Women looking for an effective form of birth control may be wondering what is Mirena as well as similar devices. This form of birth control is like many other intrauterine devices (IUD) in form and function. It is among the most effective birth control methods available and uses the hormone progestogen to prevent pregnancy. However, while this product is effective and popular, it can cause many adverse effects, some of them extremely serious. An IUD with progestogen is especially dangerous to women who are already pregnant or become pregnant while using the device.
What is most effective about Mirena is its method of birth control. Progestogen prevents fertilization of the egg using several mechanisms. It thickens the mucus in the cervix, which reduces sperm survival rate and makes it difficult for the sperm to enter the egg. This hormone also affects the endometrium, or inner mucus membrane that lines the uterus. During menstruation, the endometrium swells with nutrient rich blood. The tissue lining the uterus thickens during this process. When the endometrium is in this state, it is the ideal surface for a blastocyst to adhere to. Progestogen inhibits this natural process, making the uterus less hospitable to a fertilized egg. The hormone also inhibits ovulation in some women. Many studies confirm what is most effective about Mirena. These studies show that even though the device prevents pregnancy in multiple ways, it is best at preventing fertilization.
However, even though the IUD is efficacious at preventing pregnancy, it must be used with caution. IUDs are known to cause many health complications and can be particularly damaging to women who become pregnant while using the device. Irregular menstruation and cramping are common during the first few months of using the device. Some women suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, within the first 21 days of inserting the IUD. This infection is rare, but can be serious if not treated.
What is dangerous about Mirena is how it affects women who are pregnant. The failure rate of the IUD is only .2 percent, but its use is contraindicated as soon as a woman is pregnant or thinks they may be pregnant. This is because the hormone can cause many pregnancy complications, like ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or early labor and premature delivery. Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere outside of the uterus. In the vast majority of cases, an ectopic pregnancy is not viable. It can also cause severe internal bleeding, which can be fatal if not addressed. While half of ectopic pregnancies resolve themselves without any form of intervention, surgery is needed in many cases, especially if the fallopian tubes are in danger of being ruptured.
For many women, what is convenient about Mirena is its long-term effectiveness. It can function for several years before it needs to be removed. During this time, though, any woman using the IUD will need to act quickly if they become pregnant. While there is no confirmed risk of birth defects in children born to women using the device, major internal bleeding can appear suddenly.
Any woman who has used this IUD and suffered from severe health complications should consider speaking to an attorney experienced in personal injury. These experts can often help a victim receive compensation for their suffering.