Keep this in mind:
- Mirena® is not appropriate for everyone
- Share your health history with your healthcare provider before placement
- There are some serious but uncommon side effects associated with Mirena
- Review possible common side effects of Mirena after placement
- Although uncommon, pregnancy while using Mirena can be life threatening and may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility
- For more safety information you should know about Mirena, continue reading below
Only you and your healthcare provider can decide if Mirena is right for you. As the two of you discuss your options, there are a number of things you should consider—like your general health, current or past health conditions, sexual history and the possibility that you'd like to have more children in the future.
Who should not use Mirena?
Do not use Mirena if you:
- Are or might be pregnant; Mirena cannot be used as an emergency contraceptive
- Have had a serious pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) unless you have had a normal pregnancy after the infection went away
- Have an untreated pelvic infection now
- Have had a serious pelvic infection in the past 3 months after a pregnancy
- Can get infections easily. For example, if you have:
- Multiple sexual partners or your partner has multiple sexual partners
- Problems with your immune system
- Intravenous drug abuse
- Have or suspect you might have cancer of the uterus or cervix
- Have bleeding from the vagina that has not been explained
- Have liver disease or a liver tumor
- Have breast cancer or any other cancer that is sensitive to progestin (a female hormone), now or in the past
- Have an intrauterine device in your uterus already
- Have a condition of the uterus that changes the shape of the uterine cavity, such as large fibroid tumors
- Are allergic to levonorgestrel, silicone, polyethylene, silica, barium sulphate or iron oxide
Before having Mirena placed, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Have had a heart attack
- Have had a stroke
- Were born with heart disease or have problems with your heart valves
- Have problems with blood clotting or take medicine to reduce clotting
- Have high blood pressure
- Recently had a baby or if you are breastfeeding
- Have severe migraine headaches
Is it safe to breastfeed while using Mirena?
You may use Mirena when you are breastfeeding if more than six weeks have passed since you had your baby. If you are breastfeeding, Mirena is not likely to affect the quality or amount of your breast milk or the health of your nursing baby. However, isolated cases of decreased milk production have been reported among women using progestin-only birth control pills. The risk of Mirena becoming attached to (embedded) or going through the wall of the uterus is increased if Mirena is inserted while you are breastfeeding.
What are the possible side effects of Mirena?
Mirena can cause serious side effects including:
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some IUD users get a serious pelvic infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is usually sexually transmitted. You have a higher chance of getting PID if you or your partner have sex with other partners. PID can cause serious problems such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy or pelvic pain that does not go away. PID is usually treated with antibiotics. More serious cases of PID may require surgery. A hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is sometimes needed. In rare cases, infections that start as PID can even cause death.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these signs of PID: long-lasting or heavy bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, low abdominal (stomach area) pain, painful sex, chills, or fever.
Life-threatening infection. Life-threatening infection can occur within the first few days after Mirena is placed. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop severe pain or fever shortly after Mirena is placed.
Perforation. Mirena may become attached to (embedded) or go through the wall of the uterus. This is called perforation. If this occurs, Mirena may no longer prevent pregnancy. If perforation occurs, Mirena may move outside the uterus and can cause internal scarring, infection, or damage to other organs, and you may need surgery to have Mirena removed. The risk of perforation is increased if Mirena is inserted while you are breastfeeding.
Common side effects of Mirena include:
Pain, bleeding or dizziness during and after placement. If these symptoms do not stop 30 minutes after placement, Mirena may not have been placed correctly. Your healthcare provider will examine you to see if Mirena needs to be removed or replaced.
Expulsion. Mirena may come out by itself. This is called expulsion. You may become pregnant if Mirena comes out. If you think that Mirena has come out, use a backup birth control method like condoms and spermicide and call your healthcare provider.
Missed menstrual periods. About 2 out of 10 women stop having periods after 1 year of Mirena use. If you do not have a period for 6 weeks during Mirena use, call your healthcare provider. When Mirena is removed, your menstrual periods will come back.
Changes in bleeding. You may have bleeding and spotting between menstrual periods, especially during the first 3 to 6 months. Sometimes the bleeding is heavier than usual at first. However, the bleeding usually becomes lighter than usual and may be irregular. Call your healthcare provider if the bleeding remains heavier than usual or increases after it has been light for a while.
Cysts on the ovary. About 12 out of 100 women using Mirena develop a cyst on the ovary. These cysts usually disappear on their own in a month or two. However, cysts can cause pain and sometimes cysts will need surgery.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects with Mirena. For more information, ask your healthcare provider.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the manufacturer at 1-888-842-29371-888-842-2937, or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Every individual responds differently to medication, so talk to your healthcare provider about your individual risk factors and to see if Mirena is right for you.
Mirena does not protect against STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) or HIV. So, if while using Mirena you think you or your partner might be at risk of getting an STD, use a condom and call your healthcare provider.
After Mirena has been placed, when should I call my healthcare provider?
Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about Mirena. Be sure to call if you:
- Think you are pregnant
- Have pelvic pain or pain during sex
- Have unusual vaginal discharge or genital sores
- Have unexplained fever, flu-like symptoms or chills
- Might be exposed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Cannot feel Mirena’s threads
- Develop very severe or migraine headaches
- Have yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. These may be signs of liver problems
- Have had a stroke or heart attack
- Or your partner becomes HIV positive
- Have severe vaginal bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time
What if I become pregnant while using Mirena?
Call your healthcare provider right away if you think you are pregnant. If you get pregnant while using Mirena, you may have an ectopic pregnancy. This means that the pregnancy is not in the uterus. Unusual vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain may be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency that often requires surgery. Ectopic pregnancy can cause internal bleeding, infertility, and even death.
There are also risks if you get pregnant while using Mirena and the pregnancy is in the uterus. Severe infection, miscarriage, premature delivery, and even death can occur with pregnancies that continue with an intrauterine device (IUD). Because of this, your healthcare provider may try to remove Mirena, even though removing it may cause a miscarriage. If Mirena cannot be removed, talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of continuing the pregnancy.
If you continue your pregnancy, see your healthcare provider regularly. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, cramping, pain, bleeding, vaginal discharge, or fluid leaking from your vagina. These may be signs of infection.
It is not known if Mirena can cause long-term effects on the fetus if it stays in place during a pregnancy.