How Do the Levels of Hormones in Mirena Compare to Those in Birth Control Pills?


If you are looking for a birth control method, you have several options. However, not all hormonal birth control methods give the same types or levels of hormones. There are several differences between Mirena and birth control pills.

How to Use IUDs and the Pill

Mirena is an intrauterine device, or IUD. Your doctor places the IUD in your uterus, where it remains until he removes it. You take birth control pills orally each day.


The Mirena IUD delivers a daily dose of 20 micrograms of levonorgestrel. Mirena is effective for up to five years.

Triphasic Pills

Triphasic, or three-phase, pills such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen contain the progestin compound norgestimate and the estrogen compound ethinyl estradiol. The three phases contain 0.180 mg, 0.215 mg, and 0.250 mg of norgestimate, respectively. Each phase contains 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol. There is also one week of inactive pills to allow a menstrual period.

Monophasic Pills

Monophasic, or single-phase, pills such as Seasonale contain 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel and 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol in each active pill. There is also a week of inactive pills to allow a menstrual period.

The "Mini Pill"

The "mini pill," such as Micronor, is a popular choice for breastfeeding women. It only contains the progestin compound norethindrone, with 0.35 mg present in each active pill. The mini pill has no phase of inactive pills.

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