An intrauterine device (IUD) is a long acting reversible form of contraception. There are two types of IUD’s, those that release hormones locally and IUD’s without hormones. The Skyla and Mirena IUD’s both release small amounts of progestin daily. These IUD’s do not generally cause hormonal side effects.
The Skyla/Mirena is a tiny T-shaped piece of soft, flexible plastic that is placed in the uterus during an office visit. It’s designed to be small and comfortable, so that you and your partner most likely won’t even feel like it’s there.
What Skyla/Mirena does:
What Skyla/Mirena does NOT do:
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There is no single explanation for how Skyla/Mirena works. It may thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering your uterus. It may inhibit sperm from reaching or fertilizing your egg. It may make the lining of your uterus thin. It may stop the release of your egg from your ovary, but this is not the way it works in most cases. Most likely the above actions work together to prevent pregnancy. Like other forms of birth control, it is not 100% effective.
You are a good candidate for this IUD if:
Skyla/Mirena is NOT appropriate for women who:
After the Skyla/Mirena is placed, cramping may persist for 1-5 days after placement. The cramping should be mild and respond well to ibuprofen. You will be advise to have it checked 4-6 weeks after insertion to assure you that the IUD is still in the uterus and providing the promised level of birth control. If the IUD will be expelled, it usually occurs during this time frame. IUD’s can be expelled in the future also. Checking the strings of your IUD and monitoring and calendaring your menstrual cycles can help assure you that your IUD remains in the proper location.
During the first three to four months of use most women experience bleeding between their menstrual cycles. Although you cannot expect the IUD to make your cycles regular (like a birth control pill), you can expect your cycles to become lighter over the next year.
After your body adjusts, the number of bleeding days will decrease (but may remain irregular), and you may even find that your periods stop altogether. Your periods will become lighter and lighter. By one year, about 1 out of 5 users may hay have no period at all.
Your periods will return once Skyla/Mirena is removed. Fertility is restored within one month of removal.
No birth control method is 100% effective. If you do get pregnant while using a birth control method, there can be risks to you and your baby. About 2 in 1000 women using Skyla/Mirena for one year may become pregnant. Sometimes when a woman gets pregnant with the IUD in her uterus the pregnancy will be in the fallopian tube. This is called an ectopic pregnancy. If your pregnancy test is positive while you are using the Skyla/Mirena you should call the office immediately. Usually when women become pregnant while using the IUD, it occurs because the IUD has been displaced (usually pushed down into the cervix) and is not providing pregnancy prevention. An ultrasound will allow your health care provider to locate the IUD and give you advice.
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