Mirena IUD risks, benefits and other options


Q: I have tried various pills and Nuvaring and have recently stopped due to a loss of libido. I have been on pills for almost 5 years (started when I was 20, now almost 25), because of my issues with pills and the fact that I am in a long term monogamous relationship my gyn recommended Mirena even though I have never been pregnant. However, I have been reading horror stories about acne, weight gain, and even worse- uterine perforation possibly leading to sterility. I am a grad student and do not plan on having any kids for at least another 8 years but would like the option. I'm looking for hassel free birth control that is safe, is Mirena really a good option?


A:   I understand your concern about Mirena, this is an intra uterine device that delivers small amounts of hormone directly to the uterus. Made of soft, flexible plastic, it is put in place by your healthcare provider during an office visit. Mirena is birth control that lasts as long as you want, for up to 5 years. Another good point to consider about Mirena is that it could be considered the least user dependant contraceptive method.
I agree with you that there could be some side effects not only with Mirena but with all contraceptives. Since you mentioned that you don’t want to become pregnant for the next 8 years, you might want to consider other options such as Implanon is an implanted device, too, but it goes into your arm. The matchstick-sized plastic rod must be replaced every three years. It works by releasing the hormone progestin, which works in several ways to prevent sperm from reaching eggs.
I suggest you to consult your Gynecologist if you are not sure about Mirena and evaluate other possibilities. I wish you the best.

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