An IUD (intrauterine device) is a small T-shaped device that helps prevent pregnancy. A trained healthcare professional inserts it into the uterus and it can remain there for up to six years.
You can have the IUD removed at any time if you wish to try for a baby.
If you don’t wish to take daily birth control pills, an IUD is a suitable alternative.
An IUD like a Mirena also helps treat heavy periods. Mirena starts working as a contraceptive as soon as it is inserted. In a few weeks’ time, periods will become lighter and less painful.
Women who are not sexually active but have heavy or painful periods, might choose Mirena as an alternative to the birth control pill.
Doctors will tell you that Mirena is one of the best choices of IUD, both for preventing pregnancy and managing difficult periods.
Why use a Mirena?
- It’s effective. – a Mirena is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy
- It’s convenient. – Instead of taking a birth control pill every day, you don’t have to worry about your Mirena
- It helps reduce period pain and severity. – Even if you use a Mirena for birth control, it gives the added benefit of reducing the heaviness of your period
- It has fewer side effects than the birth control pill. – Women who take the pill can sometimes experience pregnancy symptoms – like weight gain and nausea – due to the hormones. Mirena is estrogen-free (it delivers progestin into your uterus) and doesn’t come with the same side effects that the Pill can cause
- It’s reversible. – If you’ve had your Mirena for two years and you’d like to try for a baby, your Mirena can be removed by a healthcare professional.
- Mirena insertion can be done when visiting a healthcare professional. If you would like a Mirena inserted and need a different gynecological procedure at the same time, your gynecologist can perform surgery and insert the IUD in the same operation.
At your healthcare visit, your healthcare provider will:
- Apply an antiseptic solution to your vagina and cervix
- Insert Mirena into your vagina and then your uterus
- Ensure that the Mirena is positioned correctly
- Withdraw the plastic inserter, leaving Mirena in your uterus
- Ensure that Mirena is properly placed.
- Trim the Mirena’s threads to the appropriate length
After insertion, you might experience cramping, pain, or bleeding. You might experience these symptoms a few days after insertion (if you don’t feel them on the first two or three days). Your doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine after your procedure, but be sure to have painkillers on hand. If you experience pain and cramping, contact your doctor.
Do not use Mirena if:
- You are pregnant (it’s not an emergency contraceptive)
- Have had pelvic inflammatory disease
- Are easily prone to infections
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Have or suspect you might have cancer in your cervix or uterus
- Have a liver disease or a liver tumor
- Have had breast cancer
- Have a condition of the uterus that changes the shape of the uterine cavity, such as large fibroid tumors
- Are allergic to levonorgestrel, silicone, polyethylene, silica, barium sulphate or iron oxide
Mirena Side Effects
Common mirena side effects during placement include:
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
- Dizziness and fainting
If you experience any more severe symptoms or symptoms that last longer than 30 minutes you should contact your doctor or a healthcare professional immediately.
Some common Mirena complications while it is in place include:
- Hair loss
- Unwanted hair growth
- Decreased sexual desire
- Breast tenderness
- Cramps or pain during menstruation
Mirena Weight Gain
Based on what the manufacturer of the IUD has said, up to 5% of women using this product have experienced weight gain while using it.
A lot of experts believe that because of the hormone estrogen that is in many contraceptives it causes the weight gain in women.
However this should not be the cause with a Mirena IUD as it does not contain estrogen.
Before getting this type of IUD it is important to let your doctor know of all prescription, non-prescription, over-the-counter, herbal remedies, recreational or illegal drugs, dietary supplements you may be taking.
Especially some of these medications below will interact with Mirena. Note this is not a complete list of Mirena interactions and you should consult with your doctor for full details:
- St. John’s wort
- Certain medications for AIDS or HIV infection
The Mirena insertion will be done by a health care professional. Before placement occurs they may give you a pain reliever to decrease cramping.
Every day, 20 micrograms of Levonorgestrel are released into your uterus to prevent pregnancy.
There will be two threads that will dangle from the device in your cervix.
After every period it is important for you to check to make sure the threads are still there. If they are not, it is possible the device is no longer in place and you have a chance of getting pregnant.
If you feel the device is no longer in place you should contact a doctor right away and get it checked.
Based on over 950 Mirena reviews collected by Everyday Health Mirena IUD is given 3.5 stars out of 5.
The main drawbacks many people complained about with this Mirena IUD is the nausea, dizziness, hormonal changes, cramping and mild side effects.
The rest of the Mirena reviews were positive and mostly 5 of out 5 star ratings.
Before trying to find out the Mirena cost it is important to figure out if your health insurance covers the insertion and removal of IUD’s.
Majority of insurance plans are required to cover the cost of prescription birth control.
Therefore what you should do to start is call the number on your insurance card and tell them you want to use Mirena as a birth control.
Ask to see if Mirena is covered at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.
Provide them with the J code for Mirena: J7298; and the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for Mirena placement: 58300.
Find out if there will be any out of pocket expenses for getting the Mirena IUD.
Mirena Pros and Cons
There are mirena pros and cons when it comes to using this type of IUD. Read below to learn about some of the different pros and cons.
Some Pros of Mirena IUD
- Ideal for breastfeeding mothers
- It is a low levonorgestrel hormone dosage
- Ideally for women who do not want huge amounts of hormones in their bodies
- It is reversible and private
- It is effective for long term menstrual management for patients with special needs
- It is good for child spacing (planning) as it can work for up to 6 years)
Some Cons of Mirena IUD
- Perforation during the time of insertion
- These incidences happen in 0.6 – 1.6 every 1000 insertions
- Small chance of contracting pelvic inflammatory diseases in ovaries, uterus or fallopian tubes
- Possible infection may occur during insertion
- Small risk of Mirena IUD moving out of place and while inserted and therefore not protecting against pregnancy
- Menstrual bleeding or irregular spotting may occur
- Some negative side effects such as lower abdominal and pelvic pain may occur. Also may experience irregular periods and ovarian cysts
- Expulsion may occur. Most common in the first year