Mirena birth control refers to the Mirena intrauterine device (IUD), also known as the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system.
Mirena was first approved for birth control by the US Food & Drug Administration in 2000. It is manufactured by Bayer.
How Mirena Works
Mirena is a small T-shaped device made of soft, flexible plastic that a doctor or health care professional inserts into the woman's uterus during a routine office visit, where it can stay for as many as five years. If a woman changes her mind and decides to pursue having another child, Mirena is easily removed by her doctor or health care provider.
It is said to be over 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Mirena works in three ways:
- It thickens the cervical mucus to stop sperm from entering the uterus
- It stops sperm from fertilizing an egg
- It also thins the lining of the uterus
Mirena is only recommended for women who have had at least one child. Mirena is the first IUD
approved by the FDA for heavy menstrual bleeding in women who use IUD contraception as birth control.
The manufacturer highlights the following facts about Mirena:
- Bleeding and spotting may increase in the first three to six months
- Periods might remain irregular
- Over time, periods usually become shorter, lighter, or may stop
- They will return once Mirena is removed
Warnings About Mirena
The placement of Mirena can cause a little bit of discomfort and cramps, something a woman should first discuss with her health care professional.
Also, women with vaginal infections or who are prone to vaginal infections should not use Mirena, as there is the chance they could develop pelvic inflammatory disease.
There are also some rare side effects reported by a minority of Mirena users, and there are also several lawsuits filed against Bayer over Mirena in recent years.
Picking the right birth control method is a choice each woman must make individually, after proper counsel with a qualified health care professional, according to her own health and her own medical needs.