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You, Me, and IUCs: Mirena

So yesterday I told you about one type of IUC, called Paragard, which is made of plastic and copper. Well Mirena is another type, also made out of plastic, but this one contains hormones, just like the Pill.

If you're interested in using birth control that you don't have to think about, Mirena may be right for you, but check out the pros and cons before you make any decisions.

Pros Cons
  • It is 99.9 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and works for up to five years. Once inserted into your uterus, it's effective immediately.
  • Many women complain that getting Mirena inserted is extremely painful.

Want to see the rest? Then


Pros Cons
  • It's FDA-approved.
  • Mirena contains less hormone dosage than the pill.
  • You'll have lighter, shorter periods, or you may stop having your period altogether.
  • Intimacy will be more spontaneous since you won't have to stop to slip on a condom or remember to take a pill everyday.
  • It's quickly reversible, so once it's removed, you can start trying to have kids immediately.
  • Side effects include cramping, acne, back pain, breast tenderness, headaches, nausea, and mood changes, but these usually go away after three months.
  • You may experience heavier periods in the first three to six months, or spotting between periods.
  • Twelve percent of Mirena users experience ovarian cysts.
  • Mirena can slip out of the uterus leaving you unprotected against pregnancy.
  • It doesn't protect against STIs.

Have any of you ladies ever used Mirena? If so, tell us about it below.


Join The Conversation
equestriennechic equestriennechic 6 years
I had Mirena inserted about a week and a half ago, and for about the past week I've been feeling incredibly depressed, exhausted, moody, crampy, achey, and generally unhappy. It's a funk I can't seem to get out of. Before Mirena I was consistently feeling the happiest I had in quite a while, and there haven't been any big changes in my life over the past week. I've also experienced not only back pain, which is pretty typical of my period, but long-lasting headaches, and pain immediately after sex (maybe it's the semen?) - so much so that I don't want to have sex again for many hours after. I'm seriously considering calling the doctor, but will probably give it a little bit more time before I do. I think I'm making myself paranoid by reading up on this stuff online, but I definitely do not feel like myself since getting Mirena.
CCDoll CCDoll 7 years
I had the Mirena put in almost 5 years ago and I have had NO problems. Insertion was not bad at all-just a little cramping. I love the worry free BC. I have very light periods that only last 3 days. All I need to use during those 3 days is a panty liner. I went for my check up today and my dr. told me that the makers of Marena have gone up on the price and most insureance companies dont cover it. This means if I want to replace it I will have to pay $900 or have a paragard put in. I'm undecided of what to do. I hate changing from something that I know works well with my body, but on the other hand $900 is a lot of money. I have until Oct to make my decision.
mommy22kids20 mommy22kids20 8 years
I have mirena and it will be about 7 months that i have had this iud.. I get pregnanat very easily and am very fertle. this has by far been the best bc that i have ever had.painful being inserted and cramping afterwards for about a week. Afet about a week my periods were normal but i think has stopped now. I am not pregnant but didnt get my period. so i do love this. I havent had any modd swing or anything either.. Which is great especially when you do have kids you dont want to be upset with them because you feel horrible.. I am very forget ful because i do have two kids so close in age (16months apart) In taking my bc so this is a godsent gift to me... I exercise dailyand am very active and have never ever had any uncomfortable issue the only thing my doctor toldme was to not let my kids bouce hard on my stomache so that is a bit upsetting consideringmy daughter is a wild baby girl...:)
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Oh my, being on your period 60-75% of the time, I'm sorry!! Going on 3 months of having my Mirena and my period is starting to calm down (my cycle has extended past 2 weeks, yessss - here's hoping for a normal 28+ days!). Still have some random spotting and cramping, but it seems like my body is starting to adjust. Are you getting another one, Majorgirl, or going another route entirely?
Majorgirl Majorgirl 8 years
I've had the Mirena for going on 5 years and I must be the exception to this thing. It hurt like crazy going in and in the five years since I still get my period every month for about 2.5 to 3 weeks at a time, it's a light flow but still there! My followups show nothing is out of place, I must just be "lucky". Now that I'm close to the five year mark, I've made an appointment to have it removed. I did like that I didn't have to worry about BC but the bleeding 3 weeks out of the month almost makes having that convenience irrelevant!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Yikes...good luck with your surgery!! My only complaint so far is random, intense cramping but I've heard that's pretty common in the first few months.
cartoonmommy cartoonmommy 8 years
No, I didn't have any symptoms. I've never had a period while using the mirena and I still don't. It was during an annual exam I learned of the problem. The Dr. said I could choose to leave it in... but I'm not sure that's a good idea. Their afraid they will tear my uterus during removal and know that I would like to have more kids. Of course I don't know how I would get pregnant when I'm not having a period and the iud is still working because of the low dose hormone. And maybe it will be no big deal to remove. The Dr. says it has never been reported of this happening before. I just like to be difficult!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
how did you find out that it had moved? Were you doing a routine checkup, or did you have some kind of symptoms?
cartoonmommy cartoonmommy 8 years
I've the mirena for 3 1/2 years. I got it at my 6 week post partum check up. 1 week ago I learned it had moved and they had to do an ultrasound to find it. No big deal right... turns out wrong. This is not uncommon and for the most part no big deal. The iud continues to work even if it becomes embedded in your uterus. Only, my dr. says in my case it is more serious. my skin has actually grown over the iud and now i'm scheduled for surgery in 2 weeks.
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
Mwoodrome, there are hormones in the Mirena, they are just much lower levels than a typical birth control pill and they are supposedly concentrated in the uterus (not going into your bloodstream).
mwoodrome mwoodrome 8 years
I have had the mirena for a little over 6 months and as of yet I have no complaints about it. It did not hurt when I got it. Then again I had just had a baby 3 months prior. It does not always stop your period either. It is different with ALL women. Mine has slowed down a lot but sometimes it's really weird and i spot for a week straight instead of having an actual period. There are no hormones in the Mirena. You can take antibiotics without having to worry about it interfering with your birth control. You can have worry free unprotected sex with your significant other without having to worry about getting pregnant...there are some women who have bad reactions but no complaints on my end.
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
Jacrabbit- yay, congrats! Glad to hear it is going well so far. I have also pretty well determined by tons and tons of medical sites and customer forums that the first month is basically guaranteed ANNOYING! (cramps, extended period, bloating) Those side effects drop hugely after the 3 month marker (to the point of being virtually non-existent, we're talking like 3% of women complain about it), so hang in there! I'm looking forward to the reduced hormones and 5+ years of no pill-taking, myself. :-)
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Good breakdown, chocolat! I'm glad you doctor confirmed what it kind of looked like my research suggested. I did get my Mirena 2 weeks ago!! I'm 24, married, no children, no history of STIs etc. so a similar "candidate". The insertion wasn't as bad as I thought it would be so that's the good news! Not gonna lie though...that evening and most of the next day I had INTENSE cramping (my doctor said that sometimes your uterus freaks out because there's something foreign in there, and it tries to DELIVER the IUD...ew) and I've been on my period ever since, but I'm already starting to feel more "myself" without the hormonal birth control and I'm hopeful that this will be a huge improvement.
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
I'm planning to get this next month! My doctor explained the "rule" about it being for women with children as: -if you get a vaginal infection of any sort while you have the IUD, your chances of there being a fertility-influencing side effect are increased. Note that these infections increase issues with fertility in general, but with an IUD the risk increases that the infection may impact your fertility. Therefore, the makers (and some doctors) have touted the IUD for women-with-children as a way to cover their asses- it would be risky for them to not have this disclaimer on the product because it carries a very slight chance of taking away someone's reproductive capability. -Not for people who have multiple sexual partners (which is why they frown on giving it to younger women)... this is because if you're with multiple people, you're risking more exposure to infections, which- as just said- increase chances of major complications. I am 22, no children, and married, with no history of vaginal infections/STIs. Thus, my doc says I'm a fine candidate for the IUD. Its a big deal though, I've read up a ton on it. To anyone considering it, check out this website: (A very detailed description which is the product information your medical provider would have on the Mirena).
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I'm feeling encouraged by a lot of your comments. I have been on the pill (Yasmin) for a year and have had positive physical side effects, but I'm a depressed, emotional wreck so I am looking into Mirena. I have an appointment with my gyno in a couple weeks.
jen1975 jen1975 8 years
My gyno told me that there's no reason women who haven't had babies can't have it and that it's just basically that the drug companies think women who haven't had babies are sluts who engage in risky sexual behavior. (As if giving birth automatically stops those who engage in risky behavior!) I did feel a good deal of pain when it was inserted and some cramping for several days, but now it's been a week, and I feel fine.
XDeexDeeX XDeexDeeX 8 years
i seriously just wanna get this to stop my period.. but all those side effects sound horrible =[ xx
oliviaoblivia oliviaoblivia 9 years
ufshutterbabe my doc said the same thing about 7 years. Apparently in Europe Mirena is approved for 7 years versus 5 in the US, she tells all of her patients to keep it in for that long.
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
PS - when I had mine inserted, the RN told me that by the time my Mirena was set to "expire" at 5 years, they'd probably be approved for 7 year use and I'd be able to get an extra 2 years out of it. I haven't heard anything further on that though.
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
I have to disagree with the statement that Mirena contains hormones "just like the pill." Mirena contains far less hormones, and they are localized in the uterus so they are appropriate for women who can't do the hormones in pills. I was especially concerned with this aspect, and I made sure to ask several docs and RNs about it, because my mother had a life-threating blood clot while she was on the pill. My sisters and I are likely to have the same reaction. I've had the Mirena for about 3 years now, and I love it (I have never had a child, btw). The only side effect I've ever had is occasionally I will feel a sharp cramp that last for less than 5 minutes - that probably only happens once a month, if that. Every time it does happen, I think to myself "my god, how did I ever deal with periods on a monthly basis?" Oh, and I don't have periods now, but I consider that a bonus, rather than a side-effect.
oliviaoblivia oliviaoblivia 9 years
I've had my mirena for about 9 months and I love it. Like the other posters have said - practically no period! Last week I gave my sister my remaining tampon stash cause I don't need them anymore!!! I did have quite a bit of pain at insertion, my doc said that some girls have more nerves down there - yikes! I had heard the insertion was like a more uncomfortable pap, but it was much worse than I expected. That said, I'm thrilled with it now. I had no cramping afterwards, none of the breakthrough bleeding, or any of the other short term side effects. I chose mirena over paraguard because of the super heavy periods my mom got when she tried a copper IUD. And the hormone levels in mirena are miniscule in comparison to BCP and won't cause varicose veins or blood clots.
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