Overview: Women who are thinking about using Mirena IUD (intrauterine device) is a form of birth control should carefully weight its risks versus benefits before using the device. Mirena IUD, which is implanted into the uterus for long-periods of time, has a risk of tearing through the wall of the uterus and is associated with complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infection.
- Mirena IUD is a hormonal IUD; it is inserted into the uterus and releases small amounts of hormones over a long period of time
- There is a chance that Mirena can perforate, or break through the wall of the uterus; it is associated an increased risk of PID, ectopic pregnancy, infection and other adverse events
- Bayer has been reprimanded over the deceptive marketing of Mirena
Product: Mirena intrauterine device (IUD)
Manufacturer: Bayer, Inc.
Side Effects & Complications
- Intrauterine pregnancy
- Streptococcal sepsis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Perforation of cervix or uterine wall
Risks of Using Mirena IUD
Mirena IUD has a risk of uterine wall perforation and embedment, meaning that it moves from its original location and tears through, or becomes lodged within, the wall of the uterus, respectively. As it moves through different tissues and organs, the device can cause scarring and infection. According to Bayer’s website, Mirena users should check to make sure the strings are in place every month. If the strings can’t be found, it might be a sign of perforation or embedment- it also means that the user is no longer protected against pregnancy and needs to use a back-up form of birth control until seeing their physician.
If a patient does get pregnant while Mirena is still implanted, there is a risk that that it will be an ectopic pregnancy, which is when the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tube or other unsuitable organ rather than the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus cannot survive and the mother faces life-threatening risks if the condition is not treated.
Mirena is also associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and group A streptococcal sepsis (which can cause flesh-eating bacteria and toxic shock syndrome).
Mirena is a plastic, t-shaped device that is placed inside the womb for up to five years. At the base, it is attached to two threads and releases the hormone levonorgestrel. Bayer admits that it is unaware of how exactly Mirena prevents pregnancy. The device must be implanted and removed by a healthcare professional.