The Mirena IUD is a device which releases hormones during its placement that makes it 99% effective at preventing a pregnancy. Once it is correctly placed by your doctor, it can continue to work for up to five years. It is an option for women who may want to have children in the future or for those who have already had kids. It is also an option for treating heavy periods when choosing intrauterine contraception as an option.
Mirena is a small, T-shaped device that gets placed into the uterus by a trained healthcare provider. Most women can have it placed with a regular office visit. It is a non-surgical option that is removable at any time so that you can decide to become pregnant right away if that is your wish. Most placement procedures only take a few minutes to complete, and then all you need to do is perform a monthly thread check to ensure it is in the correct position.
If you are interested in a long-term birth control option for yourself or your family, these are the Mirena IUD pros and cons you will want to review.
List of the Pros of the Mirena IUD
1. Mirena works in several ways to help prevent a pregnancy from occurring.
The Mirena IUD works to release small levels of a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel into the uterus. Although it is not known how all of the actions work together to prevent pregnancy, the device works to thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering. This process will also inhibit the fertilization process while it thins the uterine lining. That places its success rate at the same level as implants, injections, or a sterilization procedure.
This design makes it one of the better solutions for women who are sensitive to estrogen-based birth control options.
2. It is a low-maintenance birth control option.
When you decide to use the Mirena IUD as your primary birth control option, then there is very little that you need to manage. The only task is to complete the thread check once per month, and your provider will show you how to do that. Then you don’t need to worry about making sure that you take your pill on time, that the condoms are correctly used, or that the patch is functioning as it should.
If the threads do not feel like they are in the correct position or you cannot find them, then you will want to speak with your doctor about that situation while avoiding intercourse as Mirena may not prevent pregnancy when it is out of position.
3. Almost any woman can use the Mirena IUD for effective birth control.
Almost every woman qualifies to use the Mirena IUD because it is such a safe and effective form of birth control. If you have never had a pregnancy, then you can use it – even if you are in your teens. For mothers who already have a family, this product can help you to delay the time between children or to limit the size of your household to a manageable number. The only issue may be for women who have had a C-section in the past – you’ll want to speak to your doctor about an intrauterine device to see if it is the right choice for you.
4. The benefits of the Mirena IUD last for a long time.
When the Mirena IUD is correctly installed by your medical provider, then you will receive up to 5 years of protection against pregnancy. This advantage is far superior to what birth control pills can provide. You won’t need to worry about getting a shot or where a patch is placed when choosing this option either. Although there can be some complications in rare instances, most of the disadvantages that women experience when using this intrauterine device occur because of a placement error.
Some women will not get the full five years out of this device, but it does give you the flexibility of being immediately removable so that you can work to become pregnant in the future if that is what you want without a 6- to 12-month recovery period.
5. The Mirena IUD can make your monthly cycles lighter, less painful, or disappear completely.
When you use the Mirena IUD, then it will take your body about 3-6 months to fully adapt to the extra hormones that it releases directly into your uterus. During this transition time, you may experience several changes to your monthly cycle that for a minority of women can be bothersome. Then you will experience lighter cycles, less pain and cramping with each one, and some women even have them disappear completely.
6. This device is very small.
The actual intrauterine device is only 1.26 inches in height, which makes it one of the smaller options that is available for placement right now. That is about the same height that two dice stacked on top of each other would be. It is smaller than the vertical height of a standard sugar packet. Once you have the device in place, you will not notice that it is there. Although it will not protect you from a sexually-transmitted disease or infection, including HIV, you will receive an effective form of birth control that will help you to manage your reproductive health with considerable ease.
7. The Merina IUD is proven to work.
About 40% of medical workers say that they prefer to use an intrauterine device like the Merina IUD as a form of birth control for a variety of reasons. Not only is it easy to place, but it can also stay with you as you move without worrying about additional placements, pill schedules, or other issues of management that can become problematic with a busy lifestyle. Most couples who want to start a family after using a product like this are successful with their attempts within one year. A majority of them can conceive in as little as four months, and some women are successful even sooner than that.
8. Most women will save money on their birth control needs with Merina.
If you have healthcare insurance in the United States, then your policy might allow you to have the Merina IUD for little or no cost at all. The average household saves about $200 per year in total cost for their birth control needs when they choose an intrauterine device over birth control pills. Even if you don’t have insurance, the overall cost of the procedure, visits, and the device itself is about the same as what you would pay for five years’ worth of birth control pills.
When your birth control needs have long-term requirements, you will not find many better, cost-effective options than this one to dramatically reduce the risk of a pregnancy occurring.
9. Your partner will not know that it is there.
The only way to tell that the Merina IUD is present is to feel the threat that sits just outside of your uterus. Most men do not notice its presence at all. Even if your partner is a woman, there is little risk for embarrassment when using this product. Most doctors offer the advice that if your intimate partner can detect the intrauterine device, then it is time to schedule an appointment because that is evidence which suggests that it may not be in the correct position.
List of the Cons of the Mirena IUD
1. You cannot use Mirena if you have a pelvic infection or get infections easily.
One of the side effects of the Mirena IUD is that it can cause a serious pelvic infection. This condition is called PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). Women who are prone to infections or have a current issue with a pelvic infection will not want to use this birth control product. Although fewer than 1% of women who have the device implanted will need to deal with this issue, it is better to speak with your doctor about it right away to ensure that you are an excellent candidate for an intrauterine device.
2. Some women may develop ovarian cysts or other health issues.
Some women develop ovarian cysts when they use the Mirena IUD because of the hormone that releases into the uterus. They disappear over time for most people, but it can be an ongoing issue of concern for a rare few. There are other health concerns to speak with your doctor about before using this product as well, including persistent stomach or pelvic pain, because the intrauterine device can attach to or go through the uterus to cause other internal problems which must be addressed quickly.
There might also be spotting or bleeding more than normal that occurs for up to 6 months after placement. You may also become more irregular with your monthly periods during this initial time. Most women have them begin to be lighter and shorter over time, and some may have them stop altogether.
3. There is a chance that the Mirena IUD could fall out.
If your medical provider does not correctly place the Mirena IUD, then there is a small possibility that it could fall out over the course of your daily living activities. If this happens, then you must use a back-up method of birth control until your doctor can safely put it back in its intended spot. If you are performing the thread check and don’t detect the IUD, then you will want to schedule an appointment right away to verify that it is still in the correct placement.
4. You can still get pregnant when using the Mirena IUD.
Although there Mirena IUD has a success rate of more than 99%, that still means about 1 in 200 women who use this intrauterine device can become pregnant with it still in the uterus. If you suspect that this outcome has occurred, then you must speak with your doctor immediately. Allowing the pregnancy to continue with the product in place can create life-threatening situations for you and the unborn child.
All women experience an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy when using the Mirena IUD if they experience this disadvantage. There are also issues of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and fertility to consider as well.
5. The Mirena IUD is by prescription only.
You must speak with your doctor about having the Mirena IUD inserted, which means you must pay the additional cost of the office visit for the prescription. Some networks may require a second visit for the outpatient procedure to have the intrauterine device placed into your uterine cavity. Then you have the overall expense of the product itself, which is about $800 for most offices. Most providers recommend that you have a follow-up visit about 4-6 weeks after placement to ensure it is in the correct position.
If you don’t have any medical insurance and your income doesn’t qualify you for community-based healthcare benefits, then you can expect to pay more than $2,500 for the entire process.
6. New mothers need to wait before they can use the Mirena IUD.
If you recently had a child, then the Mirena IUD might not be the best option for you. You will need to wait a minimum of six weeks after having your baby before the intrauterine device even becomes an option. There may be specific health issues that could impact your use of this product as a long-term option for birth control. You can still breastfeed while using it; however, but your doctor will want to talk to you about what your specific options are based on your medical history.
Verdict on the Mirena IUD Pros and Cons
The Mirena IUD is a simple and cost-effective way to manage your reproductive health. There are specific challenges to consider with this product, but that could be said of any other birth control product. Only a small amount of the hormone actually gets into your bloodstream, so many women feel like they are in better control of their mood when using this product.
There are several side effects to discuss with your doctor before deciding on this form of birth control.
These Mirena IUD pros and cons provide an overview of what you could possibly encounter with this device. Only your doctor can prescribe it for you, so take the time to discuss these key points to see if you are an excellent candidate for the product.