What are the side effects of the Mirena coil?

THE MIRENA coil is a popular choice of contraception-but experts have said that no one should be in agony when they have one fitted.

Also know as a intrauterine system (IUS), the Mirena coil is a small T shaped plastic device that is inserted into your womb by a nurse or doctor.

If inserted correctly then it can be 99 per cent effective against pregnancy.

Experts have today warned that each woman will have a different experience with the coil, after BBC Radio 5's Live's Naga Munchetty said she was left in excruciating pain when she had hers fitted.

She said that some women are made to feel as though they have to endure pain.

"We all know that coils are safe and effective and lots of women have no problem with them.

"I had a coil fitted a few years ago, and it was one of the most traumatic physical experiences I have had."

She said she felt she was ready for what she thought would be a "routine procedure" and her husband was waiting for her in the GP surgery to drive her home.

"My screams were so loud that my husband tried to find out what room it was in to make it stop. He said people in the waiting room hearing my screams looked horrified."

Munchetty said she fainted twice during the procedure. When she had it removed a year later she said she felt "violated weak and angry".

She said she had it removed as it didn't suit her, but what are the side effects of the Mirena coil and how does it work?


Most medications we take on a daily basis have listed side effects and the coil is no different.

One of the main side effects, the NHS says, is that your periods could become irregular or they could stop completely.

Some people can experience a change in mood, headaches, acne and breast tenderness – but the NHS says that this usually goes away after a while.

An uncommon side effect is that some people develop small fluid-filled cysts on the ovaries – these usually disappear without treatment.


Munchetty said she was advised to take paracetamol or ibuprofen before her appointment.

Speaking to The Sun, Dr Sarah Welsh, founder of Hanx said like all contraceptive choices, there are pros and cons to the Mirena coil. One of these is pain.

She explained: "The procedure of fitting itself can be painful for some women and you may have painful cramps and vaginal bleeding for the next few hours after it's been fitted.

"I would advise taking painkillers before the procedure and resting and using painkillers after the procedure too.

"When you get the coil fitted there is a very small risk (roughly 2 in every 1000 people) that the coil might perforate your womb or cervix."

Dr Sarah explained that this is most likely to occur in women who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, and often heals on its own with some people needing surgery to repair the perforation.

She added that some women faint during or just after the procedure too.

"This is often when the cervix is opened, which can be painful, especially in women who have not ever given birth.

"It is more common to have pain during insertion of a mirena than the removal, and is more likely to be painful in women who have a tightly closed cervix."

If you have never had heavy periods or given birth, your cervix is more likely to be clamped tighter, she said.

"The opening of this in order to insert the mirena is what causes pain in many women.

"Therefore if you've had multiple children, it's very likely you will not every feel the coil being inserted at all. Every woman is different", Dr Sarah added.

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