Many of us are not familiar with Mirena. For those who are not aware, Mirena is one of the brand names of a birth control system that many women use. It is one of a few long-term birth control options for women. Mirena is a kind of device inserted in a woman’s body that releases small amounts of progestogen levonorgestrel into the uterus. The device looks like a T-shaped plastic framed. As a birth control system, Mirena provides birth control in 5 years span, and among its side-effects is either losing or gaining weight.
One can find the levonorgestrel in Mirena. The levonorgestrel is the active ingredient. It is the substance that is responsible for the contraceptive and other healing effects of the birth control process. Using Mirena will change a layer of the uterus called endometrium that will affect a woman’s ovulation. The contraceptive will also cause the thickening of the cervical mucus, which prevents sperm from passing into the uterus.
How Does Mirena Work?
Mirena is a birth control device that works by releasing levonorgestrel. This hormone thins the lining of the uterus. It also thickens the mucus in the cervix. As a result, sperm has a hard time moving and surviving in the uterus. It prevents pregnancy. The thinning of the uterine lining can also minimize or stop menstrual bleeding.
Reference: Mirena IUD
Mirena Insertion and Removal Process:
During a regular doctor’s visit, women can have Mirena birth control inserted. The insertion takes about five minutes.
Doctors use some tools to help insert the device. But the insertion is not a surgery.
After the start of their period, women should wait seven days to insert Mirena. They also should wait at least six weeks who have just given birth, had a miscarriage, or an abortion.
With the help of a doctor or other trained health provider, you can remove it anytime. If it moves out of place, health care providers must remove Miren immediately. According to Bayer’s Mirena Handbook, eight out of 10 women who have had their Mirena IUD removed can get pregnant within a year. If a patient is not pregnant or faces a problem, she can get a new IUD inserted.
Mirena and the Estrogen Hormone
According to a medical study, a woman usually loses or gains weight when using a birth control system because of the substance called estrogen. However, though some women lose their weight while in the Mirena birth control system, Mirena does not contain the estrogen hormone. Weight loss with Mirena is still considered a myth that has not been proven by any related medical facts and studies.
Mirena’s manufacturer has listed as part of the birth control system’s possible effect is losing or gaining weight. However, there are many examples that the contraceptive did not cause possible changes in the user’s weight. There are no proven and conclusive medical researches yet pointing to Mirena as the primary reason for its users’ weight changes.
Weight Loss with Mirena
One of the many possible side effects of Mirena is weight loss or gain. Some researchers said that there are many references when women use the birth control system; they gain weight compared to lose it. However, a Brazilian university study published in the journal “Contraception” in August of 2000 used Marina as a test subject for a five-year testing period. The research showed that there were no remarkable increases or decreases in the issue’s weight compared to other issues that use the different forms of a birth control system.
Additionally, in another related study done by the Oregon National Primate Research Center located at the Oregon Health and Science University, a group of monkeys was given different birth control forms. The result showed that monkeys with average weight did not significantly change their weight after they were given the birth control method. According to the result, the obese monkeys did lose weight.
Why do people use this?
Mirena offers effective long-term contraception. Women of all ages, including teenagers, can use it.
Mirena has various benefits. Some are:
- Remove the need to interrupt sex for contraception
- Doesn’t need partner participation
- Protect you from pregnancy for up to five years
- One can remove it at any time.
- Can use it while breastfeeding — although your doctor will likely recommend waiting six to eight weeks after childbirth because earlier placement increases the risk of injuring the uterus during placement
- It does not have the risk of side effects related to birth control methods containing estrogen.
Mirena can reduce menstrual bleeding after three or more months of use. Study shows that about 20 percent of women stop having periods after one year of using Mirena.
Mirena can also reduce:
- Severe menstrual pains and pain related to the abnormal growth of uterine lining tissue outside the uterus (endometriosis)
- It reduces the risk of pelvic infection
- It also decreases the risk of endometrial cancer
Because of the following non-contraceptive benefits, doctors often prescribe Mirena for women. These are:
Mirena isn’t right for everyone. Your doctor may discourage the use of Mirena if you have:
- Breast cancer, or have had it
- Uterine or cervical cancer
- Liver disease
- Uterine abnormalities, like fibroids that interfere with the placement or retention of Mirena
- Pelvic infection or current pelvic inflammatory disease
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- Cramping or pain with periods
- Abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia)
- Abnormal development of uterine-lining tissue into the muscular wall of the uterus (adenomyosis)
Take suggestions from your doctor if you:
- Take any medications such as nonprescription and herbal products
- Have diabetes or high blood pressure problems
- Have a heart condition
- Have had a heart attack
- Have migraines problem
- Recently gave birth or are breast-feeding
Some studies show that less than one percent of women will get pregnant in a year of typical use who use Mirena.
While using Mirena, if you do conceive, you are at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy that occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, generally in a fallopian tube. However, because Mirena prevents the maximum pregnancies, women who use it are at lower risk of having an ectopic pregnancy than other sexually active women who do not use contraception.
Usually, Mirena is safe. But it is important to remember that:
- Mirena doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections.
- Mirena insertion causes the perforation of the uterus rarely. During the postpartum period, the risk of perforation might be higher when inserting Mirena.
Mirena also has some side effects, such as headache, acne, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, mood swing, cramping or pelvic pain, etc.
You can also remove Mirena from your uterus. You may need to expel Mirena if you:
- Have never been pregnant
- Have heavy or prolonged periods
- Have extreme menstrual pain
- Previously remove an IUD
- Are younger than 20 years of age
- Had Mirena inserted instantly after childbirth
Your health care provider may suggest removal of Mirena if you suffer from diseases like pelvic infection, inflammation of the endometrium, cervical cancer, pelvic pain or pain during sex, severe migraine, Possible exposure to sexually transmitted infections, and so on.
Mirena is a birth control system that offers 99% effectiveness. However, there is still no proven study of the contraceptive as the cause of losing weight among its users. When using Mirena as your contraceptive, it is much better to consult your doctor for your safety and follow an exercise or diet regimen when you want to lose weight.
If you’re looking for a method to mitigate the side effects and lose weight, you can think about various modern fitness programs. Additionally, You will receive a customized meal and fitness plans and expert coaching. As you progress, your coach will work with you and adjust your plans to have you in the best shape of your life.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Is it painful to have a Mirena inserted?
Q. What do I do if my Mirena falls out?
Dr. Sandra Milena Gomez is a Korean obstetrician and gynecologist, specialized in minimally invasive gynecological surgery from the American Association of Laparoscopic Gynecologists, with extensive knowledge in the management of gynecological and obstetric diseases, as well as surgical procedures. She is a colposcopist and for management of lower tract pathology, diagnosis and treatment of diseases at the uterine level. She is a general practitioner with an emphasis on management and public health.