Published on October 10th, 2015 | by Mike3
Understanding The Mirena IUD and Its Removal
The Mirena IUD is a contraceptive device that is considered relatively controversial. It works using a combination of a coil (like the standard IUD, and a hormonal element.
While normal IUDs are considered problematic for women who suffer from heavy menstrual periods, Mirena is considered a good choice because the hormonal element helps to stop the heavy bleeding. Women who have had one or more children and who want to use an IUD are encouraged to use Mirena rather than a standard copper coil. However, there are some women who should not use Mirena. For example, it is contraindicated for women how are known to be pregnant, and those who are suspected to be pregnant. It also cannot be used as a “morning after” form of contraception.
Other times when the Mirena IUD is contraindicated include cases of uterine anomalies, suspected breast cancer or other cancers which are progestin-sensitive. Women who have had cancer should not use this form of contraception. Nor should women with liver disease, cervicitis or vaginitis, bacterial infections of the lower genital tract, or endometritis.
Women who have unexplained uterine bleeding should not use Mirena either.
If you have had a Mirena coil fitted, you should talk to your doctor before taking anticoagulants. In addition you should also tell your doctor that you have the Mirena coil fitted if you start suffering from migraines, or experience a sudden increase in blood pressure. If you suffer from any form of cardiovascular disease, you should mention Mirena to your health care professional.
The Mirena coil should be removed if it is displaced from the uterus. If you have reason to believe that you have become pregnant, then tell your doctor immediately. You will need to remove the coil, because leaving it in place can increase the risk of preterm labor or a spontaneous abortion. However, note that removing or manipulating the coil may result in loss of the pregnancy too.
If you become pregnant with Mirena in place, then there is a high risk that the pregnancy may be ectopic, so your doctor will want to monitor you for that. The increase in ectopic pregnancy risk is worsened if you have ever had an ectopic pregnancy before, or if you have had tubal surgery.
IUDs in general can increase your risk of PID, because of the organisms that can become introduced to the uterus when the IUD is inserted. This is something that your doctor will talk to you about when they assess you before fitting the coil. Tubal damage can lead to ectopic pregnancy, or to infertility, and if an ectopic pregnancy goes undiagnosed then the patient may need a hysterectomy. In some cases, ectopic pregnancies have led to fatal complications.
Mirena is Only Birth Control
Mirena is only a contraceptive. Unlike condoms. Mirena will not protect against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. This means that if you are not in a stable, long term relationship your doctor may suggest you consider barrier contraceptives instead, especially for people who are at risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Genital infections are more common for people who have just had Mirena fitted, the highest risk is during the first month after insertion, but the risk remains high for the first year.
With a standard copper coil, heavy bleeding is a common side effect. With Mirena, spotting and heavy bleeding can occur for the first three to six months, however after this time it is common for periods to become shorter, and some women find that they stop completely.
Other side effects include sepsis, perforation and ovarian cysts. Women who experience pain, unusual bleeding, breast discharge, or unusual vaginal discharge should consult a doctor immediately and may want to discuss the possibility of having their coil removed.
Some women get on with the Mirena version of the IUD very well as a form of contraception, but for others it is not the best choice and a standard pill may be better. Patients should talk to their doctors about all of the contraceptive options that are open to them, to ensure their long-term health, and protect their fertility for the future as well.