Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Removing my Mirena

OK y'all. It seems I should let you know that before you go any further, this post is more for the ladies. Like back when we discussed o.b. gate... or a certain surgery I had. These things do not come up to often, but this is something I have to talk about. 

I'd also like to say that I full on welcome comments on this post especially, because I am still trying to make sense of things and am interested in other's experiences. I have been trying to write this post in particular for well over a month now. Only today after I left the doctor's office did I finally find the courage to put it all out there.

This afternoon, I had my Mirena removed. About 7 weeks shy of the one year mark. And I felt this instant weight lift off my shoulders.

Let me back up a little. After talking to my cousin a year ago - who loved hers - and several friends who also thought it was great - I went for it. After so many years of being on the pill I was no longer remembering to take it every single day and we aren't exactly in the financial position to have a fourth child right now. And I'm not going to lie. The thought of no periods... period... was pretty darn exciting to me as well. 

Out of everybody I knew that had a Mirena at some point, only one friend told me not to do it. She had it removed after several weeks. When I talked it over with my doctor, he told me there are so many people that don't stick with it long enough and have it removed too soon ... that it may take a few months. I didn't even need to think it over. Beginning of December 2011 it was in.

Looking back I wish I recorded everything as it happened, but I didn't. I can tell you I had my period for weeks after that... not spotting, a period period. When that finally stopped I would randomly spot. And then I would get another period. Aside from a one time stretch that went 5 glorious weeks... which happened to be when I thought the Mirena was finally working ... I started getting a period every two to three weeks. I couldn't even make the usual 4 week cycle.   

I called the doctor in the beginning to see if it was normal, at the time it was. I talked to my girlfriends - who had had better experiences. I had my Mirena's placement checked twice. Once it passed 6 months of that, I was put on the birth control pill. How is that for irony. On the pill to straighten out Mirena ... which I got so I wouldn't have to be on the pill anymore. I was told I might only need it for a month or so to regulate everything. The 1st month on the pill was great, until I got my period (when I was supposed to) - only it lasted 2 weeks. The next two cycles on the pill didn't seem to make that big a difference. I was back to a period every 3 weeks and spotting almost daily in between.

I won't even tell you how that affected certain things. But I was so determined to stick with this.  Because at some point things would have to click. They would have to. Only the last few months, I have started to have constant pain in my chest - like when I was pregnant with the kids, but without the extra cleavage this time. I got tingling in my arms that would happen randomly, but not like carpel tunnel. Constant cramping on my left side only. And horrible periods. And while I have no proof of any of this, I swear to you it hasn't done me any favors in the weight department. For the last year I have been horrified at how fast I manage to gain weight back after I lose some. 

None of it seemed right. Even if my period didn't go away on Mirena, it was supposed to get lighter. This was all wrong. I would randomly look online over the last year to see what people were saying and who was having problems. What I saw always horrified me. And yet no one I actually knew was having these experiences... so who do you believe. 

Yesterday I full on hit my breaking point. I called the doctor and they said they wanted to see me today. Last night I broke down on Al. I was done. He had told me all along that no matter what I chose it was fine... but I wanted this to work so much I didn't really want to think about taking it out after investing so much time with it already. One more cycle. A few more weeks. I thought I could will it to work somehow. I looked online some more and I could hear my friend Becca tell me what I remembered her say to me a month into Mirena when she could see the difference. If it isn't working, it isn't working.

Today I talked with the nurse at the office who agreed it didn't sound like it was for me, that it has been too long and I gave it a good try... that it is rare but sometimes a person's body will not adjust to it

Light bulb. 

I saw my doctor, who was amazing supportive and agreed it was time to come out. He made me feel good about the decision, he said how I gave it more than long enough and at this point it won't work for me. And the best part (sarcasm)... is that I am in that 1% of people whose bodies will not adjust to the mirena.  ONE freaking percent.  Because of course I am. 

I'm the girl that gets pregnant with identical twins 10 months after having a baby. I'm the girl with the complications from another surgery that they didn't see happening to me. I'm the girl that needs extra shots of novicaine at the dentist. The one who had an epidural wear off.  I always seem to be in that small percentage of hey this almost never happens, but...

And there it was. Confirmation that I had stuck with this nearly an entire year - for nothing. I didn't feel a thing when it was removed either, which seemed crazy. My body feels physically lighter, which seems ridiculous for something so tiny it weighed nothing. And I feel is extreme relief.  Like a weight lifted off of me.

My doctor apologized to me and handed me a prescription for a pill that I can take continuously so I can have a break for awhile. Which I thought was pretty funny for some reason. I can't wait to start on that after this current cycle, let me tell you.

I realize that people won't post the good stuff online generally, they only put the postings when its bad. But in the last year I have found more and more on the subject that makes me wonder. Have you been on Mirena? Tell me the good. Tell me the bad. Did it work for you? Or have you had an entire year of problems like I have.

Now I feel like I am waiting. I read about the "mirena crash" some people say they have (which is worse depending on where you read). I asked my doctor what to expect and he said nothing, that everything will just go back to normal finally. All I know is, no matter what happens, I am so glad I finally made the choice to have Mirena removed. And I wish I had done this months ago. Do you have a Mirena story? I would love to hear it!

23 comments:

  1. Hey Liza! I have had mine since May 2011. And for the most part it has been pretty good....but last spring I started getting really bad night sweats. To the point where I was sent to see an oncologist and have multiple cat scans done to rule out lymphoma. The oncologist determined that it was probably a result of the Mirena. And eventually they subsided. So I had to decide, get no period, but have occasional drenching night sweats, or take it out and have a period. I opted to leave it in :)

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    1. oh wow i can't believe you went through a whole cancer scare and it was just mirena after all that. how scary!

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  2. I didn't do the Mirena because I didn't want to be on hormones, but I did the ParaGard because it had no hormones and could last even longer. I too had friends who loved theirs, and the freedom that came with it.

    By the end, I had a period that lasted for 21 days straight. It had been getting worse each month after the first few. The midwife said that my body did NOT like foreign objects and was trying to eject it each month. (Ironically, I once had a navel ring that fell out after a year, fully closed. My body just pushed it right out.) Needless to say, no foreign objects here. :)

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this! Glad that you are getting some relief...

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    1. see that is something that never occured to me... your body not accepting it. sorry but i totally laughed about the navel ring haha!

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  3. I have been way too terrified to even try Mirena - too many stories are just like yours! I've been on the Depot shot for years and years and love it. No period - nothing, nada, zip - forever, and it helps to manage my ovarian cysts (no period doesn't mean no hormonal cycle). One major drawback: weight gain has been brutal. I've taken that on, though, because I love everything else. I hope you find something that works well for you!

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    1. i had no idea you don't get a period with the depot shot. i don't think i could handle the extra weight gain, the last few years have been aggrivating enough trying to lose more.

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  4. I had a horrible experience with the Mirena, the first time, because I have a tilted uterus. Second time I absolutely love it! I never had a mirena crash either the first time. I LOVE it this time, but I hope you get the relief you need and figured out what the problem is :)

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    1. and we did talk about that, i completely forgot. all i remembered was you saying that now its great, i forgot about that 1st time. you were the reason i had the placement checked twice ;) thank you for that!

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  5. I haven't used Mirena, because I don't actually use that kind of BC (we do "natural family planning" because that is what works for me) But a family member had a negative experience with it! I believe she now gets the depo shot.

    And my epidural (and the 4 "top offs" that followed) NEVER worked for me. At All. So, I feel you on that one!

    Sorry you went through all that!

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    1. um, you can get epidural "top offs"? lol have never heard of that. good for you with the natural planning. i know that i would never remember to look at the schedule, haha

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  6. I have had a copper IUD for 11 years, never had a problem just had it removed no ill effects. The one thing I have learned over the past year when it comes to your health is don't be quiet, don't let it go on because you are too busy or you feel like you are being a hypochondriac. If I had not called the doctor one moor time I may not be here.

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    1. 11 years? with mirena only being a 5yr thing i didn't realize you could keep something in longer like that. and i am so glad you pushed your dr's. excellent advice. xo

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  7. My first Mirena fell out. My second one has been in for quite a while. It took quite a few months for spotting to stop, now hardly ever. I'm part of the small percent also; I nedd extra novacain, my epidural failed with a 9+lb baby and to top it off I developed a very rare heart condition from my last baby.

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    1. it fell out? does that mean it wasn't placed right? what's up with being the small percent lol! sorry to hear about your heart condition after the last baby. sending you hugs.

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  8. I've never used Mirena, but I can relate to the person always being in the 1%. I have things that are so rare happen to me all the time. Must be a "Liza" thing :) Hope you get this all straightened out hon. HUGS!

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    1. it MUST be a liza thing. you are so right! ;)

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  9. Whoa! What a relief indeed. I have never tried Mirena, mostly becuase I'm scared of it. Actually I've just gone off birth-control altogether since before G was born. I just keep track of my periods on an iphone app and it keep track of my fertile days too so I can AVOID those until we are ready to expand our family. I use to have horrible periods and that is why I started BC back in high school. Now, I just figure my body should be in its own natural rhythm and it is. I hope you get some relief soon! XO

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    1. see now i think i would mess up that sort of scheduling, sometimes i forget to take the pill as it is. lol that is why i started in high school too! which is why i thought mirena would be so awesome. ugh.

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  10. I have the Mirena and I got it almost a year ago. I have no periods at all and besides the constant bloated abdomen, which i am not sure is from that or from cookies, all has been well so far. I do look forward to when my hubby gets sniped so I don't have to think about it at all any more though!

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