nuvaring. My control with a cgm was much much better, and the effects of birth control and my menstrual cycle on my basal needs could be more easily tracked. When I went off the Nuvaring I was able to drop my daily basal dose by 1 unit. At that time, I was taking 25-28 units/day (basal needs varied throughout my monthly cycle). My assumption is that because the hormones are similar between the Nuvaring and Skyla, I might have experienced similar changes in basal needs on the Skyla. However, since Skyla made my cycle inconsistent, it would’ve been harder to track when I needed to change my basal dose throughout my cycle.

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They are fairly different, hormonally. I am pretty sure nuvaring is higher dose, and it also contains estradiol in addition to progestin. I believe nuvaring functions more equivalently to a low dose oral contraceptive (and blocks ovulation), whereas Skyla is much lower dose and does not necessarily block ovulation. If you are looking for hormonal stabilization of cycles, a method that blocks ovulation and is continuous (like nuvaring or monophasic oral contraceptives taken continuously) is probably the best bet.


I didn’t try Skyla; I had a Mirena, and I hated it. The insertion wasn’t actually bad at all, but everything else about it was. In addition to the spotting issue @katers87 mentions, I slid into feeling depressed (not a usual issue for me), and my joint pain went way up. Got it taken out, and went back to normal within a month. People claim those types of IUDs (low dose progestin) do not have systemic side effects, but I am one of quite a few people who experienced otherwise, and a recent paper suggested that they do indeed have one of the higher rates of depression as a side effect of the various hormonal methods. That said, many people love them, and those side effects are still less common than not. But if you try it, I would keep an eye on your mood etc, and don’t let anyone try to tell you it couldn’t be the IUD because it’s “local only.”

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Yes, apparently I had forgotten that. It’s been about 3 years since I had the Skyla removed.

The Nuvaring contains forms of estrogen and progestin whereas the Skyla only contains a form of progestin. I have no way of knowing which hormone caused the increase in basal needs. Given that you don’t get any estrogen in the Skyla, the dosage amounts (between the Skyla and Nuvaring) may not be appropriate to compare. I feel like I had more side effects from Skyla so it seems intuitively odd to me that the dosage amount would be lower. Perhaps the estrogen just offsets the progestin in the Nuvaring or perhaps the location being different impacts how much of the dose your body absorbs. I don’t know, but I’ll never use anything like the Skyla again.

Speaking of side effects, I also had a bunch of acne after first going on the Skyla. I am generally not prone to acne, so I was surprised that I ended up with that side effect. I think that cleared up after 6-9 months.

I remember the adjustment period to Skyla was much longer than advertised by my doctor- for both the spotting (to the degree it did clear up) and the acne.

My skin handled the Nuvaring fine, and I had no spotting. It was a much better fit for me.

I think these are quite similar, but the Mirena is larger, lasts longer, and delivers a higher dose.

I do not remember having problems with depression after going on Skyla. My dose was lower than yours though, and everyone is different anyway.

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A lot of it is counterintuitive, because these birth control methods both alter hormone production and then compensate with add-back, essentially, but the end result can actually be lower amounts of circulating hormones than when you aren’t on the meds. The estradiol is in the mix purely to mitigate unpleasant side effects from progestin only, since the progestin is what inhibits ovulation (estrogen does a lot of good things, like improve cognition, skin, mood, etc—it just can dangerous to add-back too much because of risk for stroke and breast cancer). Also the specific forms of progestin especially matter a lot in terms of potential side effects.

I know I will never take a progestin-only bc myself after my experiences, and given that those forms tend to have higher rates of side effects. Again though, lots of people love their Mirenas, so I think there’s a ton of variability in individual responses.

I had mirena for 5 years and it was great! No noticeable changes to BG or anything like that. I’m actually planning on getting another one after I have children :slightly_smiling_face: