Mirena is an intra uterine device (IUD) made of plastic and containing levonorgestrel, a female hormone that is used in this IUD to cause changes in a woman’s cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it less likely that sperm will reach the uterus. The same altered mucus also makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach itself to the wall of the uterus.
This is not a short-term contraceptive; it lasts for five years, preventing pregnancy over this period of time.
But what if, part-way through that five year period, a woman decides that she would like to offer her services as a surrogate mother? Can she do this? Would the Mirena IUD interfere or prevent a woman from being a surrogate?
Well, the short answer is, of course. The simple fact that the Mirena IUD alters the mucus so as to prevent an egg from affixing itself to the wall of the uterus makes it incompatible with inserting an embryo for gestation, since the embryo has to affix itself to the wall of the uterus..
The good news is that, although the IUD itself is effective for five years, its effects do not last that long once it is removed. That means that if you want to become a surrogate mother, just remove the Mirena and wait a few months. A typical waiting period is about three months, but you will have to ask your doctor, because it’s not just about the timing – it’s also about the lining.
One widely reported side effect of the Mirena IUD is that it results in a thinning of the lining in the uterus. That is to say, it is not just the mucus that is affected, but the lining, as well.
One of the key conditions a surrogate mother has to meet in order to be ready to receive an embryo is a lining that is thick enough for the embryo to implant itself in it. If the lining is not thick enough, the embryo will be unable to implant itself and will be flushed out in the next cycle. Surrogates receive hormones and medications in preparation for this, to thicken up the lining. So the big question is whether or not the lining will be thick enough, and whether the normal treatments will make it thick enough.
In some cases, the long-lasting results of the Mirena IUD might be that the lining will never recover to an extent where it is thick enough to serve a surrogate mother. However, in most cases, it is simply a matter of working harder, sometimes going through multiple cycles of treatment to get it to an acceptable thickness.
So anybody currently fitted with a Mirena IUD cannot serve as a surrogate mother. If you wish to, you will have to have the device removed and wait for around six months, and be prepared for possibly more treatment than normal in the event that the uterus lining does not recover thick enough, fast enough. And it is possible that even this will not be enough.Return to Blog