Is The convenience of Mirena Worth The Side Effects?
I’ve always been a little bit jealous of my friends who live by the clock. You know the type—they eat, go to the gym and put their kids down for naps at the same time every day. Bonus: They never have to question whether they took their pills because taking them is part of their daily schedule.
On the other hand, I’m more of a routine gal. I do certain things in the morning, afternoon and evening but not necessarily at the same time. Now, that’s OK when it comes to eating breakfast or exercising, but constantly wondering if I took my vitamins and birth control pill is not ideal.
Despite having been on birth control pills for more than a decade, I still haven’t trained myself to take a pill at exactly 10pm every night. I generally take one within an hour of that time…more or less. Being an educated 30-something, I know that the pill is most effective when taken at the same time every day, but I just haven’t been able to stick to a schedule.
Because of my inability to take my pill at the same time every day, I plan to ask my gynecologist about other birth control options at my upcoming yearly appointment. Specifically, I’m interested in learning more about Mirena. Marketed as “the birth control that may help make life simpler,” Mirena is a hormone-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) that’s inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for up to five years. I wouldn’t have to remember to take a pill for five years? Sign me up! Simplify my life, Mirena!
Well, maybe not so fast. I’ve heard some about some pretty horrific side effects of Mirena, and I’m not even talking about the serious but uncommon side effects like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cysts or sepsis. I’ve heard women complain about acute weight gain, terrible acne, depression and even pain during sex. Headaches, swelling and heavy periods seem to also frequently occur.
So is the convenience of not having to remember to take a pill every day worth the risk of possible debilitating side effects? And I’m not even talking about the rare risk of PID. Call me superficial, but I’m worried about the effect that weight increase, bloating or a decrease sex drive may have on my self-esteem. However, in the long run, having to buy bigger-size jeans does not seem like such a big deal compared to the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy due to my pill-taking negligence.
What do you think? Does the convenience of an IUD like Mirena outweigh its possible side effects?