Does Having A Mirena IUD Affect Menopause?

Does Having A Mirena IUD Affect Menopause?

People may not understand what really happens with the use of Mirena IUD during menopause. This confusion has got some people thinking that the IUD makes one of the symptoms of menopause less obvious, or that it makes this period of womanhood a little bit easier.

Well, if you are not certain about the realities of Mirena and menopause, here are some vital information that will give you a better understanding of the subject matter.

Your symptoms may hide completely with hormonal birth control

The use of Mirena can cause lighter periods. The menstrual cycle of some women using IUDs may stop completely. If IUD has made your periods stop, it might be difficult to diagnose if you're experiencing menopause. Most interesting is the fact that Mirena and menopause share some similar symptoms such as irregular periods and mood swings. However, an IUD should not affect other symptoms of menopause. This is because it releases only the hormone progestogen, not oestrogen. With the decrease in oestrogen level during menopause, you should expect to experience menopausal symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, flushed skin, and hot flashes.

Hormonal birth control including Mirena coil does not affect the beginning of menopause

The function of Mirena IUD is to prevent you from getting pregnant. This is achieved by partially suppressing ovulation. It would be erroneous to believe that the release of fewer eggs will cause the ones you have to last longer and trigger menopause eventually.

The truth is that even if you don't ovulate, as you get older, you will lose follicles consistently. So,  the use of Mirena and other forms of contraception does not affect the onset of menopause.

It can cause confusing symptoms

People who use Mirena may experience some symptoms that are quite unusual. You may begin to wonder if you're experiencing second puberty or menopause. These symptoms could be as a result of the presence of progesterone in Mirena. They include:

  • Headache
  • Cramps or pelvic pain
  • Breast tenderness

Mirena might make menopausal symptoms more manageable

Heavy bleeding, which is a sign of menopause is one symptom that can be improved by Mirena. During perimenopause, the hormones progesterone and oestrogen levels increases and decreases. This inconsistency in hormone levels can cause your periods to become heavier or lighter than normal.

A minimum of 25% of women in their perimenopause has heavy periods. The flow may be so heavy that you soak through a tampon every few hours. With Mirena, your periods should become light and flow normally.

Whether you're on Mirena, your doctor can still diagnose menopause

Normally, tests are not needed to diagnose menopause. Inability to see your periods for complete 12 months means you are experiencing menopause. But the use of IUD will cause your periods to cease; hence you need an alternative plan. You can undergo a blood test to check levels of oestrogen and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). FSH aid in the regulation of your period and production of eggs.

When you're in menopause, your FSH levels will go up while oestrogen levels reduce. With a blood test, these changes in hormone levels can be checked.

Since your FSH levels can fluctuate throughout your cycle, your doctor may need to carry out some blood tests over time. They will also check for symptoms such as hot flashes to know if you are experiencing menopause.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and contraception aren't the same in function

The fact that both HRT and birth control pills contain oestrogen and progesterone doesn't make them anti-pregnancy. They work differently. Birth control will influence your body's hormones such that ovulation stops and pregnancy are prevented. HRT will replace some or all of your body's oestrogen, but ovulation will continue.

This means that if you are in perimenopause, you can still get pregnant while using HRT. But to avoid pregnancy, you can either choose to:

  • Use a birth control pill to control your menopausal symptoms
  • Use HRT, but with a condom or other preventive methods until you are completely in menopause

For additional safety, leave your IUD in until expiration

Should it be that you're not sure if you're in menopause, leave your IUD in until it expires? Copper IUDs have a lifespan of 10 years after which they expire. Other progesterone-based IUDs including Mirena last for 5 years.

The procedure for inserting and removing Mirena have the same feelings

The two procedures have a similar feeling, but the removal is usually easier than insertion or Mirena coil replacement.

So, what should you expect during the removal?

  • Lie on your back on the table with your feet in the stirrups
  • Your doctor will use a speculum to part your vaginal canal gently
  • Upon locating the IUD, your doctor carefully pulls on the string
  • The IUD arms will fold up, and the device will slip out of your vagina
  • Should the IUD not come out in the first attempt, your doctor will use an instrument to take it out

You may experience cramping for a while after the IUD is removed.

When you're in postmenopause, you can safely stop the use of an IUD and other contraception types

Until you are in menopause, your chances of getting pregnant are quite high, even though fertility declined from the age of 40. To prevent unplanned pregnancy, don't take out your IUD until you have passed the average age for menopause, which is around 51 years.

Should you still be experiencing periods, give yourself a minimum of a year after they stop to take out the IUD. Alternatively, you can use other contraception like pills or condoms. Should you not be certain that the IUD has caused your periods to cease, see your gynaecologist. They can do a blood test to know if you're really experiencing menopause.

HRT may provide relief for some menopausal symptoms and make the transition easy

Mirena can only make your period light, but it does not bring relief to other symptoms of menopause. In this case, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be helpful.

With HRT injections, patches, and pills, you can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weak bones
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats

There are two forms of HRT viz:

  • Oestrogen plus progesterone for women who have a uterus (womb)
  • Oestrogen-only therapy for women who have undergone a hysterectomy (a surgical procedure where the womb is removed)

HRT has some drawbacks. It has been associated with increased risk of breast cancer, blood clots, stroke, and many more. This is why experts recommend you take the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time needed to alleviate your symptoms.

You can consult your doctor to know if HRT is good for you.

In Conclusion

The use of IUD can make your periods lighter or make them cease, which can make it difficult to know if you're in menopause.

Consult your doctor if you are up to 50 years and not certain if you've reached menopause.

Do well to seek medical attention if you are going through unusual symptoms like:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Skipped periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Depression

Bear in mind that periods that are irregular or does not end at the usual time may not be a problem. This is because menopause is completely different for every woman.

Do visit our private gynaecologist if you have any questions regarding Mirena coil fitting or call us on 020 71831049. We will be glad to help.

Gynae Clinic is a website designed to inform our patients about gynaecological services delivered at Medical Express Clinic at 117a Harley Street. In the event that patients are seen by a clinician, this will be arranged at Medical Express Clinic which is registered in the United Kingdom with the Care Quality Commission to provide healthcare services.