You know those boots you never knew you needed until you tried them on, and now you can’t live without them?
Well, the Mirena IUD is the birth control version of black ankle booties—versatile, durable, and with the added bonus of preventing pregnancy.
Mirena is basically a “set it and forget it” contraceptive. You don’t have to do anything to maintain it, you can leave it in for up to five years, and since it’s 99 percent effective it’s more reliable than the pill or condoms. Insertion is pretty simple, too. Your doc can do it in their office and you should be in and out in under 15 minutes.
There are two main types of IUDs, according to Planned Parenthood: the copper IUD, which uses copper ions to prevent fertilization, and hormonal IUDs, which include Mirena. Mirena works by slowly releasing progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, into your uterus. The progestin thickens your vaginal mucous, thins out your uterine lining, and can prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg, all of which prevent any rogue sperm from making a baby in you, explains Sherry Ross, M.D., an ob-gyn, women’s health expert and author of She-ology.
Considering getting the Mirena? There are few Mirena side effects—good and bad—you should know about first.