What is a Mirena?

The words Mirena Interuterine Device on a blue background., with image of gynaecologist Dr Peter England sitting on left.

A Mirena is a form of contraception belonging to the IUCD group.

IUCDs are Intrauterine contraceptive devices and have been around since the
1950s. Often known as IUDs, they come in two forms:

  • non -hormonal (copper IUDs)
  • and hormonally-based (Mirena and its little sister Kyleena).

They have been in clinical practice worldwide for over 30 years now.

Mirena is a very effective contraceptive with a 1 in 200 failure rate per annum. In other words 99.5% protective against pregnancy. This is superior to most other forms of contraception.

Is Mirena only for Contraception?

In addition to it’s contraceptive use, Mirena is very effective in reducing
menstrual loss and menstrual pain. As a gynaecologist, I regularly recommend a this as a treatment for women who are experiencing heavy periods and resulting anaemia (menorrhagia) or bad period pain (dysmenorrhoea).

How is a Mirena Inserted?

IUD insertion is something that many women can have done in the
doctor’s surgery. A small number of women will require insertion under a short general anaesthetic.

How long does a Mirena last?

It will last for 5 years. After five years it can be replaced. Many women have used Mirena continuously for 15-20 years, replacing every five years along the way.

Is a Mirena reversible? Yes, at any time of the your choosing it can be removed with ease in the doctors’ rooms.

Do I need a prescription?

Yes, your doctor can provide this and the it is available on the PBS.

Does Mirena suit everyone?

No. Like all contraception options, some women may find mild side effects which mean it should be removed and another option considered. These include a small chance of disturbance in mood, libido, skin or ongoing spotting which does not settle over a couple of months following insertion.

The majority of women tolerate the an IUD very well, and because the
period and lead up to it becomes so easy, many women find their overall health and wellbeing is improved.

This article is written and published by Dr Peter England, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Read more about women’s health in these articles.


Long Acting Reversible Contraception

Heavy Periods

Period Pain