Did you know that about two-thirds of American and Canadian women between fifteen and forty-four years use different forms of birth control, such as pills, implants, or other reversible contraceptives? And since there is a great number of birth control options, it might be sometimes difficult to choose the most appropriate one for you.
In this article, we are going to take a detailed look at Mirena, a highly efficient and long-lasting contraceptive method. So, keep reading and get to know its definition, advantages, disadvantages, working principle, and other peculiarities.
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A Few Words on Birth Control
Before delving into the world of Mirena, let us have a short overview of the general birth control notion. What is it and what methods does it include? Let's figure it out.
What Is Birth Control?
Birth control (or, as it is often called, contraception) is the common term that denotes a whole bunch of methods that are used to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Even though such forms of birth control as contraceptive pills or IUDs appeared only in the twentieth century, contraception has existed since the ancient civilization of Greeks or Egyptians. For instance, special condoms to prevent pregnancy were made of animal bladders, moss, plants, and other materials. Therefore, birth control has a very long and fascinating history that dates back to antique times.
What Are the Main Contraceptive Methods?
There exist a number of methods of preventing pregnancy. Below, you will find the list of the most widely spread ones:
- The condom;
- The pill;
- The implant;
- The injection;
- The intrauterine device (IUD);
While each contraceptive method has its own principle that prevents pregnancy, level of efficiency, duration, side effects, and other peculiarities, you will definitely be able to choose the one that fits your needs best.
A safety note: It is recommended to consult with your doctor when choosing a contraceptive method. This way, they will investigate your individual health conditions and select the most appropriate birth control option for you.
Mirena IUD as a Method of Contraception
Almost every method of contraception that is mentioned above might be divided into several sub-types. And one of the most widely spread sub-types of IUD contraception is Mirena. So, let's take a detailed look at its main peculiarities.
What Is Mirena?
In simple words, Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine contraception device that is used as a long-term birth control method. Moreover, the device is regarded to be extremely safe and reliable. When being more precise, it is not only medically reviewed but also approved by FDA.
The Mirena device has a long-lasting effect and may assist you from getting pregnant for a time period of five years. Still, if you decide to get pregnant sooner, you can ask your doctor to remove the Mirena intrauterine device at any other convenient for you time.
How Does Mirena Work?
The Mirena IUD is s T-shaped device that is made of plastic. The device is hormonal, as it contains levonorgestrel (which is also called progestin) after being inserted.
Here is how it works:
- A health care practitioner inserts Mirena into the uterus.
- Once being inserted into the uterus, the device starts to release the hormone called progestin, which, in its turn, affects your body in a couple of ways. Firstly, it thickens the mucus in the cervix so that the sperm won't be able to go through it to fertilize your egg. Secondly, progestin thins the lining of the uterus so that your ovulation will be partially suppressed.
As a result, while being placed in your uterus, Mirena is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
A safety note: To make sure that the Mirena intrauterine system is safe in your particular case, consult with your doctor before inserting it. The thing is that Mirena might carry a risk of negative effects in case you suffer from liver disease, cervical cancer, or uterine abnormalities. So, please remember the general rule: In case you need a piece of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment instructions, contact your health care practitioner.
What Are the Basic Benefits of Mirena?
While being one of the most widely used IUDs, Mirena has a whole bunch of benefits, namely:
- It is long-lasting (you might insert Mirena for the time period of five years);
- It is easily reversible (namely, you can remove Mirena at any convenient for your time) and your fertility is expected to return to you immediately after the Mirena's removal;
- It is safe, as Mirena does not cause severe side effects under normal circumstances and can even be used during breastfeeding.
Apart from the above-mentioned advantages of Mirena, it might also have a positive influence on your menstrual cycle by either decreasing its intensity (namely, menstrual bleeding) or even stopping it. As well, it decreases the risk of pelvic infection and endometrial cancer.
What Are the Main Mirena's Drawbacks?
On the other hand, however, the Mirena IUD also has a number of drawbacks, such as:
- It belongs to hormonal IUDs, which means that it affects your body with the help of hormones and might cause mood swings, breast tenderness, or acne;
- It increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy, or, in other words, the health condition when a fertilized egg is implanted outside the womb (which is often supported by vaginal bleeding) and, therefore, has to be removed;
- It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. So, it is not efficient to use Mirena if you would like to protect yourself from hepatitis, genital herpes, or gonorrhea.
Moreover, the Mirena insertion might even cause uterus perforation or a pelvic inflammatory disease in rare cases. So, the procedure has to be performed exclusively by a certified and knowledgeable health care practitioner.
A side note: Despite the fact that the device causes little to no medically reviewed severe side effects, the process of using Mirena might still lead to headaches, irregular periods, or other symptoms.
A Bottom Line
All in all, the Mirena IUD is an efficient method of preventing unwanted pregnancy. Just like any other form of birth control, the device has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, consult with your doctor before using Mirena and take care of your pregnancy planning!