Mirena is a form of birth control that is growing in popularity for a variety of reasons. Once it is implanted, it can protect women against an unplanned pregnancy for up to 5 years. It’s an intrauterine device [IUD] that has been made by Bayer, the folks who bring you aspirin, and is completely reversible. It’s shaped like a T and is very small and flexible. Small amounts of birth control hormones are then released into the uterus over time.
Statistics About Mirena Weight Gain
1. Less than 5% of women who have had Mirena inserted will experience an unexpected weight increase.
2. The amount of weight a woman must gain for it to be considered an adverse reaction to Mirena: 20 pounds.
3. Because women may use contraception for many years to delay or space child bearing, it is typical that weight gained over several years may be attributed to contraceptive use.
4. The prevalence of obesity among US adult women is currently 35.5%
5. 1 out of 5 women who have an IUD implanted may already have a BMI that classifies them as obese.
6. After 12 months, about 20% of women will have no periods at all when using Mirena, which creates the foundation of weight gain.
7. After about 5 months nearly all women will experience light periods only.
8. 1 out of every 1,000 women who have Mirena implanted will still get pregnant.
9. Women are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from a perforation caused by Mirena than become pregnant while on it.
10. There is a 5% chance that a woman’s body will simply push out the Mirena device after it has been inserted.
11. Bleeding is the most common side effect of Mireana, happening in 51.9% of reported insertions.
12. Women are twice as likely to suffer from pelvic pain than to experience weight gain after having Mirena implanted.
13. It takes an average of 183 treatment days for the side effects of Mirena to be noticed.
14. About 80% of women who want to have a child after having Mirena removed can conceive within the first 12 months.
15. No clinical trials have been setup to study the side effect of an adverse weight gain while using this IUD.
16. The percentage of women who experience ovarian cysts while having Mirena implanted: 12
17. 7.7% of women who have Mirena implanted suffer from headaches or migraines that were not present in their lifestyle before.
18. Progestin weight gain studies differ greatly in the results that are discovered. Some show many users have a weight gain. Others say that there is no evidence to show any weight gain whatsoever.
19. In one national study on women’s health, an increase of just over 0.5 kg per year between the ages of 18 and 23 years was noted with birth control use.
FDA Approval of Mirena
The FDA initially approved the use of Mirena for birth control methods in 2000. Even today, it is only one of two hormonal IUDs that has been approved for use in the US. When implanted correctly, it has been shown to be up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancies. It is recommended more for women who have already had one child and want to prevent having a second child.
With 150 million women having an IUD implanted in some way, it is by far the most popular form of reversible birth control that is used today. The cost is somewhat expensive, with an average implantation cost of $800, but then oral contraceptives don’t have to be taken every day. For women taking birth control, forgetting to take a dose is one of the biggest causes of an unplanned pregnancy. There isn’t a worry about antibiotics negating the effects of the birth control pills either.
The problem with Mirena is that it can create some serious and potentially dangerous side effects. Ectopic pregnancies, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even a perforation of the uterus can happen. The device has also been known to spontaneously move and implant itself into other parts of the body, which necessitates an expensive and difficult surgery. As the statistics show, it may also create unexpected weight gain.
Common and Known Side Effects
As with any medical procedure, there is going to be the possibility of having side effects occur when it has been completed. Mirena is not any different as an IUD. Most weight gain that is seen with Mirena, as with any other birth control device that includes hormones, is usually dispersed within two or three months.
The reason why weight gain might be present is because of the progestin that is directly released into a woman’s body. This is the same hormone that can be found in a number of birth control pills. Every birth control device that includes hormones includes progestin. The only difference is that some birth control options also provide a dose of estrogen.
It is difficult to determine if weight gain is as big of a problem as many women believe it is because of current lifestyle choices. With poor nutritional habits, a lifestyle that is growing more sedentary, and an increase in high caloric products that are cheap and easy to obtain, the problem might be in the daily choices that women make in general instead of a clear side effect of Mirena.
The easiest way to minimize weight gain while using a birth control product is to choose healthy foods that will fill you up quickly without the need for high calorie counts. Fruits, vegetables, and high fiber foods are the primary options to consider to avoid weight gain. Getting at least 150 minutes of exercise every week, with about 50% of that exercise being strenuous in some way, has also been shown to be effective at combating the unexpected weight gains that may occur in the less than 5% of Mirena cases that see this side effect.
For a majority of women, Mirena is a useful option as an IUD because it doesn’t require perfect compliance to achieve results. As with any medical procedure, however, it is important to weigh the benefits against the potential risks before having it completed so that the best available option is chosen.