ZocdocAnswersI have Mirena and this month I am unusually late. Could I have an ectopic pregnancy?

Question

I have Mirena and this month I am unusually late. Could I have an ectopic pregnancy?

Since the placement of mirena 18 months ago, my periods have been very on time. Unfortunately, they last 15-20 days. Well, suddenly this month I am late. This is highly unusual. I have a good bit of discharge. No smell, no itching, no discoloration. just lots of discharge. I am irrationally paranoid about ectopic pregnancy. Should i take a home pregnancy test or wait it out and see what happens?

Answer

Many women that use the mirena IUD find that after a year or so, their periods get lighter and eventually start to disappear. This might be what is happening in you. It would be more unusual for your periods to continue without any changes at all. Hopefully, this change is just your body reacting to the IUD itself. However, it is important to discuss your new symptoms with your OBGYN. It's a bit of a misconception that Mirena IUDs cause ectopic pregnancies. In fact, women that have the IUD have less ectopics than women without them. However, this is because the IUD prevents the vast majority (>99%) of all pregnancies including ectopics. It is true that if you do become pregnant with an IUD, that pregnancy is more likely to be ectopic. The typical symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are a missed period, abdominal pain, and sometimes vaginal bleeding. I recommend buying a home pregnancy test and schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. Either way, a pregnancy test should be done because if its negative, then you can just go on with your life after talking to your doctor about your new symptoms. If it is positive, then you will need an ectopic workup which would include a pelvic ultrasound and several blood tests.

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