This site is a place to share my experiences and thoughts as a mom, doula, and HypnoBirthing childbirth educator. I also hope that the moms, dads, and families with whom I work will share their birth stories and experiences. Have fun!!
"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go." -Fred Rogers
I've recently been asked by countless women if I can point them toward sound research regarding IUD's. (Not so) coincidentally, I was contacted by a writer who recently wrote an article that discusses the research conducted with one form of IUD. I hope this guest blog piece is helpful for those of you searching for more facts about this relatively new birth control option for women.
What Studies Say about Mirena Birth
By: Alanna Ritchie
Making yourself aware of clinical trials and their results can
help you determine whether a new birth control method is safe and effective. Many
women are trying out intrauterine
devices (IUDs), which are implanted in the uterus by a doctor and provide
birth control for several years. Youcan
prepare yourself for your next doctor's visit by learning about one popular IUD
Studies Show Effectiveness
Two clinical trials with large population samples found that
Mirena is quite effective in preventing pregnancy1. The trials were
conducted by Berlex Laboratories, a subsidiary of Bayer, and took place in
Finland and Sweden. From 1982 to 1996, researchers evaluated data from both
trials, which included a total of 1,169 women of child-bearing age using
Mirena. Of the test subjects, 99 percent did not get pregnant.
The same trials revealed that after the device was removed,
80 percent of women desiring children were able to get pregnant within a year
of using Mirena.
For women who use Mirena while breastfeeding, Bayer reports
that there are no adverse effects, although milk production may be affected2.
Also, small amounts of the progestin hormone that Mirena releases can pass into breast milk, but this does not affect growth, health or
development of nursing infants.
Studies Reveal Side
One study documented a dangerous side effect known as device
migration; this occurs when Mirena moves out of the uterus3.
Although the manufacturer claims this does not happen often, a study by the
Department of Radiology at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center noted that device
migration was a "frequently encountered complication."
Once the device migrates, it can enter the pelvis, bladder,
abdominal cavity or blood vessels, causing pain, infection and damage. This
requires a physician to locate Mirena and perform surgery to remove the device.
Mirena's labeling information includes other side effects
discovered during clinical trials4, including:
·Bleeding or spotting between periods
·Amenorrhea (missed periods)
·Abdominal or pelvic pain
·Headache or migraine
·Breast tenderness or pain
·Menorrhagia (heavier and prolonged period)
·Depressed or altered mood
expulsion is experienced by around 5 percent of women who use Mirena and
occurs when the device comes out on its own. When this happens, women may experience
cramping, bleeding and discomfort during sex. Back-up birth control must be
used until a new device is implanted.
Ectopic pregnancy is a rare, but possible side effect of
Mirena that occurs when the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tubes or other
locations outside of the uterus. The pregnancy usually cannot survive and can
put a woman's life at risk. Complications can result in infertility.
Clinical trials reveal the effectiveness of and side effects
associated with Mirena. Some of these studies were completed by the
manufacturer, Bayer, who is facing lawsuits over Mirena’s
serious side effects.
Food and Drug Administration. (2000, February 2). Mirena
Executive Summary. Retrieved from www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/nda/2000/21-225.pdf_Mirena_Medr.pdf
Bayer. (2013, February 8). Important safety information
about Mirena. Retrieved from http://www.mirena-us.com/having-mirena-placed/make-an-appointment-with-mirena.jsp
Boortz, H.; Margolis, D.; Ragavendra, N. & Katell, D.
(2012, March). Migration of intrauterine devices: radiologic findings and
implications for patient care. Radiographics,
32 (2): 335-52. doi: 10.1148/rg.322115068
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. (2009, October). Mirena.
Retrieved from http://labeling.bayerhealthcare.com/html/products/pi/Mirena_PI.pdf
Alanna Ritchie is a
content writer for Drugwatch.com, specializing in news about prescription
drugs, medical devices and consumer safety.