Contraception is supposed to stop you fretting about a bun in the oven, right? Seriously though – what are your chances of getting pregnant on the Mirena?
The main job of contraception – aside from stymieing period pains and clearing up skin – is to keep your oven bun-free. But with each Pill, injection or IUD, there’s the tiny window or chance that it could leave you in that exact position.
Just ask freelance writer Amy Gibbings, who fell pregnant while on the Mirena (a type of IUD) and didn’t know about it. It resulted in an ectopic pregnancy, which almost cost her her life.
Per the most recent Demographic and Health Survey 59 percent of sexually active women use some form of modern contraception, but only half of them reported being informed about the side-effects of the method they used. What you need to know about this one…
How it works
The IUD releases a minute amount of the progestin hormone levonorgestrel into the uterus. This hormone acts to thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and thins the lining of the uterus, which in turn acts to prevent a fertilised egg from implanting and, as per the website, “inhibits sperm from reaching or fertilising your egg”.
READ MORE: How To Find The Best Birth Control For You
Factors that increase your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy on the Mirena are pelvic inflammatory disease (if untreated gonorrhoea and chlamydia can result in PID), smoking, which affects the motility of your tubes, a previous ectopic pregnancy or tubal surgery and endometriosis. Mal-positioning of the device can also increase your chances of falling pregnant and that’s why going for our six-week check-up is so important.
If you are pregnant though, the signs are very much the same as falling pregnant when not using any form of contraception. A first sign to look out for is a missed period – but if you don’t have your period on the Mirena, the start of bleeding could mean an ectopic pregnancy. “Other signs include tender breasts, fatigue and nausea. As well as unusual cramps, pain or discomfort.