After the birth of my second one I was looking at the different contraception options. I got a pamphlet from my gynae about Mirena and it looked really wonderful. I was still breastfeeding, so couldn’t go on the normal pill and the mini-pill wasn’t working for me. I’m also not good at remembering to take the pill. The dr spoke to me about permanent contraception options, but, even though I don’t want any more kids the thought of that just made me panic. In every way the Mirena sounded perfect. It is not permanent, it should stop my period, I don’t have to remember anything etc. I did a lot of reading, and I don’t know how I managed it, but I only saw the glowing reviews and managed to miss the negative press.
The first red flag was that I did not have the money to buy it. I justified putting it on my credit card, because in the long run I was going to save by not paying for contraception every month, and also not buying tampons. So the big day arrived and the second problem. I thought about the cost of buying the Mirena, but not the insertion, which also involved an ultrasound, so it was very expensive. I’ve read that it can be a bit painful, almost like have period cramps, so I wasn’t prepared at all for what followed. The gynae first tried to insert it, but couldn’t get it in, then he dilated me, almost got it in when it came out by itself, dilated more, tried getting it in. Even the gynae was exhausted by the time he got it in, and I was crying from the pain. 6 weeks before that I gave birth to my baby naturally without any meds/epidural, and this hurt a lot more. He said he’s been inserting them for years, and this was the first time he struggled like this. It’s is always wonderful to hear you’re a first….
I had to take some time to recover in his examination room before I could walk. The cramping started immediately. It felt the same as labour pains. Not constant, but every now and again I had to stop what I was doing just to breathe and get through the cramps. I was assured this was normal and I didn’t need to worry about it. It lasted for 2 months. I had very heavy bleeding and because of the Mirena I couldn’t use tampons, so it was back to pads. I was also assured the bleeding would not last long. I was also having a lot of lower back pain and constant headaches. Also zero sex drive…but that could be from having a constant period. It would be heavy for 3 days, then spotting for a week, if I’m lucky a clear day, and then back to the heavy period. I experienced dizziness often, and was more tired than ever before in my life, itchiness all over and hair loss.
I kept on thinking of the money that I spend on it, and if I just stick it out it will get better. About 6 months after I got it I went back to the gynae. Another expensive appointment because he had to do another ultrasound. The Mirena moved and was embedded in my uterine wall. According to him it should still work as contraception (he didn’t sound very confident to me), and it was very common that it happens. He gave me a one month supply of a hormone pill that would stop the bleeding, but I couldn’t take it while breastfeeding. When I stopped breastfeeding I took the pill, and it did stop the bleeding. But the day after taking the last one I was back to bleeding, and to get more pills I had to make another appointment.
16 months after getting the Mirena I went my first week without bleeding. And then the pregnancy symptoms started. I picked up weight, my stomach was bloated, nauseous, and it felt like I could feel a baby kicking. I was 100% sure that I fell pregnant somewhere along the line, and just didn’t realise it (it can happen). Pregnancy tests were negative. But then I Googled Mirena and pregnancy symptoms, and discovered it is a very common side effect. I don’t know how you are supposed to know if you are pregnant or having the fake pregnancy symptoms. Somewhere in between the reading I saw that they’ve downgraded it from being 99% effective to 95% effective, but even at 99% it means 1 out of every 100 women with it still falls pregnant.
It is now 18 months after insertion, and I now have a week of full period, a week spotting then a week without a period, but never know when it will start again, or when I’ll be spotting. My husband just went for a vasectomy (also with complications….it’s like the universe wants us to have more children) and when he gets the all clear from that then I’ll have the Mirena removed. Because it is in my uterine wall it would probably have to be under general anaesthetic, and then I have the Mirena crash to look forward to.
Please read the following about the lawsuit against the Mirena manufacturers and the dangers of it moving to different parts of your body, as well as the future miscarriage risk