2 months ago

Hormonal Birth Control Can Come With Side Effects

Birth control can take many forms. Some people abstain from sex until they’re married. Others grab a condom, and then there’s always the pill. Another form of birth control is an IUD or an intrauterine device, like the one from Mirena. 

The IUD is effective at preventing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. The complications of Mirena IUDs can range from minor and annoying to extreme and potentially even life-threatening.

How Mirena IUDs Work

Mirena is the brand name behind this IUD. The plastic device is T-shaped and is placed inside the uterus where it releases the progestin hormone. The release of the hormone provides long-term birth control, meaning women aren’t changing out the IUD every month or so. Some women can go up to eight years before replacing a Mirena IUD.

How a Mirena IUD works is fairly simple: the IUD thickens the mucus lining in the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. The steady release of progestin also thins the uterine lining partially stopping the egg’s release. 

If you’re wondering about FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. Mirena is part of a group of several IUDs deemed safe for women to use long-term.

Benefits of Using a Mirena IUD

Some of the benefits are obvious like continuous birth control and not needing to interrupt a romantic moment to grab a condom. You also don’t need to worry about forgetting to take your birth control every day, and this is a primary downside to the pill. However, some of the benefits of using an IUD for birth control can be a little surprising.

If you’re dealing with abnormally heavy periods or extreme pain and cramping, an IUD can help alleviate these symptoms. IUDs can also help manage endometriosis symptoms, along with slowing down fibroid growths in the uterus.

Some other potential benefits can include reducing your risk of developing a pelvic infection and endometrial cancer.

Mirena IUD Isn’t Right for Everyone

Even though the IUD has benefits, this doesn’t mean that’s right for everyone. If you have or were previously diagnosed with breast, cervical, or uterine cancer, IUDs are rarely prescribed by a physician. 

Some women with fibroids may want to skip using an IUD as a form of birth control. The fibroids can make it difficult to place the IUD. There’s also the risk of it falling out of place.

You also want to avoid using an IUD if you have a pelvic infection, an unknown cause of vaginal bleeding, or an improperly formed uterus. Let your physician know if any of the following apply:

  • You’re taking any supplements, including herbal remedies and prescription medications
  • Suffer from regular migraines
  • Have a heart condition or recently experienced a heart attack
  • Are diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure

You should also let your physician know if you’re breastfeeding or recently gave birth.

Potential Risks of Mirena IUDS

Mirena IUDs have been known to cause some complications in women. Some of the complications are minor and others can be life-altering. A few of the commonly reported side effects include tenderness in the breasts, sudden acne breakouts, and headaches. 

Some women have also noted irregular bleeding between their menstrual cycles. However, this side effect typically clears up in about three months. If you’re still experiencing irregular bleeding three months after receiving the IUD, contact your physician to ensure it’s not a sign of a more serious complication.

Women can also complain about pelvic pain and cramping before or after their periods. Some women also notice mood changes, and this is another reason to consult with your physician. Some of the more serious potential complications associated with IUDs include:

  • Pelvic infections, though most can be treated without removing the IUD
  • A condition known as endometritis may develop. This occurs when the lining of the uterus is irritated.
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, especially during sex
  • Frequent and painful migraines

Something all women should monitor after having an IUD inserted is their blood pressure. Some women can experience a sudden increase in blood pressure leading to a heart attack or stroke down the road. This complication can be life-threatening and, while rare, can occur.

Is a Mirena IUD Right For You

If you’re tired of remembering to take a pill every day or reaching for a condom whenever you and your partner are feeling romantic, it may be worth talking to your physician about getting a Mirena IUD. Remember, IUDs aren’t for everyone, and there can be potential complications.

However, it’s also an effective form of birth control with additional benefits, such as reduced menstrual bleeding and relief from menstrual cramps, making it a convenient and multifaceted option for many.

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