Mirena is basically an intrauterine device (IUD) used by women and inserted into the uterus for purposes of long-term birth control. It’s T-shaped and releases a certain type of progestinas well as thickening the cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from fertilizing or reaching the egg. It also suppresses ovulation partiallyby thinning the walls or lining of the uterus.Mirena is the only approved hormonal IUD by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It prevents pregnancy for a period of up to five years when inserted.
Can I Use Mirena IUD?
1. When You Can Use It
You can use the IUD only when:
- You don’t have pelvic complications or infections at the time of insertion.
- You have only one partner who is not infected and does not have any other sex partners; this is significant to prevent contracting any STIs or pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID). You can agree with your partner to use condoms.
- You want a long term acting method of birth control that is reversible and requires little effort.
- You don’t want to use birth control pills or any other hormonal birth control methods.
- You are breastfeeding.
There is a copper IUD which can be used for emergency contraception, if you’ve had unprotected sex in the past few days and you want to prevent pregnancy as well as when you want to continue using the IUD for purposes of birth control. However, using the copper IUD for short term birth control is an expensive method of birth control as compared to hormone pills.
2. When You Cannot Use It
You cannot use the Mirena IUD if:
- You have an allergic reaction to one of its ingredients which include silicone and polyethylene.
- You suspect that you are pregnant or when you are actually pregnant.
- You have a history of pelvic inflammatory diseases and have not had a normal pregnancy or when you are currently having the condition.
- When you are prone or have a history of ectopic pregnancy, endometritis or any other condition that may put you at risk of pelvic infections or ectopic pregnancy.
- You had an inflamed lining or wall of the uterus after pregnancy or you had an infected abortion in the past three months.
- You have had an abnormal Pap smear usually of unknown cause; infection of the genitals, or vagina; inflammation of the cervix or the vagina or any other STIs such as gonorrhea.
- You have a certain condition that makes you vulnerable to an infection such as immune system problems including leukemia or HIV infection.
- There are risk factors that increase your chances of contracting an infection. For example, your partner has more than one sex partner.
- You were inserted or had an IUD that has not been removed yet.
- You suspect you have breast cancer or have a history of this condition.
- You suspect or have cancer of cervix or uterus.
- You have liver tumors or liver disease.
If you do have any of the above and you use the IUD mistakenly, be sure to contact the doctor immediately.
What Are the Side Effects of Mirena IUD?
Some of the most common side effects of this IUD include the following:
1. Discomfort During Placement
Having a feeling of discomfort during the placement process such as dizziness, pain, bleeding or even cramping, this is a common phenomenon with this IUD. You can let your health care practitioner know, in case you get severe cramps. The symptoms should cease 30 minutes after placement, but if they don’t, it could mean that the IUD was not inserted well.
Sometimes the Mirena IUD may come out by itself and no longer prevent pregnancy; the symptom of both complete and partial expulsion may involve bleeding, increased menstrual flow or even pain. If this happens, the Mirena can be replaced within the period of 7 days of a menstrual cycle after completely ruling out absence of pregnancy. However, you can use other contraception method such as condoms. If it comes out, notify the doctor.
How to Use Mirena IUD
You are supposed to use the Mirena IUD only as per your doctor’s directions. You can also check the package prescriptions for the exact dosing instructions:
- There is an extra patient leaflet that is usually available for the Mirena IUD. But you can consult your pharmacist in case you have any question concerning this IUD.
- Before you decide on using this product, it’s advisable to read the patient insertion instruction carefully and discuss with your health care provider about the information as well as other birth control methods.
- The IUD should only be inserted by qualified health care practitioner in a medical setting.
- Some 3 to 6 months after insertion, the period may become irregular within this duration.
- The IUD usually remains in place for five years; however, if you wish to continue using the method of contraception after 5 years, it could be replaced with a new one.
- It can be removed at any time by your doctor in case you decide not to continue using the IUD.
- If you still have the IUD that has lasted for more than five years, you can see your doctor right away.
Here is a video to show you how Mirena IUD works:
When to See a Doctor
You can call your doctor or see your medical practitioner immediately you start experiencing series of side effects such as:
- Pelvic pain or severe cramps
- Feeling like you might pass out or extreme dizziness
- Ongoing or heavy vaginal bleeding, white vaginal discharge, vaginal sores and foul or unusual vaginal smell
- Weakness, pale skin and easy bruising or bleeding
- Severe or extreme pain in your lower stomach
- Chills, fever or any other infection signs
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Severe or sudden headache, vision problems, confusion and sensitivity to light
- Jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Allergic reaction signs including breathing difficult, swelling of lips face, tongue etc.