Kyleena vs Mirena
Kyleena is a newer hormonal IUD to hit the market, so it’s got a few advantages over the Mirena. For one, it’s smaller, which should make insertion less painful. It’s also got less progestin: 19.5mg compared to the 52mg in Mirena. Fewer hormones can help with side effects, but it also means that losing your period won’t be as likely as it is with the Mirena IUD.
Like Mirena and Kyleena, the Skyla IUD uses the same progestin to prevent pregnancy: levonorgestrel. Mirena has the most levonorgestrel and lasts the longest, whereas Skyla has the least at only 13.5mg — it also only protects you for 3 years. Skyla is smaller than the Mirena, which can make it a better choice for women who haven’t had children yet, and the lower hormone dose can mean fewer side effects. The trade-off is getting it switched out more often. Skyla is only available in certain countries so you won’t be able to get it here in Australia.
What are the pros?
The IUD is one of the most effective types of contraception. In fact, the effectiveness of hormonal IUDs like Mirena is over 99%. The periods you get with Mirena should get lighter over time, and stop completely for many women. And the Mirena can help with issues like endometriosis.
How long does Mirena last?
Mirena is licensed for 5 years, but studies have shown it’s safe and effective for 7 years. Leading up to this time, though, you might notice a few symptoms of the hormones in your Mirena running out. This will usually feel like your period before you had the Mirena inserted: PMS, a heavier cycle or more cramping. If you think you’re experiencing signs of your Mirena wearing off, you should talk to your doctor or gynecologist. Even if it’s still effective, they might be able to recommend something to make you more comfortable.
Mirena for menopause
The Mirena IUD can be used as birth control until you reach menopause, which is usually around age 50. But it’s possible to use Mirena when you’re over 50 as the progestin component of HRT. HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, alleviates some symptoms of menopause. Taking estrogen with Mirena is necessary if you are using it for HRT.
Because Mirena can keep you from having a period and a sign of menopause is not having a period for 12 months, it can be challenging to know when to remove your IUD as you get older. Talk to your doctor or gynecologist if you have your Mirena at age 50. They’ll be able to do a blood test to check your hormone levels and see if you’re experiencing menopause.
What are the cons?
Shortly after you’ve gotten your Mirena, you may experience some random bleeding. There’s no way to stop Mirena spotting besides waiting it out, but that shouldn’t take longer than a few months. You might also experience some other Mirena side effects, like headache or mood changes. These can happen with any hormonal birth control.
The “Mirena crash” describes a series of anecdotal side effects after Mirena removal. These include mood changes, nausea, acne, headache, depression or anxiety, hair loss and a lower sex drive.
Like with all IUDs, there is also the possibility of your IUD moving out of place — although this is very unlikely. If your Mirena IUD has moved out of place, symptoms can include pain, heavy bleeding, abnormal cramping. You or your partner might also be able to feel the IUD. Normally, you should only be able to feel the strings but not the actual device.