Intrauterine Device Insertion (Hormone-Releasing IUD, Mirena®)


During this procedure, the physician inserts a flexible, plastic Mirena® intrauterine device through the cervix and positions it within the uterus. Once in place, the Mirena IUD® will release a small amount of progesterone (a contraceptive hormone) into the womb for a period of up to five years. The Mirena IUD® is an effective method of birth control, and it is also commonly used to control abnormal menstrual bleeding. It can also be used to treat endometrial hyperplasia and to protect the uterus in postmenopausal women who require estrogen replacement therapy.

How it Prevents Pregnancy

An IUD prevents fertilization by thickening the cervical mucus to keep sperm from entering the uterus. IUDs also cause changes in the uterus. Sperm that enter the uterus cannot survive, and egg cells cannot implant in the uterine wall.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and a speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. A local anesthetic may be administered, but in many cases, no anesthesia is needed. The cervix is cleansed with an antiseptic wash.

Placing the Device

The physician carefully guides a thin, flexible insertion tube containing the Mirena® device through the opening of the cervix and up into the uterus. Once it is positioned properly, the Mirena® device is deployed. The plastic arms of the support frame expand to keep it positioned securely within the uterus. The physician withdraws the insertion tube and trims the two thin threads attached to the bottom of the device that hang out the cervical opening. These threads will be used to remove the device in the future.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, the instruments are removed and the patient is allowed to go home. The physician will provide specific aftercare instructions. The hormone cylinder of the Mirena® device will release progesterone for five years. After that period of time, a physician will remove the device and, if desired, replace it with a new one. The Mirena® device can be removed by a physician at any time to allow normal conception.