Mirena IUD and Bleeding

Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) which is constructed of a hormone-eluting plastic that releases a contraceptive medication. It is considered highly effective at preventing pregnancy for up to 5 years, but some women experience severe side effects including heavy bleeding and may require surgical removal of the device.

Quick Summary
Mirena IUD and Bleeding

Mirena is a T-shaped intrauterine device, constructed of medication-eluting plastic which is implanted in the uterus to release birth control hormone, levonorgestrel for up to 5 years. The most common side effect of Mirena is bleeding.

In most cases, Mirena-related bleeding will go away over the first 3 to 6 months but in some patients, bleeding will continue for longer periods of time. During the adjustment period, bleeding patterns may include spotting or irregular bleeding, heavy or continuous bleeding, and frequent, infrequent or absent menstruation. Bleeding that is severe, excessive or sudden may be caused by other complications of Mirena or may indicate additional medical concerns.

Irregular bleeding may also mask the development of other conditions such as endometrial polyps, cancer or serious complications that have developed including IUD organ perforation. Irregular bleeding of any type should be reported to a physician and severe bleeding should be treated as an urgent condition.

Mirena IUD and Bleeding

Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) used to prevent birth control. Mirena prevents pregnancy by creating an “inhospitable” environment in the uterus through its birth control hormone, levonorgestrel which is eluted from the t-shaped plastic device over a 5-year period. The hormone levels released from Mirena are lower than those used in oral contraceptives and the IUD must remain in place to be effective.

The IUD is one of the most common long-term birth control methods available and Mirena has been used in over 150 million worldwide. It’s manufacturer, Bayer Healthcare, states that the device is 99.8% effective with a failure rate of less than 0.2% per year.

Mirena is recommended for women who are looking for long-term birth control and those who experience heavy bleeding who wish to use an IUD as their birth control method. Though many people believe IUDs can only be used by women who have had one or more children, Mirena is approved for both women who have and have not been pregnant.

Mirena Related Bleeding

Mirena has a number of side effects, some of which can be severe, including bleeding which is the most common side effect of the IUD. In most cases, Mirena-associated bleeding will go away after the first 3 to 6 months. In some patients however, irregular bleeding may continue after the adjustment period.

Excessive bleeding due to Mirena may be severe enough that surgery will be required to remove the device. Injuries caused by Mirena IUD, including some that may be related to bleeding have also resulted in complications including infertility.

Bleeding patterns associated with Mirena:

  • Spotting
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Continuous bleeding
  • Frequent menstruation
  • Oligomenorrhea or infrequent menstruation
  • Amenorrhea or absence of menstruation

Irregular bleeding may also mask the development of other conditions such as endometrial polyps or cancer. Irregular bleeding of any type should be reported to a physician and severe bleeding should be treated as an urgent condition.

Patients who experience oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea should be monitored for the first year after an IUD is implanted to ensure it does not result in pregnancy. Up to 20% of women who receive Mirena may become amenorrhoeic in the first year but should keep watch for pregnancy and other gynecological changes.

Mirena Bleeding Complications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received over 45,000 reports of women suffering from IUD-related bleeding complications, ranging from minor to life-threatening. Mirena bleeding may be associated with the continuous release of hormone medication but it may also be caused by other device complications including:

  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Device migration into the abdomen
  • Perforation (puncturing) of the intestinal wall
  • Embedding in the uterine wall
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage
  • Endometrial changes

Uterine Perforation

One potential complication of Mirena is the occurrence of uterine perforation. The IUD device may be pushed through the uterine wall during the insertion procedure. Mirena perforation can cause moderate to severe bleeding.

Mirena bleeding caused by uterine perforation can result in scarring or other permanent damage and may require surgery to remove the device. Other organs may also be affected including the cervix, abdominal wall or intestines. Mirena uterine perforation may not be identified right away and a delayed diagnosis may increase the chance for permanent injury.

Complications of uterine perforation may include:

  • Migration outside the uterus
  • Adhesions (internal scar tissue)
  • Peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal walls)
  • Perforation of the intestines
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Abscesses or infection
  • Erosion of adjacent bladder

Mirena bleeding may mask underlying conditions or could be an indication of serious complications that pose a serious risk to the patient. Mirena users are encouraged to monitor any bleeding or spotting that occurs following insertion of the Mirena device and report significant events to a healthcare practitioner.

Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.