Advanced Gynaecological Surgery Centre
 
Treatment Options

Mirena Intrauterine Device

Background

Mirena is an effective, long term and reversible method of contraception.

It consists of a small, soft, flexible plastic T-shaped frame which is inserted into the uterus. This carries the hormone in a sleeve around its stem, and has two fine threads attached to the base to help with removal. It is about the diameter of a 50 cent piece.

Indications for use

  • In women who have heavy and painful periods
  • For protecting the endometrium (lining of the uterus) in women who are receiving short term oestrogen therapy for the management of menopausal symptoms
  • For reliable, long term and reversible contraception
  • Women who have not tolerated other forms of contraception

General Facts

  • You will be protected from pregnancy as soon as insertion of the mirena is complete if inserted either during your period or within seven days of the beginning of your period.
  • Mirena Insertion only takes a couple of minutes and can be done as an “in rooms procedure” in some instances or as a simple, quick day procedure in hospital.
  • At 3-6 months the average length of the period is 1-2 days
  • Many women have frequent spotting or light bleeding in addition to their period for the first 3-6 months after the system is fitted
  • Mirena is effective for up to 5 years
  • Studies have shown that women using Mirena have not changed their weight any more than women not using it.

Side Effects

The level of hormone in the woman’s blood stream is very low so that the hormonal side effects such as tender breasts, headaches or acne are less likely. If they occur they should go away after a few months but if you are concerned, please talk to your Doctor.

The most common side effect is a change in your menstrual bleeding patterns.

Other side effects reported by women using Mirena include:

  • Ovarian cysts
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramping
  • Acne
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Headache
  • Mood changes / Depression

Your Doctor will advise you of any risks and benefits.

Other Complications

Serious complications with Mirena are uncommon.

  • Expulsion - rarely, Mirena may come out by itself which can lead to unwanted pregnancy.
  • Uterine perforation - there is a very small risk (less than 1 in 1000)