How will I know if my Mirena coil has stopped working?
This article was originally published in 2020 and has since been updated.
Using a long acting contraceptive frees you from worrying about pregnancy prevention. An Intrauterine device (IUD) is a commonly used long-acting form of contraception which is inserted into the womb, and it acts to prevent pregnancy by increasing the thickness of mucus produced by the cervix. This makes it harder for sperm to fertilise the egg.
The IUD is a small, plastic T-shaped device which slowly releases a natural progesterone into the womb.
When you use a long-term contraception, you may occasionally worry that it might have stopped working. Here are some signs that your intrauterine device has stopped working.
Your Strings Are Longer Or Shorter Than Before
Every IUD has a string attached to the end of it, which makes it easy for the doctor to remove it when you’re ready to have it removed. These strings come out of your uterus, through your cervix, and hang down into the very top of the vagina. Your doctor will advise you to lay on your back or squat, reach up and feel them once a month.
This is critical for you to be familiar with and know when there are abnormalities.
If you notice that your strings are longer than they were, it may mean your IUD has slipped from where it was placed.
You Can’t Feel Your Strings At All
In the event that you can’t feel or find your strings at all, this could mean your intrauterine device has moved further up into your uterus, strings and all. At this point, it’s advisable that you visit your doctor and get it checked out.
You Can Feel The IUD In Your Cervix
Is that your IUD you felt when you bent down? Your Mirena coil is supposed to be placed inside your uterus. It is positioned such that you mustn’t be able to feel it. If you feel the bottom of the IUD or notice that it’s coming out of your cervix (mouth of your womb), then it’s too low.
Your Partner Can Feel Something Up There
You may notice that your IUD has shifted. During sex, your partner might feel the bottom of it, protruding from your cervix. If your partner notices something hard coming out of your cervix, go for a check-up with your doctor.
You’re Dealing With Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
A shift of the Mirena can change the chemistry in the vagina. Vaginal discharge is your body’s natural mechanism for cleaning your vagina. However, abnormal discharge can also be a sign that your IUD has slipped and is irritating your body.
If you notice that your discharge is off in colour, texture, or smell and it’s not a yeast infection or one of the other reasons your discharge can get messed up, contact your doctor to see if your IUD might be the culprit.
At Marie Stopes, our nurses are trained to help you make the right contraceptive choice for your lifestyle and your body. Visit your nearest branch for advice on long and short-term contraceptives, and to find the ideal method at a price that suits your budget. Find your nearest Marie Stopes centre now or book an appointment online.
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