Brand NamesNext Choice, Plan B, Mirena
What is Mirena
Mirena (levonorgestrel) is an intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) providing long-term birth control. It is a small, flexible polyethylene (plastic) device that contains levonorgestrel, a progesterone hormone. Mirena is used by women who have had at least one child. Mirena can also be used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding in women who choose intrauterine contraception.
Side effects of Mirena
Mirena can cause such serious side effects as:
- heavier or lighter than usual menstrual bleeding
- spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
- breast pain or tenderness
- severe lower abdominal pain
Mirena is the most effective contraceptive at preventing pregnancy. Only 0.1 percent of women will become pregnant while taking Mirena. It works for 5 years, although your doctor can remove it earlier if you want. Mirena is not a permanent form of contraception. After it is removed, 80 percent of women may become pregnant within one year.
Not everyone can use this contraceptive. Mirena is the best choice for women who have already had at least one baby and who want long-term (but easily reversible) birth control. Mirena can also be usedin the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in women who choose intrauterine contraception.
You have to know that Mirena does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Stop taking Mirena if you have:
- A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Had a serious pelvic infection
- More than one current sexual partner (or if your partner has more than one sexual partner)
- A weakened immune system due to HIV or AIDS, cancer or IV drug abuse
- Uterine cancer or cervical cancer
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Liver disease such as liver failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis or liver tumors
- Breast cancer (or a history of breast cancer)
- Had an ectopic pregnancy (a "tubal" pregnancy) or are at high risk for an ectopic pregnancy
- An intrauterine device (IUD) still in place
- An abnormally shaped uterus or uterine fibroids
- Had a blood clot or a clotting disorder
- Heart disease or problems with your heart valves
- Any allergies, including allergies to medications, foods, dyes or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have recently had a baby
Your doctor will insert 1 Mirena device into your uterus, where it can stay for up to 5 years. But if you make up your mind, it can be removed earlier. After 5 years, if you wish to continue using Mirena, your doctor can remove the old Mirena and insert a new one.
Each Mirena device contains a total of 52 mg of levonorgestrel (a progesterone hormone). At first, the hormone is released into the body at a rate of about 20 mcg per day, although this decreases over time.
Mirena should be inserted within 7 days after the start of your period (this helps ensure that you are not pregnant). It can be inserted immediately after a first trimester abortion or miscarriage, but should not be inserted immediately after birth or following a second trimesterabortion or miscarriage. In these cases, your doctor will wait until your uterus has returned to its normal size before inserting Mirena.