What if Pregnancy Occurs While Using Mirena?
There is absolutely no birth control method, including Mirena or even having a tubal ligation, which is considered 100% perfect. If you should become pregnant while using Mirena, or most any other type of birth control, there are certain risks to you and your unborn baby. Although studies show that less than eight women in 1,000 will become pregnant while using Mirena over a course of five years, if you are one of those women, a pregnancy with Mirena in place can be very risky. It is possible to have a pregnancy which is not in the uterus where it should be. This type of pregnancy is known as an ectopic pregnancy, and occurs in the fallopian tubes, causing abdominal pain and heavy or unusual bleeding. If you suspect an ectopic pregnancy, seek immediate medical attention, as it can be a true emergency, sometimes requiring surgery. Infertility, internal bleeding and even death have all been unfortunate results of an ectopic pregnancy.
Uterine Pregnancy While Using Mirena
Should you become pregnant while using Mirena, and have a "normal" pregnancy which implants correctly in the uterus rather than the fallopian tubes, you still face a high number of risks and negative consequences. If a pregnancy continues with the IUD in place, premature delivery, miscarriage, severe infection to mother and baby, and even death can occur. If you find yourself pregnant with the Mirena IUD in place, your healthcare provider will likely remove the device, even though doing so can possibly cause a miscarriage. Should you not miscarry when the IUD is removed, termination of the pregnancy is a consideration. If you choose not to terminate, your doctor will want to monitor your closely throughout your pregnancy as there is an increased risk of spontaneous abortion or premature labor in IUD users who became pregnant with the IUD in place. Women who become pregnant while using an IUD will be asked to report any and all symptoms or complications of pregnancy, most especially abdominal pain with fever or cramping.
Birth Defects Caused by Mirena?
The long-term effects on babies whose mothers became pregnant while using Mirena is not yet known. There were 390 live births from an estimated 9.9 million Mirena users reported in September of 2006, and congenital abnormalities in those births have been "infrequent." The fetus is definitely exposed to the hormone levonorgestrel, therefore the possibility of negative consequences following exposure to Mirena cannot be excluded. There has been some limited data which notes a slight increase in masculinization of the female fetus' genitalia following exposure to progestins, although this study was not specifically applied to Mirena.
While Mirena is a very effective method of birth control, and the majority of users have no problems associated with Mirena, it can definitely be dangerous, both to mother and baby should you become pregnant while using Mirena. The studies are fairly limited because there are few pregnancies in those using Mirena to gather data from, however at this point in time it is generally advised to terminate the pregnancy in light of possible complications to the mother and baby.