Published on August 23rd, 2015 | by Mike4
Coping With Mirena Bleeding and Other Side Effects
Mirena is a form of birth control that was very popular around 20 years ago, but that has started to become less popular as reports of side-effects have become apparent.
Mirena is a coil, or intrauterine device, which can prevent pregnancy for up to five years. It is considered to be one of the most effective types of reversible birth control. It is convenient in that once it is inserted it can be essentially forgotten about with the exception of the occasional check to ensure that it is still in place.
Mirena is used as a form of birth control for women who find that they suffer from heavy periods when they use a standard copper IUD. It is usually only offered for women who have already had a child, because of the challenges of inserting the coil into the uterus of a woman who has not yet had a child.
Because Mirena is not just a standard copper coil, it can have unexpected effects on your body and your menstrual cycle. Some women experience heavy bleeding while they are on Mirena. This will usually settle down after the first couple of months. If it does not, then you should contact your doctor and ask them for advice. If the heavy bleeding is distressing for you then you can have the coil removed and your menstrual cycle should go back to normal quite quickly.
In contrast, some women find that their period flow is greatly reduced while they are taking Mirena. The levonorgestrel in the implant means that the amount of thickening of the uterine lining is greatly reduced, and this reduces the amount of bleeding in turn.
In clinical trials conducted on women who are suffering from heavy periods, it was found that most saw an 80 percent reduction in terms of how heavy their periods were within three months of having the IUD fitted, and that by six months there had been a 90 percent reduction in period flow.
Some women find that their periods stop or become irregular. However, this is not common. If you do not get your period for six weeks or more, contact your doctor to make sure that you are not pregnant. You should do this if you have any other reason to suspect that you might be pregnant, since with any IUD there is a risk of an ectopic pregnancy and this can be very dangerous to your health.
There are no maintenance requirements for Mirena, except to check that the coil is still in place. You can do this by feeling for the threads that hang down from the coil. You should be able to feel them when the coil is in the right place. If you cannot feel the threads, then the device might have fallen out. If you can feel more than just the threads, then the IUD is not in the wrong place, and it is not protecting you from pregnancy.
In both of these cases, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. To prevent pregnancy, use non-hormonal forms of birth control. Do not take birth control pills while you are using Mirena, even if you think that the device has fallen out. Each birth control pill uses different hormones, and there is always the risk that the pill could interact with the hormones in the coil in an unexpected or dangerous way. Barrier-type contraceptives are a much safer option while you wait for your healthcare provider to check your IUD and offer you specialist advice tailored to your circumstances.