Mirena: Does It Cause Or Help With Acne?

By Valeria D.

April 20, 2020

acne, mirena

There comes a time in a lady’s life that she’s faced with a decision. 

That is which birth control to take. 

One of the popular options in the market is IUD. Works 99% of the time, cost effective in the long run, and effects that last for years. No wonder it’s popular! 

And among IUDs, Mirena IUD is one you’ll definitely come across. Though it’s efficacy as a birth control is promising, a lot of us ladies worry about the side effects. 

Especially for skin care junkies, we can’t help but ask: does Mirena cause or help with acne?

As you probably know by now, I just had to get to the bottom of this. So I did some digging and found a common answer to our query. Acne is listed as one of the side effects of Mirena, as it is a form of hormonal birth control.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

For us to arrive at a neat conclusion about Mirena and acne, we have to dig deeper. 

How does Mirena work? What’s the connection between Mirena and acne? And, what other IUDs can you consider if Mirena’s giving you acne?

Join me in this two-minute informative read and I’ll promise you’ll know the answer to all the above questions shortly! 

Together, we’ll uncover the answers to these questions. And by the end, you’ll be confident in deciding whether Mirena is the right BC for you.

How Mirena Works

is mirena causing acne

Mirena is a hormonal IUD

To see the connection between Mirena and acne, let’s first look at how Mirena works.

Mirena is a form of IUD. IUDs or intrauterine devices are long-term birth control. Once implanted in the uterus, they can stay for several years. These devices are made of a plastic called polyethylene, T-shaped with a string at the end. 

When you want to become pregnant, the IUD can be easily removed.

Mirena IUD is a hormonal birth control.

Once implanted, Mirena gradually releases hormones into your body each day. 

These hormones are responsible for helping prevent pregnancy. They’ll make you ovulate less often. 

By thickening cervical mucus, they make it hard for sperm to reach the uterus. Even if sperm does, the hormones will prevent them from binding to an egg and attaching in your uterus.

Mirena contains the hormone levonorgestrel. The exact amount of this hormone in Mirena is 52mg. When the IUD is first inserted, it releases about 20mcg of the hormone every day. Upon reaching its expiration (5 years), the rate drops to 10 mcg and should then be replaced or removed.

Mirena and Acne: Where’s the Overlap?

mirena causing acne

Now we know the basics in how Mirena IUD works. The question now is where’s the overlap between Mirena and acne?

To answer this, let’s first look at how acne develops.

Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples to develop. Those pimples are the result of clogged pores infected by C. acnes. The acne causing bacteria love the environment of your clogged pores. Your pores become nice, warm, and moist when clogged by the mixture of oil and dead skin cells. With that, C. acnes multiplies rapidly. And before you know it, you already have many pimples to treat.

Among the existing triggers for acne, one trigger overlaps with Mirena’s function. This trigger is hormonal changes.

Research after research tell us an imbalance in hormone levels could lead to acne breakouts. When your hormone levels are out of whack, the oil producing glands beneath your skin are forced to produce more oil. And when there’s an overproduction of oil, it’s only a matter of time for acne to develop. 

From there, it’s easy to tell where the overlap is. Mirena is a hormonal birth control. Acne is triggered by hormonal changes. So the greatest common factor between Mirena IUD and acne is hormones.

Does Mirena Cause or Help with Acne?

Yes, we now arrive to our question in the beginning. Does Mirena cause or help with acne?

From what we’ve learned so far, acne is listed as a side effect of Mirena for a reason.

In 2008, a review examined Mirena IUD’s safety and side effects. The conclusion was that you are more likely to have acne or worsened acne after getting the IUD. The culprit was Mirena’s main ingredient levonorgestrel.

Other IUDs To Consider If Mirena’s Giving You Acne

copper coil - mirena alternative

The copper coil is a non-hormonal IUD

Without a doubt, hormonal birth controls like Mirena are risky for acne-prone peeps. 

But what if you’ve set your heart on getting an IUD?

Luckily, there are other IUDs in the market less likely to give you acne.

Since hormonal IUDs are a no-no for acne-prone skin, what you need to look into are non-hormonal IUDsYes! They exist.

Instead of using levonorgestrel, non-hormonal IUDs use copper to prevent pregnancy. As medical professionals explainsperm hates copper. The copper in non-hormonal IUD changes how sperm cells move so they can’t get to the egg cell. That’s how copper IUDs work as birth control.

Same with hormonal IUDs, there are side effects to copper IUDs. But I’m happy to report that in the list of side-effects, acne is not one of them! Yay!

So if you’re considering IUD for birth control, look into non-hormonal IUDs. As of writing, Paragard is the only copper IUD approved by the FDA in the US.

Final Thoughts

Acne is a side-effect you need to be aware of when choosing the best birth control for you. This goes whether you’re a skin care junkie or just very concerned with your skin. After all, you don’t need to sacrifice your skin’s health to practice sexual freedom. The wide variety of birth control available assures us as much.

Have you found the right birth control for you? 

Don’t forget to drop by in the comment section below!

Stay tuned and take skin care!

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