Before entering Mirena weight gain topics, we must have a brief idea about what is Mirena.
In medical field, there are various preventive measures to pregnancy or birth control method. One of the methods is the use of intrauterine device (IUD) which is made specifically for women to stabilize their womb (uterine). According to reviews, Mirena is a very effective IUD. It is T- shaped and acts as a good contraceptive. Users are always concerned about the later effect; leading to a bit of weight gain just like other contraceptives.
How Does Mirena Work?
Mirena releases certain amount of hormone (progestin) known as levonorgestrel into the system to mainly prevent pregnancy. It demands that you properly and carefully insert the device within the uterus. This device releases about 20 micrograms of levonorgestrel every day, which can work for up to five years duration.
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this device is among essential medicines because it contains levonorgestrel-containing IUD. They are safe and pose less side effects. For more info, you can check this article Weight Loss After Mirena Removal: Benefits and Side Effects
In conceptional medicine, it is known that Mirena is one of the most effective ways of birth control because it hardly fails. The one-year rate failure ever recorded is approximately 0.2%.
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What Are behind Mirena Weight Gain Debate?
According to the body system of individual, Mirena may cause unpretentious weight gain in some people. It is very minimal and this normally happens when it is allowed to stay in the body system for too long.
It is always clinically insignificant when weight gain is observed as a result of the use of Mirena because the increase is just about 7%. Sometimes the weight gain might not even result due to the Mirena IUD use. Some of the indirect reasons that may occur after the use of Mirena are listed below.
Accumulation of body fluid, referred to medically as bloating, gives room for weight gain when this device is used or inserted. It is a common side effect resulting from the use of this device. There is little or no harm caused from the result of this effect leading to bloating because it is as a result of water storage or accumulation and not actual fat or calories.
Increase in Appetite
There is always an increase in food intake or appetite among Mirena users. Several reports online from anecdotal show that there is a great increase in appetite resulting from the use of Mirena and this excessive intake of food usually results in weight gain. It is not clear or certain how this causes increased appetite but there is a result by some that systematic levonorgestrel exposure might be responsible.
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The cognitive function of the body can be altered which can be as a result of the use of Mirena. According to research, levonorgestrel in combination with ethinyl estradiol decreases concentration of BDNF in body hippocampus. This decreases the growth rate of new neurons and neuroplasticity. There is impairment in learning and memory of a person when levonorgestrel of 20mcg is combined with ethinyl estradiol of 10mcg, because it may reduce the noradrenergic signaling in the hippocampus.
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There is claim among some women that there is craving for food after insertion of Mirena IUD. The craving sometimes is for a particular macronutrient which includes sugar (carbohydrates) or fats, but they also crave for high palatable which contains high fats, sugars and salt. They consume high calorically meal like cakes, ice cream, donuts and many others. With constant food craving and consumption without control, there is always weight gain resulting from this.
The stomach and intestinal region can highly be influenced and changed by exposure of Mirena. Such influence and alteration might affect hormonal release of levonorgestrel. Some explained that the release of levonorgestrel can alter the normal Flora function of some gastrointestinal microbes. This alteration usually leads to stimulation of appetite that may cause weight gain.
There is possibility of increase in pathogenic microbes when levonorgestrel is released causing altered insulin signaling, inflammation, increased in appetite and fat storage, and each of these changes may cause weight gain.
The ability to withstand undue or cardiovascular endurance has been reported by some women who use Mirena. Thus, low energy and fatigue is a major side effect of this device. Mirena interferes with the ability to perform normal exercise and stay physically fit. Fewer calories can be burnt by the system because there is always decrease in exercise for women who use Mirena.
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According to medical reports in recent time, it is suggested that any levonorgestrel-containing contraceptives like Mirena can cause mood swings among users.
Mood swings are usually followed by depression and anxiety. They both have effect on metabolism, appetite, choice of food, and physical function of the body system. When this depression and anxiety happens, there is always high demand for food with high calories as a coping mechanism, which can also lead to weight gain.
Hormones can be altered and can also lead to weight gain. Mirena releases about 20mcg of levonorgestrel every day within the body system of users. The systematic exposure of levonorgestrel may decrease the body’s release of progesterone, and decreased secretions of progesterone usually lead to the dominance of estrogen in the body system, which may lead to weight gain.
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Slow Metabolic Rate
There is every possibility that levonorgestrel secreted by Mirena insertion could in a way slow the metabolic rate of the body that normally cause weight gain.
When Mirena causes low metabolism, low exercise rate, fatigue, and depression, it allows the body to burn very small amount of fat than usual and leads to weight gain.
We see Mirena weight gain exists! However, a majority of Mirena IUD users do not show enough signs of weight gain, which is clinically relevant.
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