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ok, I have heard so many of you say you love Mirena. I am single for the first time in decades, and trying to decide what to do. I can get fixed, I can stay on the pill (no sex for you! pointlessness.), or...? What is your experience with mirena?

I figured Mirena=hormones+IUD, so horrible crampy periods, depression AND lack of libido...lovely. No thank you.

But, no periods? and yes sex drive? and no surgery? really?? Really??!

Never cheat off the dumb kid.

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I had the paraguard, which is the IUD without hormones because I refused to put them into my body. I still had horrible crampy periods and just didn't feel right. After having the thing about a year, I asked my husband to have surgery so that I could have it removed. He did and I've been without it for three months and feel so much better. One of the issues for me, I think, was that I've never had children so the insertion was extremely painful and my body was never quite the same after.

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I've had mine for a year now.

There are hormones in it but since they are released into the uterus and not via a pill they don't affect you the same way.

Getting it inserted - I was most certain the doctor (appropriately named Dr. Dick) actually stabbed a little knife into me that went deeper every time I moved.

On my way home I had to pull over because I was most certain the vibrations from the car were digging the knife deeper (get a ride home!)

When I got home I immediately went to bed and spent the next 12-18 hours moving from my bed to a hot bath, at this point being convinced she didn't insert a knife but instead lots of little gnomes that were poking me with mini tridents (ok, I may have been a little delirious)

I cried and said goodbyes. Everyone convinced me I was overreacting. I was convinced I was going to die, and this was population control by slow and miserable death, not birth control.

After I somehow got to sleep, I woke up the next day, and went to crossfit.

I had minor cramps for a day or two, was back to 100% within a week.

I had the most miserable slow light red plague for about 2 months.

Haven't had one since though.

I still get slightly crampy once a month, but nothing like what I used to get (I used to pass out from the pain)

Best decision ever. Recommend it for everyone. Seriously.

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“There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
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See that is what I am afraid of. I have had kids, so no worries there, but my periods used to be awful. Then I got on the pill and they just almost stopped, which is kind of nice, but I have zero interest in men. I am pretty sure that isn't me. I could just decide to make that me I guess, but it makes me kinda blue, too. I'm not just not interested in sex, I am sort of not interested in anything, even things I used to love. It's like the old hound you went and got fixed who just don't chase cars no more...meh. :P

yeah, I used to pass out too. major doses of painkillers and a hotpad were my only hope.

Never cheat off the dumb kid.

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See that is what I am afraid of. I have had kids, so no worries there, but my periods used to be awful. Then I got on the pill and they just almost stopped, which is kind of nice, but I have zero interest in men. I am pretty sure that isn't me. I could just decide to make that me I guess, but it makes me kinda blue, too. I'm not just not interested in sex, I am sort of not interested in anything, even things I used to love. It's like the old hound you went and got fixed who just don't chase cars no more...meh. :P

yeah, I used to pass out too. major doses of painkillers and a hotpad were my only hope.

Let me tell you, I have NO problem with your first issue.

For the second - I used to sit in this downward dog mixed with childs pose for three days pretty much praying i would keep consciousness.

Now - nothing. :)

“There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
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I'm getting mine put in next week, assuming they have open appts for me. I can't wait, but Spezzy your experience makes me a little nervous, haha. But I think it will be good.

Apparently its not as bad if you've had kids.

Also, they told me that because of how my uterus sits (kind of backwards) i'm more prone to the pain.

I know people who have gotten it and had nothing at all. Just a cramp when it was put in.

But for me? Death. Worse than biting my tongue off. For real.

“There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
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When I went in for mine I text a friend that had it that I was nervous. She sent back "good, it's going to feel like you're gonna die! I passed out." I then vowed to never text her again when I was nervous. Haha!

So I'm freaking out in my head about this whole thing and how much it was going to hurt. So I have my legs up in stirrups (awesome image, I'm sure) and the OB is just telling me to breathe normally. I stop panicking as much, and he just keeps asking if I'm okay. I tell him yes, figuring he was asking because he could see the look of terror on my face. He keeps asking me and finally I was like "YES! Okay, let's do this!" and he goes "we're done." "...Really?" "Yea. That's why I was asking if you were okay, to make sure it wasn't hurting." "Oh... Cool."

Just like that. Like Spezzy I had the 2 month plague but it wasn't that bad. Since then I've had some light cramps when I should have my period, but the flow only comes around every 4 months or so. And I'm pretty sure that's because I'm overweight, not because of anything else. But when flow comes, it's about 2 weeks of light spotting and maybe 1 day of actual regular bleeding and that's it. I've had it for 2 years.

On a side note: If you're worried about sex, too, don't be. The first month or so my old boyfriend complained about feeling the thread but after a couple months it softens and he won't feel anything. =D And I frequently question about it. Haha! I'm just awkward like that.

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Pain is weakness leaving the body.

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I've had it for a few years and love it. My cramps aren't nearly as bad as they used to be and my period's not as heavy (I rarely even have to use tampons/pads). I never wanted to go on the pill, but I didn't trust just condoms either, so now I don't have to worry :) Getting it inserted was like.... the worst pain I've ever felt (I've never broken bones or anything). I have a pretty high pain tolerance though, so it didn't get much farther than my tear ducts getting a little moist. I was a crampy for a few days after and it takes a while for your period to stabilize, but it wasn't so horrible and definitely worth it in the long run. I'm actually about to get mine replaced and apparently the procedure now (at least at Planned Parenthood) is a little different. They recommend taking pain killers two hours before (nobody told me that last time) and also give you a "local" anesthetic. I definitely recommend it.

Lulu : one that is remarkable or wonderful (it's in the dictionary, it must be true)

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I had my kid 12 years ago, and got my Mirena put in 4 years ago. The procedure wasn't bad (it did hurt a little bit, but seriously nothing major - like a pinch), I drove myself home, and went to my first Ren Fair the next day, where I walked around for a good 6 - 8 hours. No problems at all! :D I spotted for a couple of days, and haven't had spotting or a period since. I'm DEFINITELY getting another when it's time to have this one replaced.

What Spezzy said about the hormones not affecting you the same because they are localized is one of the major reasons I chose the Mirena. I'm weird about pills and things, so I never took them. Seemed like there was too much for them to mess with, and my mom had told me horror stories about her trying the pill. Also, since I don't get my period, I also don't get the crazy, crying, bloated, blegh thing going, either. ;) Love that!

The only thing that wasn't great at first was the string... I had to get it trimmed, but not for my sake. LOL Apparently, they can be a little pokey until they soften up. @_@

Just wanted to add that my desire to get laid didn't leave. :D It's actually quite nice to not have to worry, ever. :)

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Yeah, I was worried about the pill because 1) I know I could never take it at the same time every day... just wouldn't happen and 2) I had heard about fertility problems and stuff after being on the pill and I DO want to have kids someday... so that's not something I wanted to deal with.

Lulu : one that is remarkable or wonderful (it's in the dictionary, it must be true)

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I need mine changed this year and will be doing so. The best thing I ever did, because I go on extended hikes and camping and everything that Scouts do, the last thing I need is a period.

It was uncomfortable during the procedure but haven't had a problem since. Then again I had 7 kids, 5 of which were natural delivery so people messing about with me bits isn't a big deal KWIM.

4 years of freedom, count me in!

Wait! What............?

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Ouch. FWIW, I'm sticking with my Implanon.

 

How do you like it? I'm in the market for a new form of birth control, and I think the bf isn't quite ready for the vasectomy thing yet. (That would make things so much easier!) I've had horrible luck with hormonal BC in the past -- the 6 months I spent on Depoprovera was the worst of my life, and when I briefly tried the pill I was nauseous for the entire first month, plus then I had no libido whatsoever. Not gonna work for me.

 

I had a Paragard a few years back but even after 4 months of having it in I felt like it kept poking me at inopportune moments. Not cramps, but sharp pains that I just couldn't get to go away. I reluctantly had it removed and went back to condoms because I couldn't deal with it every day.

 

That said, I'm considering giving the Mirena or Skyla (a new IUD, apparently) a try, though admittedly my expectations are kinda low. That or I was looking at the Nexplanon thing. I've also heard some women say that having a Mirena has caused them to have, ahem, excessive lubrication issues. I don't particularly want to have to deal with changing my underwear multiple times a day, either.

 

Last thing, I have never had kids. Probably never will, but I'm still just barely on the fence enough that I don't want to make the commitment to sterilization.

Barbells are a girl's best friend.

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Hey ladies,

 

Thanks for this thread! I've been on birth control for 6+ years now (about the length of time me and my partner have been together). Condoms aren't really an option and plus I don't trust them as much. I took Yaz for a while and I was a goddamned mess. I remember sitting on the edge of the pool trying to motivate myself to get in for probably like 5 or 10 minutes. It was long enough that my partner came over and asked if I was alright or if I just wanted to go home. Epic birth control side effect. I'm now on the Nuvaring and I've recently gotten a little suspicious of it because I tend to be really emotional and depressed around the week that I remove it. Like to the point where I throw tantrums, cry my entire commute to work, and pretty much want to die. So I'm thinking about asking my gyno about paraguard. A coworker is getting it soon so she's been really helpful and open about discussing it. And she has similar issues to me with hormonal birth control.

 

Just one question - what are the potential side effects and how do they weigh up against birth control? I know birth control can cause blood clots in certain people which has always worried me although I have zero family history of blood clots. I have also heard of potential fertility problems after going off birth control. So what about IUDs? Is there really an increased risk of infections/STDs? I heard when they first came out that IUDs were really for women who have already had children because there is a risk of losing fertility. I want kids at some point, I just don't want to be a depressed mess for the next few years.

Amazon Warrior

29, F, 5'11 ft, 159lbs

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5

 

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With the Paragard, there's no risk of increased blood clots. That comes from hormones and copper IUDs don't have any.

 

Common side effects are heavier bleeding & stronger cramps for up to a year or longer. For some people, it never eases up. For others it does. Taking Vitamin E and Ibuprofen can help with both. I've read reports about lower back pain that starts when people get the Paragard, but I think that's uncommon.

 

Your increased risk of infections or STDs would come from not using barrier protections, not the presence of the IUD. The IUD itself does not increase your risk of infertility. When they first came out, they associated infertility with it, but it was actually an issue with STI's and pelvic inflammatory disease, not caused by the IUD.

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For what anecdotes are worth, I got a Mirena about two years ago. I had been on the pill, which I didn't have a problem with, but the Mirena is more effective, a hell of a lot easier to use (and thus more reliable) and since I'd moved to the UK it was free :)  

 

Insertion (not during a period and no kids, took ibuprofen an hour before): 2/3 wicked cramps, then a bit sore, then cramps like a medium period for about a day, and random cramping episodes for about a week after. But I cycled back to work right after and cycled home that day with just ibuprofen, so... 

 

I now get no periods at all - just very occasional spotting for half a day. It's genius! Everyone is different, etc., but in studies it's the method most women are happiest with after a year. 

 

Also, AFAIK it's actually slightly more effective than sterilisation, and certainly less hassle because it's not surgery....!

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Oh and as Spezzy says the hormone is a progesterone-only and localised, so it probably won't affect you the same way as the pill (which is an oestrogen and a progesterone and absorbed everywhere). Unless you've had a bad experience with the mini-pill (which is also progesterone-only) I'd be willing to bet the Mirena would feel better. 

 

Here's a post I always recommend for women thinking about it, about what to expect: https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/bleeding-after-a-mirena-iud-insertion-what-to-expect/

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I just got Mirena at the end of february. So far I love it. The procedure was awful. I screamed. Loudly. I also have NOT had children, which means my cervix is less stretchy and it makes the procedure more painful. The doctor had given me a script for 800mg ibuprofen and I took one about an hour before the appointment, but it didn't really help. After the thing was in, the pain subsided to the worst cramps I've ever had in my life (my cramps before had been moderate. I had to take 400mg ibuprofen for the first day of my period about every third month, after that it was more than tolerable) so the doctor wrote me a script for tramadol. I have bad reactions to hydrocodone, and I'm taking Low Dose Naltrexone for my autoimmune disease, which is an opiate antagonist (blocks opiate receptors) so opiate pain killers are contraindicated, but tramadol is considered ok if you take it 2-4 hours apart from LDN. Tramadol is AWESOME. It killed the pain, but didn't cause any weird side effects. Literally nothing. I wasn't loopy, high, tired, or sick feeling. I felt totally normal, but with no pain.

 

I had horrible cramps for the first 2 weeks, but part of that was because of all the physical trauma of actually inserting the thing and my uterus was just super pissed off. Then I spotted for 2 weeks. It slowly got heavier and heavier until it was like a light day on my normal period (so still really light) then tapered back off. Now I have some light cramping (don't even take ibuprofen, just deal with it) and light spotting for 3-4 days every 2-3 weeks. It's normal for the first 3-6 months to have really wacky periods though. But my doctor said that because my spotting is so light right now, it's a good indicator that my periods will stop all together. Some women have heavy and almost constant bleeding for the first 3-6 months. As for sex drive, I think it's actually increased. I actually initiate sex once or twice a week, instead of being all "I guess I'll do this because I'll feel guilty for making my partner go without if I don't". I will occasionally have days where I feel inexplicably sad, but I actually want to blame that on other things, like my job some days (when we get yelled at) and stuff like that.

 

I was on the pill for the last 5 years, and for the most part tolerated it well. My sex drive was meh on the pill: I didn't have an aversion to sex, but I also wasn't ready to go all the time either. My normal cycle is about 31-33 days, and the pill artificially tried to cram it into a 28 day span, so I felt like my body was always fighting against the pill. I would have spotting halfway through my cycle, and the last month I was on the pill I had my full period on the last active week of pills, a week early. 

"When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; When I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire - O be thou then the first, the one thou art; Be thou the calling before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire." - George MacDonald

 

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That said, I'm considering giving the Mirena or Skyla (a new IUD, apparently) a try, though admittedly my expectations are kinda low. That or I was looking at the Nexplanon thing. I've also heard some women say that having a Mirena has caused them to have, ahem, excessive lubrication issues. I don't particularly want to have to deal with changing my underwear multiple times a day, either.

 

Skyla is called "mirena's little sister". It's made by the same company and is basically the same only the implant is slightly smaller and it releases less hormones. It only lasts for 3 years and it's much less likely for your period to stop all together. It's the only IUD reccomended for women who have not had children in official literature, but both mirena and paragard have been used extensively in women who have not had children with no problems, it's just not in the official information. I went with mirena because not having a period sounded awesome, and I want to go through the process of getting it inserted as few times as possible!

"When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; When I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire - O be thou then the first, the one thou art; Be thou the calling before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire." - George MacDonald

 

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Just one question - what are the potential side effects and how do they weigh up against birth control? I know birth control can cause blood clots in certain people which has always worried me although I have zero family history of blood clots. I have also heard of potential fertility problems after going off birth control. So what about IUDs? Is there really an increased risk of infections/STDs? I heard when they first came out that IUDs were really for women who have already had children because there is a risk of losing fertility. I want kids at some point, I just don't want to be a depressed mess for the next few years.

 

Synthetic estrogens are what cause the increased risk of blood clots (and breast cancer). Mirena does not contain synthetic estrogens, so there is no increased risk of blood clots. Also, the STD thing is a myth. There is no increased risk of getting an STD/STI than if you didn't have the IUD. But of course, the only contraceptive methods that provide any protection against STD's are barrier methods like condoms. Any time you have skin on skin, there is a risk of passing disease, but having an IUD doesn't increase that risk any more than it already is without a barrier method.

 

In official FDA literature on IUD's they are only recommended for women who have already had children. Part of the reason is that it's easier and less painful to get the damn things in and out if you've had kids, but also because if you do manage to get pregnant while you have an IUD, it can cause loss of fertility (not sure of the mechanism, but that's what the commercials say) IUD's do have a risk of perforating the uterus (poking through the uterine wall and floating around in your abdominal cavity) which is why you have to check your strings at least once a month. However, my doctor said that if that happens, it's not actually a big deal in terms of future fertility. They fish the IUD out and the uterus heals, and you're fine. Other than the obvious risk of infection and any additional risks that come with the surgery probably required to fish the IUD out of your abdominal cavity.

 

However, Both Mirena and Paragard have been used extensively in women who have not had children without issues. There's a new IUD called Skyla that is the first IUD that is officially reccomended for women who have not had children, but as I said above, it is smaller, releases less hormone, only lasts for 3 years as opposed to 5 or 10, and you'll probably still have periods on it, though they will probably be lighter.

"When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; When I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire - O be thou then the first, the one thou art; Be thou the calling before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire." - George MacDonald

 

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Wow, old thread brought up from the dead.

 

That being said, it's relevant. I had my Mirena replaced last week (it had been 4.5 years)

 

Sharp pinch to take it out, then it hurt as bad as I remembered getting it put in, but after about 12 hours of cramps and bleeding, I've been back to normal. 

 

STILL love it, still think it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. :)

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“There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
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