A Mirena works by making it difficult for the sperm to swim and get to the egg. A tiny amount of hormones that are released from the device into your uterus creating a sticky mucus. The mucus acts like a barrier to stop the sperm from swimming through the opening of your uterus (the tunnel to get to the egg). If the sperm can’t reach the egg then you can’t get pregnant.
The Mirena also changes the environment inside your uterus. The inside of your uterus is like a nest for the egg. So if a sperm happens to get through the mucus barrier and reach an egg, they won’t be able to find a nest to settle in. The egg needs a safe nest to develop into a pregnancy. No nest, no pregnancy.
Getting a Mirena is simple. The process is similar to having a smear test. A speculum is gently inserted into your vagina, and just like that your IUD is fitted. And you don’t have to think about it for up to five years.
The arms of the device are folded upwards as the IUD goes through the opening of your uterus. It is like a stick. Once the IUD is inside your uterus the inserting device is released and the arms fold downwards to create the ‘T’ liked shape.
Interesting fact: The arms of the device only open as wide as your uterus. The strings of your IUD are cut so that they are only a few cm long.
The strings curl up inside your vagina, so you don’t have to worry about them hanging out.
All up, your appointment should take no longer than 15 minutes, the insertion only takes a few minutes.
Prior to arriving at your appointment, it is a great idea to take some ibuprofen and/or paracetamol to ease any discomfort you may feel during or after the IUD has been fitted.
The moment the Mirena is inserted you may feel a strong sharp period like cramp. This is the device going through the opening of your uterus and arms of the device opening. During these few seconds, take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Within minutes the discomfort will settle.
Once your IUD has been fitted you may feel a little crampy for the rest of the day – just like period cramps. You can continue about your normal day, or use it as an excuse to take some time for yourself, curl up on the couch with your favourite book or binge watch Netflix.
For the next couple of days you may have mild cramps and light spotting as the IUD settles into place. This is normal. Within a few days you won’t even realise that the Mirena is there.
You can have sex as soon as you feel ready after getting your Mirena IUD fitted. The Mirena protects you from getting pregnant from the moment it is put in.
A Mirena is an amazing form of contraception, but keep in mind it doesn’t protect you from STIs. Condoms are the only contraception that stop STIs.
Sex will be the same. Your Mirena IUD won’t cause you to experience pain and your partner won’t be able to feel it or the strings.
Your Mirena has two thin nylon-like strings attached to it. The end of these strings hide deep inside your vagina. They are there for the same purpose as a string on a tampon “pull to remove”. They are also an easy way for you to check your IUD is in place. If you are worried your IUD may have come out, you can always have a feel for the strings. Keep in mind the strings can be buried quite deep. If you try using a mirror, you won’t be able to see them.
The strings on your Mirena IUD are there for the same purpose as a string on a tampon “pull to remove”. When you no longer want your Mirena IUD, for whichever reason that may be, it can easily be removed. As tempting as it may be to pull the strings, it is best left to one of our nurses or doctors.
The process is even easier that getting your IUD fitted. A speculum is gently inserted into your vagina, the strings are pulled, and that simply, your Mirena IUD is out. When the strings are pulled, the arms of the Mirena IUD fold up, the device becomes like a stick, so that it can easily pass through the opening of your uterus to be removed.
All up, your appointment should take no longer than 15 minutes. The removal only takes a few minutes.
Once your Mirena IUD has been removed your fertility returns to normal. You will be able to get pregnant straight away.
Once your Mirena IUD is removed, your body and uterus will return to normal almost immediately.
Your next period will depend on where you are in your cycle when the device is removed. This will be within four weeks. Your first period may be lighter than normal, as the lining of your uterus may not have had time to fully thicken. By your second or third period, you will be back to what it used to be.
A Mirena IUD does not affect your fertility or chances of getting pregnant once it is removed.