Mirena is an IUS (intrauterine system) made available in the UK by Bayer. It provides effective contraception for the user for up to five years.
Mirena will need to be fitted by a trained nurse or physician, therefore we do not provide this item via our online service. To find out more about Mirena, make an appointment with your GP or family planning clinic.
Mirena is contraceptive device made by Bayer. It is a small, T-shaped piece of plastic, which is inserted into the vagina. Once in place, the device, or intrauterine system (IUS) remains active for 5 years. It works by slowly releasing its contents, which is a synthetic hormone, into the body over a prolonged period. This provides protection against pregnancy in much the same way as the regular pill, or the patch.
- Highly efficient protection
- One time application
- Relief from heavy periods
In the female body, hormones play an integral part in getting the reproductive system ready for pregnancy each month. Progesterone regulates when eggs are released and made available for fertilisation, and also manages the build up of lining along the uterine wall. When levels of these hormones dissipate each month, eggs are produced by the ovary, the endometrium develops, and the body is prepared for conception.
Hormonal contraceptives supersede this process. In Mirena, the operating agent is a hormone called levonorgestrel. This works as a substitute for natural levels of progesterone when they fall. The ovaries respond to the presence of this artificial hormone by not producing an egg, so that fertilisation cannot take place. The presence of this hormone also causes the lining of the uterine wall, also known as the endometrium, to remain thin, providing no sufficient purchase for an egg to attach and develop. A third function of this hormone is to thicken cervical mucus, and this stops sperm from being able to get through to an egg as easily.
This treatment is very effective at preventing pregnancy. Its application is a task which will have to be carried by out by a qualified specialist, such as a doctor or family planning nurse; but once it has been inserted, it will provide contraception for as long as 5 years. Sometimes, Mirena is prescribed to reduce discomfort associated with heavy periods (alongside providing contraception), and due to its hormonal qualities, is a useful and effective form of hormone replacement therapy for older women.
In the UK, Mirena is one of only two branded IUS treatments for contraception available. However, it is not available through our UK pharmacy, as it requires installation by a trained healthcare professional. It is also necessary to undergo certain tests prior to having an IUD such as Mirena fitted, in order to reduce the risk of complications. To find out more, we advise that you speak to your GP or family planning nurse.
Always read the patient information leaflet before opting to use this treatment. Doing so will help you to maximise its effectiveness and reduce the risk of side effects.
- Please note that you cannot fit Mirena yourself. A doctor or nurse will need to do so in clinic.
- You may be required to undergo certain checks before having Mirena applied to make sure it is safe for you.
- Refer to the leaflet to determine the best time to have the treatment applied.
These directions are supplied only as a guide, and do not constitute detailed instructions. Refer to the information leaflet for specific guidance on this treatment.
Download Mirena patient information leaflet
A qualified person, such as your doctor or family planning nurse, will need to fit Mirena. If you experience any side effects which concern you or notice signs of an allergic reaction or anything unusual, you should tell your doctor right away. Side effects requiring urgent medical attention include: severe pain or fever experienced after insertion; continued bleeding; lower abdominal pain; unexpected bleeding; or painful or difficult sex.
Very Common (1 in 10 women or more):
Vaginal bleeding and spotting, or lighter or infrequent menstrual periods.
Common (1 in 10 women or less):
Painful periods, ovarian cysts, weight fluctuations, mood swings, headaches or migraines, pain in the pelvic, abdominal or lower back areas, nausea, acne, increased bodily or facial hair growth, loss of libido, vaginal inflammation or discharge, or breast pain.
Uncommon 1 in 100 women or less):
Infection, inflammation of the neck of the womb, swelling of your abdomen, legs or ankles, hair loss, eczema, or chloasma.
Rare (1 in 1000 women or less):
The information provided here is only a guide. A more detailed list of side effects can be located in the patient information leaflet.
Taking it with other medicines
When undergoing consultation for this treatment you should ensure you let your prescriber know if you are using any other kinds of medicines, as they may affect its efficacy or vice versa. Similarly, tell your doctor that you are using Mirena when being prescribed other medications, as they may need to organise an alternative method of treatment for you.
This product may interact with the following: phenobarbital, primidone, phenytoin or carbamazepine (treatments for epilepsy); griseofulvin (an antifungal medicine); rifampicin or rifabutin (antibiotics); or nevirapine or efavirenz (which are treatments for HIV).
Conditions to look out for
Certain conditions may make Mirena unsuitable for use. Disclose your medical history to your prescriber before having this treatment fitted.
Do not use Mirena if you have or have ever had any of the following: any type of cancer or suspected cancer; pelvic inflammatory disease; inflammation of the cervix; unusual vaginal discharge; an infection of the womb following an abortion; leukaemia (unless in remission); any condition which increases your risk of infections; abnormal growths in the womb; liver problems; trophoblastic disease.
Additionally, Mirena should be avoided for the purposes of a HRT regimen if you have had a stroke or heart attack.
You may not be able to use Mirena if you currently have or ever have had: migraine with aura; jaundice; high blood pressure; leukaemia; long term steroid therapy; an ectopic pregnancy; ovarian cysts; arterial disease; blood clots; diabetes; a stroke; heart attack; or any heart problems.
Our forum Mirena
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. Alcohol is not known to hinder the activity of this treatment.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. Mirena should not stop you from being able to drive. Please note that some women may experience dizziness after having it fitted, in which case you are advised not to drive. It may also cause side effects which may make driving unsafe. In the event that this occurs, do not drive and seek immediate medical attention.
Can I take this medicine while pregnant?
No. It should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or thinks they might be.
Inform your doctor before using this item if you are breastfeeding, as it may not be suitable for you.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Mirena contains levonorgestrel, polydimethylsiloxane and barium sulphate. Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
No. Mirena is prescription only, and needs to be applied by a trained practitioner.
Is it right for me?
If you would like to know more about whether Mirena is the form of contraceptive best suited to you, make an appointment with your doctor.
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