Category Archives: Women’s Health

Mirena (IUD)

Mirena (IUD)


An intrauterine device (IUD) is a little, t-shaped piece of plastic inserted into the uterus to provide birth control. The purpose of the T-body is to adjust the system to the shape of the womb. Two removal threads are tied to the loop at the lower end of the vertical arm.

I would like to point out as a possible side effect not listed, the string may curl up which might become connected to the tissue. Thus, a difficult or complicated and painful removal.

There are 3 types of IUDs that use the hormone progestin include Mirena, Skyla, and Liletta. Skyla is the smallest of the progestin IUDs. A copper IUD (ParaGard) lasts up to 12 years, and can serve as emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days after unprotected sex.

I hear good things about the copper IUD’s. However, my insurance wouldn’t cover it. If I only knew…. But the point of this blog is to talk about the Mirena hormone progestin IUD.

How it works

A progestin IUD releases a small amount of hormones into the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs. The vertical arm of the T-body carries a drug reservoir containing levonorgestrel. It’s inserted by a healthcare professional.

Effectiveness: over 99% effective. You are protected from pregnancy as soon as Mirena is fitted. The possibility of becoming pregnant is approximately 2 in 1,000 in the first year. The failure rate may increase in case of the Mirena coming out by itself or perforation.

What! It comes out on its own? Are you scared yet? LOL

Availability: at some clinics

Effort: requires a quick procedure to insert and remove by a health care worker.

Yes, it was quick! I like how they leave out details about what “may” happen during this procedure. And for me it wasn’t so quick to remove. Also, PLEASE do not try to remove it yourself or have someone other then a professional remove it!

Benefits & side effects

According to WebMD:

Acne: unlikely to be affected

Headaches: unlikely to be affected

Weight: unlikely to be affected

Menstrual changes: may become lighter with fewer cramps, or it may stop completely

Additional info: may help reduce symptoms of PMS

It is true Mirena is used to reduce bleeding for heavy bleeders which it does but it is really VERY effective in preventing conception. But they forget to mention the real side effects.

Possible side effects:

*Taking any medicine carries some risk of side effects.
Weight gain, depression, nervousness, headache, migraine, abdominal, pelvic or back pain, nausea, acne, increased growth of hair on the face and body, reduced sex drive, increased vaginal discharge, inflammation of the vulva and vagina, tender / painful breasts, Mirena coming out by itself.

A lot different then WebMD! 

Uncommon side effects:
Genital infections that may cause: vaginal itching; pain on passing urine; or lower abdominal pain from inflammation of the womb, ovaries or Fallopian tubes, swelling of your abdomen, legs or ankles, hair loss, itchy skin including eczema, skin discoloration / increased skin pigment especially on the face (chloasma). Mirena can also lower your chances of future conception.

Rare side effects:
*If you experience any of the following serious side effects please contact your doctor or nurse immediately:

Severe pain or fever developing shortly after insertion may mean that you have; severe infection which must be treated immediately. In rare cases very severe infection (sepsis) can occur.

Severe pain and continued bleeding as this might be a sign of damage or tear in the wall of the womb (perforation). Perforation is rare (1:1000 chance), but occurs most often during the fitting of the Mirena, although the perforation may not be detected until sometime later. If this happens the Mirena will be removed; very rarely this may require surgery. Possible signs and symptoms of perforation may include:

  • severe pain (like menstrual cramps) or more pain than expected – heavy bleeding (after insertion)
  • pain or bleeding which continues for more than a few weeks
  • sudden changes in your periods
  • pain during sex
  • Lower abdominal pain especially if you also have a fever or have missed a period or have unexpected bleeding, as this might be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.

The absolute risk of ectopic pregnancy in Mirena users is low. However, when a woman becomes pregnant with Mirena in place, the relative likelihood of ectopic pregnancy is increased.
Lower abdominal pain or experience painful or difficult sex as this might be a sign of ovarian cysts or pelvic inflammatory disease or cervical cancer (they say can’t be proven as a symptom). This is important as pelvic infections can reduce your chances of having a baby and can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy or having cancer (again can’t be proven).

So, now that you know the facts, what is your opinion? Scary huh? And this is the best form of birth control. Most Doctors will recommend it over the pill or shot. I will NEVER get one again. It’s not worth it! If only I was more educated before getting it. Not all have problems but a lot do. Take at your own risk!

Thanks for reading!