Birth Control – Frequently Asked Questions

Mirena IUD – Women’s Center Abortion Clinic.

What is Mirena?

Mirena is a plastic sterile Intrauterine Device (IUD) that is inserted into the uterus for long acting birth control. It is one of the most effective methods in preventing pregnancy. The chance of conception is less than 1%.

It is also FDA approved for Menorrhagia (heavy vaginal bleeding).

How Long Is Mirena Effective?

Mirena is effective for up to 5 years. It may be removed at anytime prior to 5 years if the woman chooses to become pregnant.

How Does Mirena Work?

Mirena contains the progesterone hormone called Levonorgestrel. This causes pregnancy prevention in several ways:

  1. It causes thickening of the cervical mucus. This prevents sperm from swimming past the opening to get inside the Uterus.
  2. Thinning of the lining of the endometrium (uterine wall). This prevents sperm migration (swimming) towards the fallopian tubes and in theory may prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum.
  3. The IUD itself as a foreign antibody seemingly is able to kill and delay sperm in getting to the egg and fertilizing it.

Mirena may be removed at any time before 5 years if the patient desires to become pregnant. She may have the Mirena replaced every 5 years if she wishes to not become pregnant.

Where Can A Woman Get Mirena?

Mirena mat be inserted by a healthcare professional during a woman’s menstrual period or shortly thereafter.

In order to be eligible for placement, you must undergo a medical history and physical examination that may include a Pap Smear, cervical and vaginal cultures.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms Immediately Upon Insertion Of Mirena?

  1. Mild Cramps
  2. Bleeding
  3. Pain

What Are the Contraindications To Receive Mirena:

  1. Undiagnosed Vaginal Bleeding
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Recent vaginal or pelvic infection (last 2 months)
  4. Multiple Sexual Partners
  5. Liver Disease or Tumor
  6. Enlarged Fibroid Uterus
  7. Cervicitis or Vaginitis

The first several periods after the IUD is inserted can be heavier with you may experience more cramping. Usually the periods and cramps become lighter after 9 to 12 months.

There is a small, but increased risk of ectopic if pregnancy does occur while using Mirena.

Other complications that may occur with the use of Mirena may include increased chance of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), bleeding between periods, expulsion (Mirena passes through vagina), uterine cramping, unwanted pregnancy, ovarian cysts, Deep Vein Thrombosis and a decrease or loss of menses may occur.

The IUD may fall out of the uterus, or there may be a perforation of the uterus (IUD punctures the uterus). It is important to check for the strands of the Mirena after completion of every monthly cycle to assure that it is in its proper place.

For patients who develop onset of severe headaches, abdominal pain or heavy bleeding, they should contact their health care provider immediately.

IUDs do not protect against HIV or other STDs.

HIPAA Privacy Notice

Have a Question? Someone is available to answer your sexual health related question by
e-mail 24 hours 7 days a week at

Immediate Assistance