Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mirena -- What are the facts?

Let's talk birth control...specifically the supposedly "safe" Mirena IUD. And let's look at what the word "safe" actually means.

Is it safer than the Pill? Perhaps, but if you're considering using Mirena for birth control, there are a few facts you must consider.

First of all, contrary to popular opinion, Mirena, like all IUDs, does not prevent conception. When you use this type of intrauterine contraceptive, you will continue to ovulate. It is not a spermicide, so sperm will continue to travel in search of an egg to fertilize. And many times, a successful fertilization occurs. However, Mirena keeps the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, so your body will eventually expel it. For some, that's no big deal. But if you believe, as I do, that life begins at conception, you could be aborting countless children without even knowing it!

Another issue to keep in mind, and this comes directly from Mirena's product information sheet -- "pregnancy while using Mirena can be life threatening." Lovely. Additionally, if you hope to get pregnant someday, Mirena may make that impossible, as cases of infertility have been linked to this IUD.

Ovarian cysts, which I've suffered with for many years, are another side effect for some women using Mirena. If you've never had one, be warned -- they are extraordinarily painful and can be serious. I was hospitalized for five days one year as a result of ovarian cysts that burst and sent infection through my body.

There is also a slight risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to severe pelvic and/or abdominal pain. In some cases the pelvic pain does not go away and occasionally PID can lead to the necessity of a hysterectomy. The manufacturers recommend women do not use Mirena if they have a pelvic infection, get infections easily, or have certain cancers.

Other warnings issued by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of Mirena, include:
  • Pain, bleeding or dizziness
  • Embedment -- if the IUD become attached to the uterine wall, surgery may be necessary.
  • Perforation -- if your intrauterine contraceptive device perforates the wall of your uterus, it can move outside the uterus resulting in the possibility of scarring, infection or damage to other organs. Again, surgery may be required.
  • Severe or migraine headaches
  • Liver problems -- you are to contact your physician immediately if you notice yellowing skin or eyes
  • Period problems
Before sitting down to write today's blog, I read through some other people's experiences with Mirena posted on their own blogs. These are true life experiences that are not covered in the warnings. Such as the 40 lb. weight gain and astronomically high blood pressure experienced by one woman, as detailed in her blog: The Truth About the Mirena IUD. If you're considering Mirena, at least do yourself the favor of reading about her personal experience.

Dealing with birth control hasn't been an issue for me for years, due to the surgery I had during my hospitalization for the ovarian cysts that burst. So it's easy for me to tell you what not to do. But, as with all my posts, I write with your health, your family's health and/or the health of the environment in mind. This particular post is for you ladies out there who are facing this issue and I wrote it to inform you. It's easy to buy into advertising; but you have to read between the lines. When Bayer Healthcare Pharmceuticals states that Mirena prevents pregnancy, you have to look at the small print. And then, you have to look at all of the side effects that accompany a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system placed within your body.

The best decisions we can make for ourselves and our families are informed decisions.

Keeping you informed,




  1. I had Mirena for about 6 months and hated it! At first it wasn't so bad, but after the first 4 months I started to develop very painful ovarian cysts and even spent a night in the ER because of it! No fun!

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience, Michelle.


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