Mirena, your new BFF… Or at least for up to 5 years. Mirena is a hormone-releasing IUD (intrauterine device). It is a small (about 1.2in) device placed inside your uterus to prevent pregnancy and to treat heavy periods. When people ask me my opinion on the type of birth control they should get Mirena is one of my top 2 picks. Here’s why.
- Super effective! The chances of you becoming pregnant with a Mirena are less than 1%
- You don’t have to remember to do anything! Once it’s in, you are covered until you have it removed. It can stay in for 5 years.
- You can have it removed whenever you are ready. It is not permanent.
- There is no estrogen involved. The only hormone Mirena secretes is progestin. So that increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer are not there. Also, totally okay to breastfeed while using a Mirena.
- And what makes this super amazing is that you can pretty much kiss those heavy, painful periods good bye! Some women don’t get periods at all while on Mirena, others do but they are much lighter and shorter than before.
How does Mirena work?
Mirena does a few things that work together to prevent pregnancy. It thickens your cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering your uterus. Mirena blocks sperm from reaching your egg. It thins the lining of your uterus (hence absent or lighter periods).
What Mirena does NOT do is cause abortions. It prevents you from getting pregnant, it is not a method to terminate a pregnancy.
So I have told you all the benefits, I am sure you want to know the risks as well. The big risk with Mirena falls on the provider inserting it. They may cause the IUD to go through the uterine wall. There is also a chance of the device attaching to the uterine wall. The chance of pregnancy is very low, but if you do become pregnant with a Mirena in place, there is a chance that it will be ectopic which can be life threatening. Also, for the first 3 months you will probably have some spotting, which is just annoying.
Having said all this I definitely think that the benefits of having a Mirena outweigh the risks. If you are looking switching to a more reliable birth control, ask your provider about Mirena IUD. From your friendly neighborhood nurse!
P.S. Mirena did not pay me for this post. However, I would love it if they would! Ha! J