The Mirena IUD is the only contraceptive choice approved for the treatment of heavy periods. The Mirena offers a contraceptive effectiveness rate above 99 percent, making it both reliable and convenient. One side effect associated with the Mirena, however, is a reduction of or even cessation of menstrual bleeding. While each woman’s personal experience may vary, this side effect is very often a welcome one.
The Mirena IUD is a small T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. The IUD releases levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of progesterone, in small amounts. Hormones released serve to prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus. While Mirena is intended as an effective contraceptive, it also reduces or even eliminates menstrual bleeding. Planned Parenthood states that around 90 percent of Mirena users will experience significantly reduced periods.
After insertion, many women experience several months of irregular spotting and bleeding. By the end of the third month, approximately 75 percent of women will have reduced menstrual bleeding, according to Bayer Health Care, the manufacturer of the Mirena Intrauterine System. One year after insertion, approximately 20 percent of women have no menstrual bleeding at all. The Mirena IUD must be removed and replaced after 5 years of use.
Reduced menstrual bleeding or no period at all can make life more convenient. Some women may find concerns about pregnancy difficult, even if the risk is quite low. Irregular spotting and bleeding may continue; women may not maintain a regular cycle. Menstrual cramping, mood swings and other discomforts typically associated with your period may remain, even if bleeding is minimal or non-existent.
Intrauterine devices got a bad reputation in the 1970s, but today’s IUDs offer effective and safe contraception. Risks of infection are quite low. Your fertility will return as soon as the Mirena is removed. Manually check the placement of your IUD strings regularly to watch for expulsion.
If you are battling heavy periods, mild fibroids or painful periods, the Mirena IUD is a possible alternative to a hysterectomy or uterine ablation. For many women, the pain, inconvenience and health concerns caused by excessive bleeding will be totally remedied within just a few months of the Mirena’s insertion.