Side Effects of Mirena Birth Control Device

Updated November 21, 2016

Mirena is a form of hormonal IUD, or intrauterine device. Unlike other T-shaped, copper IUD's, Mirena is made with a plastic frame. It can be placed within the uterus, and remain there for five years. By placing the IUD within the uterus, pregnancy is prevented due to the shape of the IUD, which makes the possibility of sperm travelling into the uterus impossible. The IUD also contains levonorgestrel, a type of progestin. The progestin makes the uterus inhospitable for implantation of an egg. Side effects from Mirena vary.


PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease, is a type of infection that effects the reproductive system. According to the makers of Mirena, the percentage of women who can develop this infection is less than 1 per cent. Usually, a PID is a result of a sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia. Though Mirena is used as a prevention for pregnancy, without the use of a condom, sexually transmitted diseases can still pose a risk. When a PID goes untreated, serious complications such as infertility and pelvic pain can occur.

Health Effects

Because of hormonal fluctuations, a side effect of Mirena is irregular menstrual bleeding. The Mayo Clinic states that some women can experience unpredictable periods, while many will not have a period at all. Very rarely can a condition known as sepis occur. This is a type of infection that can be life-threatening. If you begin to experience severe pain, or a fever with flu-like symptoms, such as chills or vomiting/nausea, that will not go away, see your medical provider immediately.

Possible Side Effects

Once the IUD is placed within your uterus, you may experience discomfort or pain. Dizziness, and slight bleeding is also normal. However, persistent cramping and pain are not normal, and it is important to speak to your physician about the pain. Sometimes Mirena may slip out of the uterus. If this happens, increased bleeding and pain may occur. Cysts can also develop with the placement of Mirena. Very rarely does having a cyst require surgery.

Common Side Effects

At times a vaginal discharge may occur. If this discharge becomes heavy or begins to have an odour that is foul, see your practitioner, as this may be a sign of infection. Headaches, weight gain, backaches, decreased sex drive and acne occur in some women. Symptoms can also include moodiness, pain in the pelvic region if you have a period, high blood pressure and inflammation of your reproductive organs.

Other Side Effects

In very few cases, Mirena can cause migraines and anaemia. If you experience prolonged periods, speak with your practitioner, as this is not normal. Hives and rashes may occur, as well as feeling as if you're bloated, hair growth or hair loss and painful intercourse. Eczema may occur, and swelling of your hands and feet may also happen.


Mirena is not an exact form of birth control. According to the makers of Mirena, about 2 in every 1,000 women may become pregnant. Ectopic pregnancy can occur, where a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus. Also, if you do become pregnant with Mirena, infection can happen and miscarriage, premature delivery or death is also a possibility. If you experience bleeding accompanied by severe pain, seek immediate medical attention, as this could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. It is important to speak with your doctor if you think that you have become pregnant, as pregnancy while using Mirena can be life-threatening.

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