Musings of a working Mom

Posts tagged ‘Mirena’

Mirena – The Final Chapter

The dreaded Mirena is finally out. My last Mirena post the Mirena was found on the x-ray. After that post I was booked into the hospital for a laparoscope, a D&C and a possible hysteroscope. This was booked for 3 days before my Drakensberg trip, but I just wanted the thing out. The gynea said beforehand that she was worried that it might be stuck in my bladder and that could’ve caused severe damage, but luckily it wasn’t the case. It was right next to my large intestine, and was apparently quite a struggle to get it out. I did get some graphic pictures of the operation, proving that the Mirena is out. 

….and found

Two months ago I blogged about my Mirena that the gynae couldn’t find (here’s the full post). Quick recap was the gynae did an ultrasound, couldn’t find it, and when I asked if I could go for x-rays he said I’m welcome to go on my own, but he won’t refer me.

I immediately looked for another gynae, and the one I found had a 2 month waiting list, and yesterday was the big day. At first I was 100% convinced that it was still in me, but as time went by these past 2 months I started doubting myself, and even considered cancelling the appointment. Luckily I didn’t.

From the start of the appointment I found her easier to talk to, so that was a good sign. When I gave her the background and said how much it hurt going in she said it must’ve embedded in the uterine wall. When he inserted it he did an ultrasound and assured me everything was fine, and when I phoned his offices saying I think something is wrong the receptionist said everything is okay and I don’t need to come for a check-up, and only when I eventually made an appointment a few months later did he see that it was embedded.

She said that it was very possible that it could’ve migrated to another part of my body, and that it was very important to get the x-rays because it could be dangerous, and even life threatening. She also warned me it is possible that it could’ve fallen out, and that the side effects I was feeling was ‘in my head’. I went from her offices straight to x-rays (luckily her office is at the hospital). Interesting was a sign that was up at the x-ray department saying that you have to be referred by a doctor, so I would not have been able to go on my own. While the x-ray was done the radiographer asked me if we’re looking for the Mirena, because she sees it in there. I almost burst into tears when hearing that.

Now I’m just waiting to hear from the gynae when we can remove it laparoscopically. So glad that it is almost over.

Edit: Something I found out recently. In America they’re advising that women should not get the Mirena inserted 6 weeks after surgery, and also not if breastfeeding. It increases the chances of migration (getting lost in your body). And they’ve said that from 2008, so it’s not recent advice. Mine was inserted exactly at 6 weeks, and I was breastfeeding. Also, if it has migrated it increases the amount of hormones in your body, and I was breastfeeding for 14 months. Now I’m very worried that I might’ve caused damage to my little boy.

Here is a bad quality cellphone pic of the x-ray.

MirenaFound (Small)

 

 

Mirena: And the Saga continues

LostPoster

So my Mirena woes continue. If you’ve missed it before I blogged about all the side effects I’ve been having here. Husband went for a vasectomy and got the all clear that I could get the Mirena removed. I was very nervous for my appointment, seeing that the Mirena was embedded in my uterine wall the last time it was checked, but also very happy to finally be rid of the thing.

At the appointment the dr starts checking and first says he can’t find the strings. That’s not exactly news to me, as he couldn’t find the strings the previous time. So he is poking around while I’m trying not to freak out. He then tries an ultrasound…nothing, can’t find it. He then tried an internal ultrasound, still nothing. He did find a big cyst though. He said he thinks that the Mirena fell out at some stage without me noticing and that the cyst is causing my constant periods, and he gave me meds to stop the bleeding.

I can remember reading that the Mirena can move to different parts of the body, but didn’t want to sound stupid mentioning it. The moment I left the office I was Googling missing Mirena. Turns out in 1 in a 1000 women it goes through the uterine wall and gets stuck in other organs. From what I’ve seen on the internet it looks like it can be quite dangerous and that you can get more of the hormones that you would normally get. The other people on the internet were all referred for x-rays to find the missing device.

I phoned the gyneas offices, and the receptionist went to ask him if I can go for x-rays. She came back with a message that he says it wouldn’t be in another part of my body, but I’m welcome to go to x-rays out of my own (which would mean medical aid won’t pay). She actually laughed at me.

I made an appointment at another gynae at a different hospital, but will have to wait for more than 2 months to get in there. On the one hand I can be totally paranoid and that all my symptoms could be from the Mirena crash, but the Mirena in another part of my body will explain the bleeding, tiredness, constant headaches etc.

Mirena

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
http://www.drugwatch.com/mirena/lawsuit/

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