The Mirena intrauterine device is a form of contraception that can be implanted for up to five years and is 99 percent effective, according to the official Mirena website. Although side effects are usually mild, the Mirena IUD carries some potentially serious risks.
Common Side Effects
Common reactions include nausea, vaginal bleeding, weight gain, back pain, acne, changes in menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts and decreased sex drive. The Mirena IUD may also cause abnormal pap smear results.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects and complications include, infertility, intestinal damage or obstruction, perforation of the uterus, adhesions, and group A strep infection that may cause sepsis and death.
In rare cases, women can become pregnant with the IUD, which may cause ectopic pregnancy, birth defects, miscarriage, septic shock and other pregnancy complications.
Women with recent serious pelvic infections, breast cancer, liver disease or those with an increased risk of infection due to immune disorders such as AIDS or leukemia should not use the Mirena IUD.
The Mirena device should only be implanted by a medical professional with experience placing intrauterine devices. It should be replaced every five years and is recommended for women who have previously given birth.