According to the official Mirena site, this IUD is the ideal birth control for busy mothers. It claims to be 99 percent effective. Women appreciate that this simple device remains in place for up to five years, and they don’t have to remember to take a pill. Before deciding if Mirena is a good choice for you, it’s important to understand how it works, what the side effects are and how this IUD has worked for other women.
Long-Term Birth Control
The Mirena IUD has one primary use, and that is to prevent pregnancy. It releases a type of progestin that thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. It also partially suppresses ovulation to provide effective birth control on oseveral fronts. It’s the only hormonal IUD that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it’s good for up to five years.
The Positive Side Effects
This IUD has been a popular choice for several reasons. It’s a convenient birth control with no pills to remember or condoms to purchase. Remaining in place for up to five years, it also serves to decrease menstrual bleeding after three to six months. As a result, it also reduces menstrual pain, and it can even be used to decrease the pain from endometriosis. It’s safe to use by breast-feeding mothers, and researchers believe that it may reduce the risk of cancer and cervical cancer. It also doesn’t carry the risks associated with estrogen-based birth control methods.
There are some women who should not use the Mirena IUD, and the manufacturer has been very upfront about this information. It’s not designed for women who have had a previous ectopic pregnancy, breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, liver disease, pelvic inflammation or uterine abnormalities like fibroids. People who are allergic to the IUD, had previous problems with IUDS or are at risk for a sexually transmitted infection should not use this form of birth control.
Women who do become pregnant while using the Mirena IUD are at a higher risk for an ectopic pregnancy. This form of birth control does not provide any protection from STDs. It also carries the risk of some minor side effects, including headaches, acne, breast tenderness, breakthrough bleeding, absence of periods, mood changes, weight gain, ovarian cysts, and abdominal pain.
There are some women who have had problems with the Mirena becoming expelled from the uterus. The risks of this are higher if you’ve never been pregnant, have heavy periods or severe menstrual pain, are younger than age 20, previously expelled an IUD, or had the Mirena put in place immediately following an abortion or live birth.
There are also some conditions that may cause your medical provider to recommend removing the IUD. These include inflammation of the endometrium, pelvic infection, cervical cancer, uterine perforation or a significant increase in blood pressure.
How the IUD is Inserted
Insertion of the IUD needs to be done in the health care provider’s office. The doctor will insert the device after cleansing the vagina and cervix with an antiseptic wash. It’s placed into the cervical canal using a special tool. After the device is in place, the doctor will show you how to check for the placement strings to ensure that it is still in proper position. During the procedure, some women report feeling dizzy, faint, nauseas, or a slowing heart rate. There is also the risk that the Mirena can perforate the uterine wall or cervix.
The Danger of Perforation
The single largest risk of the Mirena is that it might perforate the uterus. While this device has successfully worked for millions of women, it’s important for all women to understand the warning signs of perforation. With the uterus damaged and an opening created, the Mirena can migrate into the body and cause damage to the lower abdominal area, including the bladder or intestines.
Women are advised to check the strings of the Mirena IUD to ensure that it’s still in place. If the strings seem shorter, an appointment should be made with the doctor to have the placement checked. An IUD that has perforated the uterus and moved to another part of the body may have to be surgically removed. There will also be other symptoms present, including nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, rapid heartbeat, bloody stools, changes in bowel movements, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, bleeding, severe lower abdominal pain and bruising.
This is considered a medical emergency as irreparable organ damage can occur. If the shorter strings accompany any of these symptoms, women should seek immediate treatment through the doctor’s office or even emergency room. The damage can lead to infertility, serious infections and even death.
The Danger of Ectopic Pregnancy
This is a rare side effect with the Mirena, but it can happen and a women may not even realize the danger that she’s in. It’s most likely to occur within the first year of use. However, after three to six months, a woman’s period can slow down or even stop completely. Manufacturers of the device report that about half of the pregnancies that do occur with this IUD will be ectopic. In this type of pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in the Fallopian tube, cervix, ovaries or even abdomen. As the fertilized egg grows, it can cause damage to the surrounding area. The result is internal hemorrhaging, and the mother can die as a result. Women who have previously had an ectopic pregnancy are considered at higher risk for another one, so they are not good candidates for the Mirena.
Women who use the Mirena must be aware of the warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy because it is possible on the Mirena to be pregnant and not be aware of it. Pain and inflammation of the lower abdomen, pain during urination and vaginal bleeding outside of the menstrual cycle are all serious warning signs. It can mimic appendicitis, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary system complications and pelvic inflammatory disease. Surgical termination of the pregnancy is the only way to save the mother, and it is impossible with modern technology to save the pregnancy. If the pregnancy is discovered before it ruptures, it may be resolved with the use of methotrexate. In some cases, the damage to the Fallopian tube is too great and the tube will have to be removed. Warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy that has ruptured include low blood pressure, severe pain in the abdomen, intense pressure on the rectum and fainting.
Mirena IUD Lawsuits
Women are not always aware of the risks and complications associated with the Mirena IUD. In 2009, the FDA publicly accused and reprimanded Bayer for downplaying the risks of this IUD while exaggerating benefits. Canadian officials issued warnings to healthcare providers in 2010 about the seriousness of perforations. Between its introduction in 1997 and 2012, it’s estimated that nearly 46,000 women experienced serious adverse problems as a result of Mirena use. The lawsuits are currently climbing across the nation as women and their families seek to hold Bayer responsible for their medical bills, pain and suffering and other complications from using the Mirena IUD.
If you’re considering changing your birth control, it’s important to have an open discussion with your doctor about the various options. While Mirena has been effective for millions of people, it has caused great harm to others. Your doctor can help you determine if this is a good choice for you. People who have been harmed by this medical device are encouraged to speak with professionals to review their rights and determine what their options are.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mirena/basics/definition/prc-20012867 – Long-term BC
http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mirena/basics/why-its-done/prc-20012867 – The Positive…
http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mirena/basics/why-its-done/prc-20012867 – Warning signs
http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mirena/basics/risks/prc-20012867 – side effects
http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mirena/basics/what-you-can-expect/prc-20012867 – Insertion
http://www.drugdangers.com/mirena/organ-perforation.htm – The Danger….
http://www.drugdangers.com/mirena/ectopic-pregnancy.htm – Ectopic http://floridamedicalmalpracticelaws.com/mirena-iud-complications-and-lawsuits/ – lawsuits