If you are thinking about an IUD for birth control and also have heavy periods, is the Mirena IUD a good alternative? How does this compare with oral drugs and surgical options (such as endometrial ablation and hysterectomy) for controlling heavy bleeding?
What Is the Mirena IUD?
The Mirena IUD is one type of IUD (intrauterine device) used for birth control.
This hormonal apparatus can prevent pregnancy for five years–by simply slowing the progestin, levonorgestrel, over this time. In the event you decide on Mirena for birth control, then you might also be able to benefit from some extra non-contraceptive benefits like relief from heavy periods.
Mirena for Heavy Bleeding:
The FDA approved Mirena in 2009 to help cure heavy bleeding. It is now the only type of birth control approved to assist handle excessive menstrual bleeding. Mirena can also be the sole good non-surgical treatment option if you suffer from heavy periods.
Just how Many Women Suffer From Heavy Bleeding?
It’s estimated that between 9 and 14% of healthy women are affected by significant periods. Women who have heavy periods will typically lose about five/six tablespoons of blood (totaling 80 mL or more) at one menstrual cycle. (Girls with average periods only lose about 4 to 12 teaspoons of blood (20-60 mL) during their period)
Heavy periods can, in turn, lead to anemia and other problems, not to speak of the lifestyle issues of living with significant periods.
Just how Do You Know If You Have Heavy Periods?
It could be tricky to tell how much blood you lose during your period, and several girls would be able to gauge the amount of teaspoons or tablespoons of blood lost.
As a Result of This, physicians suggest that You Might Be suffering from a heavy bleeding for those who:
- Soak through a pad or tampon every 2 to 3 hours
- Perhaps stained your clothes or bedding as a consequence of a heavy bleeding
- Have to get up at the middle of the night to change your tampon or pad
- Wear both a tampon and a pad (for double protection)
Using Mirena for Heavy Bleeding: What Does the Research Tell Us?
There have been many research studies done to determine if Mirena is an effective treatment of heavy periods, both independently, in contrast with oral medications, and compared to surgical procedures like endometrial ablation and hysterectomy. Here is a list of some of this study:
- In one study of women who suffered from heavy bleeding, Mirena reduced the quantity of menstrual bleeding by 80 percent after 3 months of usage. After 6 weeks, bleeding way decreased by 90 percent.
- Another study looked at 50 women who had been planning on having surgery to take care of their heavy periods but agreed to have Mirena inserted instead. Thirty-seven of those girls reported that they noticed much lower quantities of blood loss after 3 months of Mirena use. This number increased to 41 after 9 weeks of use. Forty-one of those women decided to continue using Mirena instead of needing surgery to take care of their bleeding.
- compared with both the progestin-only birth control pill and Depo-Provera, Mirena has been found to be more effective in controlling heavy bleeding.
- A review of six different research studies showed that, when compared to endometrial ablation (a surgical procedure that removes the lining of the uterus), Mirena was discovered to be equally as effective in reducing blood loss. Mirena was also found to be a good alternate to endometrial ablation since there are fewer side effects and Mirena does not affect your future fertility (vs. endometrial ablation that can make it difficult to become pregnant).
- One study looked at Mirena as a treatment for heavy bleeding for a single year. Mirena was found to be an effective treatment for three out of four women with heavy bleeding–79.5 percent of the girls also planned to continue using Mirena. This study demonstrated that hemoglobin (the principal component in red blood cells) rates increased at 3 and 12 weeks for women who employed Mirena. This is vital because heavy bleeding can result in lower hemoglobin levels–which can place you in danger of becoming anemic (when your body does not have sufficient healthy red blood cells).
- A 2017 analysis assessed the differences between Mirena, hysterectomy, and endometrial ablation for heavy bleeding. Mirena ranked as best with regard to the amount of quality of lifetime, followed by a hysterectomy, followed by endometrial ablation. Adverse outcomes are somewhat more common with Mirena than endometrial ablation, but Mirena is significantly more cost effective in comparison.
How Can Mirena Reduce Menstrual Bleeding?
Overall, it seems that Mirena can help treat heavy bleeding in 2 manners:
- Mirena can lower the amount of bleeding you have each month.
- Your total blood loss per each cycle can steadily decrease with continued Mirena use.
Following the Mirena IUD is inserted into your uterus the progestin published helps to reduce the thickening of the lining of your uterus (that happens each month). This makes the liner thinner, so there’s less of it to shed off throughout a period. This equals less monthly bleeding.
How Much Time Does It Take to Mirena to Decrease Bleeding?
Mirena can decrease monthly bleeding in both women with average or heavy periods. Most women who use Mirena will undergo a reduction in blood loss after 3 to 6 months of use. There seems to roughly an 85 percent drop in blood flow at 3 weeks after insertion whether you’ve got routine bleeding or heavy bleeding. After a year of usage, over 95 percent of people have a reduction in bleeding.
After 6 weeks of use, around 20% of women who use Mirena will not get a period at all. This amount rises to about 50 percent later using Mirena for five decades.
Spotting May Boost Initially With Mirena
Some women fear that Mirena will not help early on, as they notice they have longer spotting instead of less. It’s important to point out that this initial spotting (more days of spotting or irregular bleeding) is normal following Mirena has been inserted, but usually decreases after a few months of usage.
Bottom Line on Utilizing a Mirena IUD for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
The Mirena IUD can considerably reduce menstrual bleeding for the majority of people having the IUD inserted. This may help not just with lifestyle problems and the capacity for nausea but is less invasive than some of the surgical procedures used to decrease bleeding. Additionally, it has the benefit of greater preserving your fertility if you’re considering having a child or another child in the future.
Any method of reducing menstrual bleeding can have unwanted effects, and it is important to have a careful discussion with your doctor about what’s ideal for you.