Silicone Lube and IUDs?

We know that silicone lube is not safe for toys which are not 100% silicone (but have some silicone in them), but what about other devices?

Mirena, the hormonal IUD, has a small amount of silicone present in it. In fact, it’s recommended that if you’ve had previous reactions to silicone, you shouldn’t use it. So how would it react when, potentially, coming in contact with other silicone? Would the device break down? Would it lose effectiveness? Would the hormones leach out at a quicker rate?

We’ve actually had a couple of calls here asking this very same question, which lead to our decision to check it out.

Since Mirena is placed inside of the uterus and not the vaginal canal, my initial hypothesis was that the lube and the device would never come in contact so there was no need to be concerned. But not having a Mirena device myself, I wanted to be certain. So I decided to do some research.

The Journey

Research on the topic is alarmingly scarce. There’s no discussion of it on any forums, not on Reddit, or Tumblr, or anywhere else. Which I found to be promising– if there was an issue, I’d expect one of those sources to have the info.

So, to be sure, I decided to look up any and all studies and information about Mirena I could find. This lead me to this document, which is given to doctors prescribing Mirena to relay to their patients. It includes instructions on how to insert the device, what the ingredients are, and what possible side effects can happen with Mirena.

Silica is mentioned as an ingredient in that document, but as to any reaction it may or may not have with silicone-based lubricant, there was none.  It was also not specified how this silica was presented in the device. Was it simply a part of the device that was 100%? Was it mixed with the hormones or other materials in the IUD making it not 100%? I don’t know and I couldn’t find out.

In a last ditch effort, I contacted Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Mirena. The nice gentleman on the customer service line seemed just as perplexed about the question as I was and spent a good ten minutes looking to see if there was any literature available.

There wasn’t.

He suggested talking to my healthcare provider, stating that a doctor who knew my personal health could give me a better opinion. Seeing as this has nothing to do with my health and everything to do with the ingredients of these two products, I have to imagine that this was simply his go-to response. If the manufacturer can’t answer a question, I’m not really sure a doctor who gets their info from the manufacturer (and peer-reviewed studies, of which I found zero) will be able to.

This leads us to believe that there’s one of two options occurring:

If there is not literature on the matter, perhaps it’s never been a problem and no one’s ever felt the need to study it.

-OR-

Perhaps it IS a problem, but no one’s made the connection between said problem and silicone lubricant.

The latter of which is obviously problematic. Pregnancy, chemical leaching, and breaking the Mirena device are scary enough risks.

Our Recommendation?

We honestly don’t know the answer to this question. And we get the feeling that this is such a specific issue, we don’t know if a healthcare provider would know the honest-to-goodness answer, either, without peer-reviewed research to fall back on. Our inkling is that there wouldn’t be any issue between silicone-based lubricants and the Mirena device because A) they shouldn’t touch B) there’s only a small amount of silicone present in the Mirena, and C) there’s been no documented evidence of an issue.

But our inkling is not something to base your decision on. Talk to your doctor, then make the choice for yourself. If you feel confident that it’s not going to be an issue (i.e. you’ve used it before and never had an issue with your IUD), go for it. But if you’re new to the world of IUDs and don’t feel comfortable taking the risk, stick to water-based lubes (or oils if you’re using non-latex, non-polyisoprene condoms).

CondomDepot-News-FI-crown-condom-box-change

If that’s the decision you make, then you should also stay away from these condoms, which come pre-applied with a silicone-based lubricant:

 

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