Mirena - One Birth Control Option

There are so many birth control options on the market today; it's often hard to know which one to use. One method that is very effective is the Mirena Intrauterine System (IUS). Mirena is similar to other IUCDs (Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices) since it needs to be fitted by a doctor and stays in the womb over a fixed amount of time. 

More About Mirena

Mirena has actually been found to be very effective. Under research conditions, studies have found that approximately one woman becomes pregnant for every 1000 that use Mirena. This is in comparison to 10 out of 1000 for a normal IUCD, 20 for the pill, and 10-15 for Depo Provera. One thing that is very important to know, however, is that if you do become pregnant while using Mirena, there is a higher likelihood that the pregnancy will be an ectopic one, which is life-threatening. If you use Mirena and believe that you are pregnant, you should go to see your doctor immediately.

How Mirena Works

Mirena comes as a T-shaped, plastic device. It has a stem with a T that is even thicker. The stem has the hormone Levonorgestrel in it, a hormone that is often found in contraceptive pills. In Mirena, the amount is much less than what you find in the pill, as it goes directly into the lining of the womb. The way that Mirena works is that the hormone makes the mucus in the cervix thicker and, thereby, prevents sperm from getting through. It also makes the lining of the womb thin so that an embryo won't be able to implant if fertilization occurs. The result of this is that you'll have lighter periods while using Mirena.

Where to Find Mirena

In order to use Mirena, you'll have to have an appointment with your doctor and be fitted for the device. You'll have an exam so that the doctor can check that your womb is of a normal size and that there is nothing unusual. You'll then be fitted within a week of having your period. This reduces the chances of Mirena being expelled by your body and also the chances of having irregular bleeding. If you've recently had a baby, you'll need to wait until six weeks after delivery to be fitted for the device.

The Fitting Process for Mirena

When the doctor does the fitting, he or she will place the Mirena device in the womb through the cervix. This process may be uncomfortable, and you should take some pain medication beforehand. Once Mirena is in place, most women won't feel it at all. You'll need to come back six weeks later for a follow-up appointment, and then yearly. The device should last for about five years, and you'll know that it's in the right place by the strings that are attached to it. This is also how you can remove it, should you need to do so. As soon as one device is removed, you'll be able to have a doctor put in another device - there is no waiting time.

Mirena does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and it certainly shouldn't be used if you are concerned about these. It is highly effective in preventing pregnancy, and is best used in a monogamous relationship where both partners know that they don't already have an STDs.

 

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