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Mirena Removal

Women may undergo Mirena removal to replace an old IUD. They may also choose to remove Mirena to regain fertility and have a baby. But, sometimes doctors must remove the IUD because of complications. Bayer does not recommend women remove their own IUD at home.

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A doctor or health care provider performs Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) removal in a medical office. Most insurance plans cover Mirena IUD removal. And the procedure should only take a few minutes.

There are several reasons why a doctor will remove Mirena. Usually, the doctor will replace an old IUD so it remains effective. Another reason is because a woman wishes to have a baby.

Did You Know?
A doctor should remove and replace Mirena after six years for it to remain effective.
Diagram showing pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease can happen if someone with an undiagnosed STI gets an IUD.

If a woman does not want to have a baby, she should have Mirena removed within seven days of the start of her period. If a woman removes the IUD within eleven days of having sex during any other time of the month, pregnancy may happen.

Sometimes, removal might be more complicated if there have been side effects with Mirena. These include serious side effects such as perforation of the uterus, pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) or infection.

Complications can occur during insertion, while Mirena is in the uterus and during removal. Women who have suffered complications such as uterine perforation or ectopic pregnancy have filed Mirena lawsuits against Bayer.

Reasons for Mirena Removal

Usually, doctors remove Mirena to replace it or because women want to become pregnant. But, some women’s health conditions or Mirena side effects may require removing the IUD.

Reasons to remove Mirena may include:
  • Severe bleeding that could lead to anemia
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Pelvic infection or endometriosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pain during sex
  • Cervical cancer
  • Uterine perforation
  • Severe migraines
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Arterial disease or stroke

What to Expect During Mirena Removal

IUD removal only takes a few minutes. The doctor will simply pull on the strings with forceps. The arms of the IUD will fold, and it will simply slide out.

“The vast majority of the time, [IUD removal] simply involves doing a simple exam much like a Pap smear.”

Source: Dr. Antonio Pizarro, OB/GYN told SELF

Sometimes, the strings are missing. The doctor should rule out pregnancy and then use a sonogram or X-ray to locate the Mirena and then remove it with narrow forceps. He or she may need to dilate the cervical canal.

Mirena Removal Illustration
During Mirena removal, a doctor uses forceps to tug on the IUD strings.

In some cases, doctors may need to surgically remove the IUD. This can happen if the Mirena perforated the uterus or moved from the uterus.

In the case of infections, doctors may have to treat the infection with antibiotics before removing the device.

Uterine perforation is more likely to occur during Mirena insertion rather than removal.

Mirena Removal Pain

Mirena removal pain is usually minor. It should only last a few moments. Women should expect cramping as the device comes out.

What to Expect After Mirena Removal

After a routine Mirena removal, there should be no symptoms or pain. Some light spotting can occur. If women experience severe pain, fevers or excessive bleeding after removal, they should contact their doctor.

How Long After Mirena Removal Will I Get My Period?

It may take a few months for a woman’s period to be regular again. A woman’s period should return to the way it was before Mirena implantation.

How Does Mirena Removal Affect Fertility?

Most women’s fertility will go back to normal after Mirena removal, and they can get pregnant quickly. If a woman does not want to get pregnant after having an IUD removed, she should use another form of birth control.

“We found no difference in 12-month pregnancy rates or time to pregnancy between former IUD users and users of other contraceptive methods. However, there was a clinically and statistically significant reduction in fertility in African American women.”

Source: European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care

Mirena Removal Side Effects

While most women do not experience issues after Mirena removal, some side effects may occur.

For example, if a woman gets pregnant while on Mirena, removing the IUD may result in pregnancy loss.

Some women refer to the Mirena removal side effects as the “Mirena crash,” according to an article in Refinery29. But, there are no scientific studies about the crash.

Side effects reported after removal include:
  • Pain and cramping
  • Bleeding
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Passing blood clots
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight gain

Removing Mirena at Home

Bayer and most doctors do not recommend removing Mirena at home because of possible complications.

Some doctors feel educating women on how to remove the device themselves might encourage more women to use it.

For instance, a study in the journal Contraception found 25 percent of women questioned would be more willing to try an IUD if they could remove it themselves.

However, another study by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health found only one out of five women who tried self-removal did so successfully.

“When I needed my own IUD removed I did not do it myself. Even though I have inserted and removed thousands I went to a gynecologist.”

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

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8 Cited Research Articles

  1. Planned Parenthood. (n.d.) How does IUD removal work? Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/iud/how-does-iud-removal-work
  2. Barnes, Z. (2017, December 29). What to Expect After IUD Removal: Ob/Gyn Experts Explain. Retrieved from https://www.self.com/story/iud-removal-facts
  3. FDA. (n.d.). Mirena. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/021225s019lbl.pdf
  4. Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. (n.d.). IUD Self-Removal. Retrieved from https://www.ansirh.org/research/iud-self-removal
  5. Foster, D.G. et al. (2012). Interest in using intrauterine contraception when the option of self-removal is provided. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22067772
  6. Health Research Funding. (2014, April 19). Mirena Crash Symptoms. Retrieved from https://healthresearchfunding.org/mirena-crash-symptoms/
  7. Stieg, C. (2017, May 8). What happens after you get your IUD out? Retrieved from https://www.refinery29.com/mirena-iud-removal-side-effects
  8. Gunter, J. (2016, June 4). Don’t remove your own IUD. Here’s why. Retrieved from https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/dont-remove-your-own-iud-heres-why/
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