A Mirena is an IUCD (intra-uterine contraceptive device) which releases a progesterone (levonorgestrel) to the uterus. It is a very popular type of long acting, reversible contraception. It is also often used to treat heavy and painful periods.

A Mirena can be inserted as an outpatient (in rooms). This is best performed during menstruation. Insertion as an outpatient is most suitable for a woman who has had a vaginal delivery. The cervical opening will be slightly larger.

A woman who has never had a vaginal delivery may find this procedure very painful, if not impossible. For these women, it is possible to insert the Mirena under sedation as a Day Stay procedure.

Dr Cook recommends you take two panadol or ponstan one hour prior to your appointment.

Mirena Insertion procedure:

Dr Cook will ask you to lie on your back and she will insert a speculum into your vagina (similar to a Pap smear). Dr Cook will then clean the cervix with a special solution. The cervix is gently dilated. Following this the Mirena is inserted. This procedure takes about 4 minutes.

What to expect after Mirena insertion

Most women will experience minor pelvic cramps for about 24 hours. Panadol alone is enough to control the cramps. There may be light bleeding for a few days. It is advisable that you avoid intercourse, tampons, baths and swimming for 48 hours to minimise the risk of infection.

If for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with the Mirena, it can be easily removed.The Mirena is effective for 5 years.

Potential Side Effects of Mirena:

Some women will experience extreme dizziness at the time of insertion (vaso-vagal response). This will pass after a few minutes

Most women find their first period is a lot lighter but can continue a lot longer

Most women will experience irregular bleeding or spotting for the first 3-6 months. This has generally resolved after 6 weeks.

In the long term, 95% of women will find menstruation is a lot lighter and less painful. 30% of women will not have any periods as long as the Mirena is in.