How Does Mirena Work?

Women who experience bothersome side effects while using oral birth control pills, or for whom the pill is not an appropriate option, may want to discuss Mirena® with their healthcare provider. Known as an intrauterine system (IUS), Mirena works by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). It also can cause certain changes in the cervical mucus and uterus that make conception more unlikely.
In order to ensure that Mirena continues to work as designed, after each menstrual period, make sure the device is still in place. You will be able to feel the removal threads at your cervix (the top of your vagina). Don't pull on the threads, as this could displace the device -- just feel to make sure the threads are still there.
If you can't feel the threads, or if you feel other parts of the device, let your healthcare provider know right away and use a backup method of birth control (such as condoms) until your healthcare provider gives you further instructions.
(Click Mirena to learn more about how this form of contraception works, what to discuss with the healthcare provider prescribing it, possible side effects, and more.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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