Mirena is a intrauterine device or IUD containing female hormone, progestin. Approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is used for birth control. Mirena has levonorgestrel as main active ingredient, which is released as 20mcg a day using the mentioned device. The device is T shaped with polyethylene frame and steroid reservoir. The hormone released by the device thickens the uterine lining and cervical mucus and thus prevents fertilization by making it difficult for sperm cells to reach fallopian tubes or uterus. It also partially suppresses ovulation.

Mirena package consists of an inserter which is used to insert Mirena in uterine cavity. After placing the device, inserter is discarded. Once it is placed, the device starts releasing hormone Levonorgestrel. It can prevent pregnancy up to 5 years. Mirena is used in sexually active women, who have had one child at least. It is also advised to women who experience heavy bleeding during their menstrual cycle and want to have an intrauterine contraception. Only a small amount of this hormone reaches the blood stream. One of the disadvantages of Mirena is that it doesn’t protect from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Use of Mirena could lead to many side effects including irregular vaginal bleeding, cramps, breast pain, or other allergic reactions. Some women can even suffer from lack or delaying of menstrual period. Other side effects related to this IUD are swelling or itching in vagina or painful intercourse. This device could also lead to heavy vaginal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, which has bad smell, sores in vagina or chronic pelvic pain. The device has also been reported to cause uterine perforation lately. Some cases have been reported when this device has pierced into uterine wall damaging uterus in the patients using it.

Women who are allergic to Levonorgestrel or any progestin hormone should not use Mirena as it contains Levonorgestrel as main active ingredient. A woman should be sure that she is not pregnant before having a Mirena insertion. Women who are or who have suffered from uterine endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory diseases or PIDs should not use this IUD. In case a woman has had an ectopic pregnancy or is doubtful that she may be pregnant, it is not safe to use Mirena as it could lead to premature birth or even abortion in some cases. Women, who are already using an IUD, are not advised to use Mirena. A patient should also tell the doctor about her medical history as many medical conditions or drugs could interact with this device and could lead to severe medical conditions.

Mirena may come out or move out by itself sometimes. In such cases pregnancy or uterine perforation or other serious medical conditions may follow. If a woman gets pregnant while using Mirena, it can lead to premature birth or other birth defects or complications. If a woman feels that the device is out of place, she should immediately consult the doctor. It does not protect from other sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Consult your doctor to know other preventive methods.

Doctors also advise not to use Mirena while being pregnant or during breast-feeding period as the hormone levonorgestrel may pass into breast-milk and harm the child.

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