Mirena is a plastic intrauterine contraceptive device that can be used for up to five years. According to the Mayo Clinic, the use of Mirena can prevent pregnancy by a rate of 99.9 per cent. The device works by preventing the sperm from travelling into the Fallopian tubes. Fertilisation cannot take place as a result of the shape of Mirena, which is T shaped. Mirena also has levonorgestrel, which is a type of progestin. Levonorgestrel makes the uterus uninhabitable for sperm and also thins the uterus, which makes for an unsuitable environment within the uterus. Most women do not experience side effects with Mirena, though effects can occur.
Common Side Effect
The most common side effect with Mirena is a change in your vaginal bleeding. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may have no period, a light flow or an unpredictable period. Many women do not experience cramping or a period that is heavy. It is normal to have cramping after the IUD is placed within the uterus. However, if the pain increases after the placement of the IUD and does not go away, seek immediate medical attention as this is a possible sign of infection.
It is not common to experience an infection while using Mirena, but infection can occur. If you develop an infection, you will have severe lower abdominal cramping. You may have either an abnormal discharge or bleeding that lasts more than a week and is heavy. You may also experience headaches, high blood pressure or intercourse that is painful. If you develop a fever of more than 39.4 degrees Celsius that cannot be alleviated within a day, seek immediate medical attention as this may be a sign of infection.
An allergic reaction is rare. If you have an allergic response, you will first begin to break out in a rash or hives. The hives or rash will then be accompanied by itching. Other allergic reactions can include swelling of the face, lips and tongue. You may have a hard time catching your breath or feel are if you're wheezing. Swallowing and breathing may become difficult. If you experience any of these effects, seek medical attention immediately.
Mirena may cause ovarian cysts, but complications resulting from the cysts never occur. The cysts are benign and do not require surgery. Pain medication may be prescribed to alleviate pain, though the pain could persist. Cysts will usually resolve themselves on their own within a few months.
An ectopic pregnancy is a rare occurrence when using Mirena. If you develop an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy will develop outside of the uterus. According to Kristi Monson, PharmD, of eMedTV, half of all pregnancies that occur while using Mirena are ectopic. This type of pregnancy can be potentially dangerous and requires prompt medical attention as survival of the foetus is unlikely. An ectopic pregnancy can also result in infertility and permanent damage of your reproductive organs. If you have an ectopic pregnancy, you will notice severe stomach pain and abnormal bleeding.
Sepsis is a rare infection caused by group A streptococcal sepsis. If you develop sepsis, pain will develop hours after the insertion of the IUD and continue for days. It is important that if you develop severe pain, fever and chills to seek immediate medical attention as death can occur from sepsis. Perforation of Mirena can also occur where the IUD penetrates the uterine wall or cervix. This can result in severe pain, abscesses and intestinal obstructions. If you develop an increase in your menstrual flow, this may mean that your IUD has been flushed out of the uterus.