Mirena is an intrauterine device(hormonal) that provides long term birth control(Contraception). It is a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device.

It is used for providing contraceptive benefits and for treating heavy menstrual bleeding in women. This device is inserted inside the uterus where it releases a hormone called progestin. Thus it prevents pregnancy.

The hormone birth control has both side effects and benefits, some people will not experience any side effects but in some people, we may observe a few side effects.

This IUD is more reliable than pills or condoms it is very effective.

Most of the side effects taper off with overtime as your body adjusts.

How it acts?

It is a small flexible device that is placed inside the womb(uterus) to prevent pregnancy.

Mirena has 52 mg of levonorgestrel, in it.

  • It makes the cervical mucus thick thereby preventing sperm to reach and fertilize the egg.
  • It makes the uterus lining thin and thereby preventing implantation.
  • It also inhibit ovulation( a process of releasing ova from the ovary)

Mirena can prevent pregnancy for about 5 years.

Types of IUD’s

  1. Copper IUD
  2. Hormonal IUD – Mirena – Mirena works by releasing progestin slowly, it is a synthetic form of progesterone

Contraindicated – In pregnant women it shouldn’t be used because it will lead to Miscarriage, premature birth, death of mother, severe infection.

Side Effects associated with Mirena usage:

Mood changes, cramps, pelvic pain, acne, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, and headache are the side effects of Mirena.

Effect of Mirena on weight gain:

Many people say that Mirena causes weight gain but no known proved records are seen.

Effect of Mirena on depression:

In the year 2016, a large One research has shown that progestin based hormonal birth control (Mirena) will not cause depression.

Effect of Mirena on acne:

It was more likely to get acne after using Mirena with levonorgestrel. If a woman is having acne prior to the insertion of the Mirena the acne may worsen after Mirena. However, there are many home remedies for hormonal acne and it’s treatment.

Effect of Mirena on breast:

It can cause breast soreness and tenderness in breast. Progesterone is a female hormone that was produced by the ovaries and is usually associated with tender and sore breasts. During the menstrual cycle, it is more likely to experience tenderness of breast when the levels of progesterone are at peak stage.

Mirena releases this hormone progestin hence it causes breast tenderness.

Other side effects:

Nausea, stomach upset, increases risk of vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis discolored vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, back pain, headache, migraine, nervousness, bloating, nausea, changes in hair growth, decreased sexual desire, edema of face, ankles, feet, and hands.

Problems with insertion:

Some people may experience discomfort during insertion while in others it may even be painful. It is wise to bring some pads, pain killer like ibuprofen, and there’s heat patch during insertion of IUD.

Immediate complications :

  • Cramps during insertion.
  • Dizziness and fainting.
  • Pain, bleeding, mild spotting that may last few days following insertion.

This pain will last for about 30 minutes but if it lasts longer than this time it may indicate that the device is inserted at an incorrect place. Then you need to contact your health care provider. Then they will examine the exact location of the IUD.

Little spotting a few days after insertion is also commonly seen.

The other complications may be septicemia which is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate treatment.

Fever and unexplained pain may indicate sepsis.

Remote complications:

Irregular periods, heavier or longer periods as well as spotting. This irregularity is noticed in the first 3-6 months of insertion of IUD. Our body takes some time to adjust with this IUD and then periods become normal and lighter than before it is was inserted. Period remains irregular, however. Mirena may decrease menstrual bleeding after three or more months of its use.

20% of women who have used Mirena for about one year stopped getting periods (amenorrhea). The period may become lighter and shorter and in about 20% of women, we may observe the cessation of the period completely. Therefore doctors even use this IUD to treat certain conditions like periods associated with heavy bleeding, irregular periods and a condition called endometriosis.

Common side effects during removal:

To remove IUD physician would gently remove it by pulling the strings of IUD with the help of forceps. The Mirena arms will be folded upwards allowing it to be pulled from the uterus.

Mild cramping and bleeding are seen during its removal. After a few months, your period will return and becomes regular and normal. Fertility can return within the next few weeks so you should adapt to another method of contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy.

Mirena IUD will lasts for 5 years after that it should be removed or replaced.

Common side effects during reinsertion of Mirena:

  • A new device is inserted when it is needed.
  • The side effects of reinsertion as almost all similar to that of initial insertion.

Long term risks associated with Mirena:

There are many long term effects that are associated with this IUD.

Ovarian cyst -12% of people develop ovarian cyst either in any one of the ovary.

Symptoms associated with ovarian cyst are:

  • Abdominal pain and swelling.
  • Painful bowel movements.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Dysmenorrhea.
  • Dyspareunia.

Pelvic inflammatory disease:

It affects the female reproductive organs and it is often caused by sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

Symptoms of PID are:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Dyspareunia( painful condition)
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Expulsion:

IUD can also expel on its own, can get dislocated and can impose many problems. Thereby it is advised to check for its strings always. It should be checked at least once a month.

First, we should wash our hands, and then insert two fingers inside the vagina and then into the cervix and try to feel the strings.

If we can’t find the rings it’s the time to go to the doctor.

Perforation:

  • There are chances of perforation of the uterus in case of dislocated IUD, that is if it moves from its normal position and gets dislocated at the wrong place.
  • The risk of perforation is more when IUD is inserted while during the lactation period.
Effects are:
  • It can damage the uterus and it’s surrounding structures.
  • It can no more prevent unwanted pregnancy.
  • Can cause permanent scar of uterus
  • Can cause infection.
  • Hysterectomy( surgical removal of the uterus) is advised if IUD had perforated the uterus.

Mirena is an effective form of controlling unwanted pregnancy even though chances are very rare there are some possible chances of getting pregnant with this.

It must be remembered that using this IUD will not give additional benefits like preventing an Individual from STD’S( like HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia).

Conclusion

Side effects of the mirena can be mild or severe and it completely depends on the situation of the person. call 911 or your consult your physician the one who inserted your IUD immediately if you are experiencing the severe symptoms of mirena.

References

  1. http://www.jmidlifehealth.org/article.asp?issn=0976-7800;year=2015;volume=6;issue=1;spage=26;epage=30;aulast=Dhamangaonkar
  2. https://www.dovepress.com/review-of-the-safety-efficacy-and-patient-acceptability-of-the-levonor-peer-reviewed-article-PPA
  3. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bcp.14027
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