ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE MIRENA IUD

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE MIRENA IUD?

  • It is the most effective reversible method ever developed!
  • It prevents ectopic pregnancies (15 times lower than non-contraceptors).
  •  It decreases menstrual cramping and dramatically decreases menstrual blood loss (a 97% reduction in menstrual blood loss in one study). but probably about a 90% reduction in blood loss on average). Some women experience an absence of menstrual bleeding after one year (about 20%). This IUD may be left in place for at least 5 years (probably effective for 7 or even more years).
  • Mirena decreases menstrual cramps and pain. Mirena improves endometriosis
  • Mirena prevents endometrial hyperplasia and reduces a woman’s risk for endometrial cancer.
  • Mirena is safe, inexpensive over time, and provides extremely effective long-term contraception from a single decision.
  • One of the costs of any contraceptive is the cost to you should your contraceptive fail. Given the extremely low failure rate of Mirena, a person using this method is far less likely to have the emotional and financial expenses associated with an unintended pregnancy. IUDs are the most cost effective contraceptives over time.
  • Mirena my possible reduce a woman’s risk for developing pelvic inflammatory disease by producing a very thick cervical mucus preventing the ascent of microorganisms that cause PID
  • All you have to do is check for the strings each month (many clinicians no longer recommend this after several months).
  • May be used by postmenopausal women on estrogen therapy to protect the endometrium against endometrial cancer.
  • Once Mirena is removed, fertility returns immediately. Approximately 8 out of every 10 women who want to become pregnant will become pregnant in the first year after Mirena is removed.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF MIRENA?

  • Do NOT start this method of birth control unless you will find it acceptable to have your periods change.  They WILL change a lot.
  •  There may be more bleeding days than normal for the first few months and less than normal after 6 to 8 months. If your bleeding pattern is bothersome, contact your clinician. There are medications which can help you have a better pattern of bleeding.
  • The IUD does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections. Use condoms if there is any risk.
  • There may be a high initial cost of insertion.
  • There is a very slightly increased risk of pelvic infection in the first 20 days after Mirena insertion.
  • The risk of uterine perforation at the time of Mirena insertion is also low – between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 2,000.
  • Mirena gives off very low amounts of a progestin into the blood stream and can lead to some systemic effects such as weight gain and acne, but these are uncommon

WHERE AND WHEN DO I GET A LEVONORGESTREL IUD?

Mirena can be inserted by your clinician or at a Planned Parenthood or health department clinic. Most clinics insert IUDs when a woman has her period or within 7 days of the start of the period. If the risk of pregnancy can be excluded IUD may be inserted at other times in the cycle. 

                                          Revisions as of 3/24/10