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What are the Most Common Mirena® Side Effects?

A migrane occurs in less than 5% of women using Mirena.
Nausea is a rare side effect of Mirena.
Back pain is a possible side effect of Mirena.
Mirena® is an intrauterine device that is a form of contraception.
IUDs may cause ovarian cysts to form in the first few months after insertion.
Surgical removal is generally required for serious complications associated with Mirena.
Acne is a possible side effect of Mirena®.
Mirena® may cause abnormal pap smears.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Mirena® is an intrauterine device that is a form of contraception. It is inserted into the uterus in a doctor’s office and most women will note the common side effect of pain during insertion. Since this IUD also releases hormones, it is associated with some side effects similar to those that occur with other hormonal birth control methods, in addition to being associated with side effects that occur with IUD devices.

The most common Mirena® side effects, in addition to pain on insertion, include things like spotting between periods, or irregular bleeding. Some women notice an increase in heavy bleeding during a period, or length of days a period lasts. Others may notice fewer periods, or complete stoppage of menstruation. There is also an increase in ovarian cysts, though most of these are benign and risk for developing these may be highest in the first few months.

According the literature produced by Berlex®, the company that markets the device in the US, studies have also shown that over 5% of women may have one or more of the following Mirena® side effects: back pain, weight gain, excess vaginal discharge, change in moods, less interest in sex, breast tenderness, acne, headache, nausea, high blood pressure or abnormal pap smear readings. Less than 5% of women have reported other side effects like vomiting, migraine, growth of facial hair, hair loss, extreme mood changes, and rash.

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There are some other potential Mirena® side effects. The device can be expelled from the uterus, and this may occur about 4% of the time, most often occurring in women who have not had children, or when the device is placed too early after childbirth. It can also cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and those women who are risk for this, or who already have it should not use an IUD of any sort. A woman doesn’t need to be at potential risk for PID for this to occur. Some women may get infections from placement of the device. Another potential complication is that the IUD may perforate the uterus, and may require surgical removal.

There are some women who should not get this form of IUD because of potential increased Mirena® side effects when concurrent with other conditions. Women who are pregnant should not have an IUD placed as it may cause abortion or miscarriage. Those who are over 35 and who smoke may be at risk for stroke due to the hormones present in Mirena&reg. Others who risk greater complications from this device include those with active sexually transmitted diseases, with recent past history of abnormal pap smears, with AIDs, with deep vein thrombosis or who have higher risks for or a history of breast or ovarian cancer.

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anon967248
Post 17

I had the mirena put in five months ago and it is the best birth control I have ever used, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. I have lost most of my already thin hair, developed acne, experienced massive weight gain, and my moods have become unbearable to be around.

Since no guy has even looked at me twice or wanted to be anywhere near me in five months, I would say it works well for preventing pregnancy. I am having it removed this week.

anon924434
Post 15

I am dying from mirena. I can't wait to get rid of it.

anon345741
Post 14

I have had the Mirena for three years and it has been a nightmare ever since I had it placed! I am 22 years old and I was 19 when I had it placed. I had it placed because I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 17. I was not sexually active at the time so the reason for the IUD, my OB/GYN explained, was that the Mirena would help with the endometriosis. She was wrong!

Firstly, she cut the IUD strings too short so I have to have it surgically removed. Keep in mind, I am 22 years old with no insurance. I then asked my OB/GYN if I could set up a payment plan to pay off the surgery for getting the IUD out and they refused payments. So I am suffering sharp pains, worse than I've ever experienced. My hair is falling out, leaving bald spots in some places. I am gaining weight, even though I am eating healthy and working out daily! My skin has been breaking out in white splotches on my breast and on my back and shoulders. The splotches itch like crazy and I have tried every cream and have also been to a dermatologist and they cannot find out what this rash is.

The only solution I can come up with is the IUD. I also experience pregnancy symptoms and even develop the stomach as well and every time I am not pregnant. I want this out of my body! I have talked to mostly all the ob/gyns around my area and they do not accept payment plans! Can someone please help me?

anon331972
Post 13

I had my mirena removed two days ago after using it for one year and 10 months. Insertion was painful, even though I had it done six weeks postpartum with my second child. I bled for a month with terrible cramps.

After that, I had no periods, occasional spotting every few months. I developed the mask of pregnancy, which I had while pregnant, which led me to believe my body thought I was! I enjoyed it for about a year, then I began to develop headaches every day, along with depression with suicidal ideation, anxiety with heart palpitations and spiked blood pressure, even social anxiety (I have always been the social butterfly), random chest pains, sore ovaries, other abdominal pain, fatigue and zero libido. Zero. Every few weeks I would see a beard hair.

I also began to have sugar intolerance to the point where I would eat a piece of bread and nod off in work meetings, even while driving home. I started an extremely low carb diet so I could continue to live my life and keep my job. I had no weight loss despite the pretty much all natural diet and exercise -- not an ounce. I also should mention I am 20 years old.

I felt like mirena was killing me, and on many occasions, my body's reaction to it could have. Glad it's out. --ct

anon314797
Post 11

I got my Mirena three months after my second child (who is turning two next week) and my medical aid did not pay for the procedure. Since then, I have had such pain in my abdomen that I sometimes struggle to move. During intercourse and after it is very painful. I have an almost constant discharge and I have been at the gym religiously every week night for the last four months and I follow a healthy diet, but yet I struggle to lose weight. I have never before had so many headaches, either. I'm going to contact my doctor to remove it as soon as possible.

anon297305
Post 10

I just had mine inserted a couple weeks ago while my husband was out of town. We have only had intercourse once since it was placed and everything was fine, but then I experienced extreme dryness out of nowhere and it was uncomfortable in certain positions. I was told that there should be no discomfort during intercourse so I am going to e-mail my doctor to get the placement checked. Has anyone else had this issue?

anon216449
Post 9

The IUD is covered by most insurance companies. I enjoy mine. The only problem I face is that my pap smear results are abnormal to where I had to have blood tests, and thankfully there was not that was reported. Safe it the best option. But it is near my first five years since I've had it, so I am thinking that the reason for my abnormal results is because of that but then again I just started smoking in June and before that, I have never had an abnormal test. Well I wasn't a chain smoker like I am now.

anon172585
Post 8

I am having this removed tomorrow. After 18 months I am just putting 2 and 2 together. I have gained weight and I can not loose it, despite weight training and working out daily (frustrating), I have zero sex drive, and acne that I have never had in my life. I'm surprised my husband hasn't divorced me because apparently on top of all that I am mean, too.

anon159130
Post 7

I've had some hair loss recently. I haven't noticed it missing from my head, but I have in the shower. I've even noticed it when I take my clothes out of the dryer!

I've also been getting headaches every single day for the past 2 1/2 weeks, which is what led me to this site. They last for a good 4 hours each and don't respond to pain relievers.

I've also had worse acne than I did as a teenager! which wasn't bad then, but I'm 25 years old! It's mostly just one at a time, but they're painful and never come to a head. They just swell up and cause discomfort.

It's been over 2 months since I've had it inserted and I'm just now experiencing symptoms. I'm thinking of having it taken out if the symptoms last much longer. I'd rather be headache free.

anon158162
Post 6

i just got the mirena fitted 5 days ago and feeling dizzy with a stomach ache and am hoping it passes. all the side effects I've read about are scaring me. how common are these? hair loss, blood clots? why are there so many?

anon125055
Post 5

health insurance does in fact cover the procedure, it depends on what insurance you have. so check into it.

sneakers41
Post 4

Subway11-Sometimes the breastfeeding side effects eliminate a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, I would not use this as a form of birth control because you can easily get pregnant.

subway11
Post 3

Sunshine31-Oral contraceptives side effects often reduce or even eliminate a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle.

Some women report brief water retention and bouts of dry mouth. Women who are over 35 and smoke should never take hormonal birth control because the side effects of birth control like this can lead to blood clots because it elevate blood pressure.

In addition, women that have a family history of breast cancer should ask their doctors about the precautions side effects because these birth control effects tend to raise the likelihood of breast cancer.

sunshine31
Post 2

Cupcake15- The procedure is not painful just a little uncomfortable. Keep in mind that health insurance plans do not cover the cost of an IUD, so you will have to be prepared for the cost.

Usually the total procedure is about $800 to $1,000, but for five years of birth control it is relatively inexpensive.

Also, at the end of the five years, if you choose not to have another Mirena inserted you may experience birth control effects like vomiting and dizziness for the next twenty four hours after the removal. These are some generic side effects to keep in mind.

cupcake15
Post 1

The side effects of birth control like this are that it can make you irritable and cause migraines. It also may lower your libido and cause some weight gain.

Women that have had their kids and really are not looking to have anymore might like the Mirena IUD. It offers birth control protection for up to five years and only requires an insertion procedure.

Usually the doctor will advise a patient to take an Advil about an hour before the procedure and you should be fine.

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