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Evelyn Resh MPH,CNM(Certified Sexuality Counselor & Nurse-Midwife)answered(9/11/2012)The biggest and most significant difference between these two IUDs is this: the Mirena has progesterone in it, the Paragard does not. Also, the Paragard is an effective method for 10 years, the Mirena for 5. Because of the progesterone in the Mirena, most women end up not having a period after a few months of use. This makes it very appealing to some women and for others it's the complete opposite. The Paragard does not interfere with normal ovulation and therefore, you have a period monthly and sometimes with slightly more intense cramping and heavier flow.
Daniela Ferri(Licensed Esthetician, Acne Specialist)answered(9/20/2012)In the area of skin, the Mirena has been observed by skin care professionals to worsen an existing acne problem to the extent that it can actually get quite out of control. I myself have seen clients whose acne was literally impossible to treat until they removed their Mirena IUD. If, however, you have absolutely no acne or oiliness issues whatsoever, you probably won't have a problem.
Bob Smithing, MSN, NP, FAANP(Family Nurse Practitioner)answered(11/22/2012)Mirena: 5y duration, decreased or no periods, decreased or no cramping, acne can increase (never had to remove one for this but have had to treat with medication sometimes), progesterone based.
Paragard: 10y duration, periods continue usually with increased bleeding and cramping, lower cost over 10 years, no hormones, copper based.