Skip Nav
26 Perks of Being in a Serious Relationship in Your 20s
Groom's Emotional Reaction to the Couple's Preceremony Love Letters Is the Sweetest
These Costumes Are Equal Parts Funny and Sexy — What More Could You Want?

Prevent Pregnancy For Five Years With Mirena

The Mirena is a type of IUD (intrauterine device) that is placed inside your uterus (by a doctor or nurse practitioner) to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. It's a T-shaped piece of plastic that emits hormones into your uterus directly. The hormones stay in the uterus and are not systemic, meaning they do not go to other parts of your body. This is why it won't cause significant weight gain like oral contraceptives sometimes do or increase breast tenderness. Another bonus is that the Mirena might also shorten, lighten, or even eliminate periods altogether while you use it.

OK, but how does Mirena work? The small amounts of levonorgestrel released by Mirena make your cervical mucus thick and tacky so sperm can't swim through it. If the sperm gets in, then they can't make it to the egg to fertilize it.

Another way the Mirena, or IUDs in general, prevent pregnancy is it promotes the production of white blood cells and when a foreign object is placed inside the uterus, your body creates these white blood cells to defend itself. So when you have sex, if sperm does make it through your tacky mucus to your uterus, the white blood cells will attack them.

Interested in how effective it is? To see the stats, just

Mirena is 99.9 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and like metal IUDs, it needs to be fitted and removed by a medical professional, but once it's in place, that's it, you're done, no fuss, no muss!

Dear's Advice: Mirena is great if you are looking for hassle-free birth control for up to five years straight. Just a reminder, it does not prevent against STIs, so that's why it's great to use if you are in a long-term relationship with someone you know is disease-free.

It's also a great option if you've already had kids and aren't planning on having anymore, or if you know it's going to be many years before you want to start a family. If this interests you, ask your doctor about Mirena.

Join The Conversation
Pampire Pampire 7 years
I have an IUD it's the paraguard and it's made out of copper. It lasts for 10 years and I've had it for 6. I think it's great and cheap! My periods haven't gotten any lighter but then again they never were! If you get one you have to have it checked every year to make sure it's still in place but, other than that you're good to go! Next time I might get the Mirena one if it helps reduce your period flow.
dozier dozier 8 years
Well, I just reached my 5 yrs in Sept 08 and my doctor told me that I would actually work for as long as up to 6yrs(I'm not taking any chances though). I loved it, never had to worry about forgetting to take a pill or if it was spontaneous,never had to worry about inserting something. This is the best thing any woman who doesn't want the worry or getting pregnant. I am getting this one taken out and another one inserted as soon as possible. The side effects are almost non existent. Great tool for prevention.
tfsdeth tfsdeth 10 years
for one i think they should put these in all these young girls who are having unprotected/underage sex. goverment is always moaning about teenage pregnacys arent they? and 2,ive thought about getting this just so i never have that 'what if' worry in my mind. although i never have sex outside a relationship regardless so at the moment it would'nt be much use to be at all seen as i have already been single for a year now. But as great as this thing sounds and i know that a good percent of people dont like using a condom, the big question is does this thing prevent STD's? or your risk of catching/passing on a STD? - im guessing it doesnt, so at the end of the day i cant really see the point in having this... anyone agree?
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
All the negativity...ladies this GREAT! I just had mine removed as the 5 year date came up. I had another brand before (one that lasted 10 years but was an older type) and had the WORST cramps and periods EVER. On the Mirena I knew that in my monogamous relationship I didn't have to worry day in and day out. I just never had to think about it. During my physicals my Doc would always check to make sure it was in place correctly and let me know. She also reminded me that I became fertile again AS SOON AS IT WAS REMOVED! It was seriously the best thing I ever did. I can not figure out why doctors are not offering this though, or discouraging it. I've never heard of such a thing!
christie christie 10 years
It's recommended for women who have had kids. I have one, but my doctor didn't want to give it to me because I'm young and only have one child. Thankfully, his assistant didn't see it that way and allowed me to get it It's not discouraged in the US, just discouraged for women who have not had children. Planned Parenthood however will usually give them regardless.
AlecksNWondrland AlecksNWondrland 10 years
WildHeaven, in my case, my cervix is "flexed and tilted" so it's not the ideal location for an IUD until I have kids and there's more room for the device to fit. Kudos to the women who are able to have one. I wish i could!
dewzi dewzi 10 years
Also, I would say young women that are sexually active must use condoms even if there isn't a shadow of a doubt about your partner. Most people do not know they are carrying a virus, and these things can lay dormant for a year! Though even condoms don't prevent some instances skin to skin contact infections like warts. Be smart! These hazards are much more prevalent than you'd think.
dewzi dewzi 10 years
I wasn't able to get this from my doctor either. The reason I was given was that this is meant for women in monogamous relationships, like marriage. Women who are not married are statistically MUCH more likely to get an STI. Getting an infection with this device in could lead to fatal complications. My doctor told me the risk was just too high for me, a 'single' college student, in his opinion.
mgmhmj mgmhmj 10 years
I've had mine for 2 1/2 years and wouldn't trade it for anything!! For the record, I don't have kids, and I have to use hormonal bc because I have pretty bad endometriosis, so its perfect...I hated taking the pill every day, and Nuvaring was tolerable, I just never trusted it much.
justlookaround justlookaround 10 years
don't trust this
Bukalala Bukalala 10 years
"greatest thing I ever made my insurance pay for." Hahahaha, that was amazing. Yeah, I never knew that the U.S. discouraged products like this one.
JBlondie JBlondie 10 years
I want this so bad but I can't find a Dr. here in Nashville that will put one in for me. My hubby and I are not planning on having kids anytime soon and if so, we are most likely going to adopt! It's been very frustrating! I mean, I know all the risks, pros, cons, etc.
WildHeavenFarm WildHeavenFarm 10 years
Why is it only recommended for women that have already had children? I don't plan on having any at all (let my five sisters do the breeding) and a 5 year method of birth control would be just ducky.
AlecksNWondrland AlecksNWondrland 10 years
I had the paraguard IUD put in (its like the Mirena but non-hormonal) and it was the worst experience of my life. I had to get it removed after only a few hours because I was extremely nauseated and couldn't walk. The doctor said it was because since I haven't had any kids, the device didn't fit into my cervix all the way. And to top it off, I ended up getting really huge ovarian cysts since i'm prone to blood clots. I didn't do enough research prior to getting the IUD so I can only blame myself.
Princess-Rebecca Princess-Rebecca 10 years
I know several women who got pregnangt with such things.. i rahter take the pill because then you can stop whenever you want...
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
i just got birth control. i wish i knew about this before i got my refill lol i wish they come up with some sorta birth control for men already
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 10 years
I think I like this. I should try it out.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
This seems like a good solution for me. I love the ring but the I always seem to forget to get refills in time.
randomname12345 randomname12345 10 years
I've had Mirena for a year now, too. It's worked really well. It's a lot cheaper than pills and the patch.
christie christie 10 years
I have had mine for a year now and it was the greatest thing I ever made my insurance pay for. After the adjustment period, it was great.
3vil1 3vil1 10 years
I had this inserted four months ago and at first I was ready to get it pulled out. I had some pain for the first two weeks and the first two months I had spotting but overall it's the best thing ever. I suffered from sever cramps every month and ever since this I don't. My period now a days last about two days and it's incredibly light. Sometimes a liner will do. It's great not to have to worry about a pill everyday. Other than the spotting the first two months I have not had any side effects. No weight gain, no head aches. My doctor and all her nurses have this in place and they love it. It's worth the first months of adjusting.
gooniette gooniette 10 years
I wish there wasn't such a stigma surrounding IUDs in the US. I really want to try one but my doctor always discourages me...
Blood Clots From NuvaRing
Birth Control Travel Tips
Should Men Get Vasectomies?
Pregnancy Test in Glow
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds