Womens Health

Mirena Pros And Cons

Mirena is a t-shaped hormone-releasing IUD contraceptive that can be easily inserted into the uterus, via the vagina and cervix, by a trained medial professional. The Mirena IUD provides 99% effective contraceptive protection when used correctly. It works for up to five years and needs to be checked by your doctor only once a year. So what are the advantages of the Mirena IUD over other intrauterine contraceptive devices, and what are the drawbacks?

Mirena Pros

The obvious plus points of the Mirena IUD are the long-term, reliable protection it provides as well as the freedom from birth control pills and condoms - allowing you to be flexible and spontaneous about when and how often you have sex. But that's not all, there are other, more subtle advantages too...

No Estrogen And Low Dose Hormones

The low dosage of levonorgestrel hormone in the Mirena IUD offers protection against pregnancy because the hormone passes from the IUD device directly into the uterus lining. This creates two distinct advantages for certain women. Firstly, women who for health reasons don't want to use estrogen-based contraception can avoid estrogen completely by using Mirena. Secondly, because the hormone passes through the uterus wall and not through the bloodstream (as in the case of birth control pills), a much lower amount of hormone is needed to prevent pregnancy - this suits some women who prefer not to put large amounts of hormones into their bodies.

Child Spacing

The Mirena IUD is suitable for women in different stages of building their families. Just because the Mirena can worn for five years doesn't mean it has to be. It can be used as a contraception option by women who know they want to have more children in the future and by women who aren't sure if they do. It's also a viable option for women who definitely don't want to get pregnant again, as a less drastic alternative to having their fallopian tubes tied, for example.

Mirena Cons

Of course, there are also some perceived disadvantages to using the Mirena IUD, most of which are based on some slight risks associated with having the Mirena inserted.

There is a very small risk of contracting pelvic inflammatory disease in your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries after having the Mirena inserted. This risk decreases 20 days after insertion. You can help reduce the risk by making sure you don't have a vaginal infection or STD before having the Mirena fitted.

There is also a small chance that the Mirena device could attach to the uterus wall or tear the uterus lining. If this happens, it may be painful and require surgery to rectify. Your contraceptive cover would be reduced in this case and you'd have to use a backup birth control method.

There is likewise a small risk of the Mirena moving out of place. To make sure that you realize if this has happened, you have to check, once a month, the position of the threads that hang down from the device. The medical professional who inserts the device will show you how to do this. In view of this fact, it could argued that the claim that the Mirena needs to be checked only once a year by a doctor is a little misleading.

Other side effects reported by Mirena users are some pelvic and lower abdominal pain, ovarian cysts and irregular periods. Many women who use Mirena experience some irregular menstrual bleeding, but it generally only lasts a few months. Most women experience a reduction in the amount they bleed each month and some women find their periods stop altogether. The menstrual cycle resumes after the Mirena is removed.

Making A Decision

On the whole, many Mirena users feel that the benefits of this contraception method outweigh the risks. If you're interested in having the Mirena fitted, see your doctor and talk through your medical history and plans for having children. That way you can make an informed decision as to whether or not the Mirena is right for you.

Learn more about Pros and Cons of Mirena

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