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What do you do when two is enough?

About a year after our second child was born,  we started thinking in earnest about birth control.  I'll be honest: we were never good at addressing birth control.  We didn't have any real good "method".  The array of hormone-based options out there right now is pretty expansive: Depo-Provera - the injection every 12 weeks; Norplant - the surgically inserted progestin lasting 5 years; Ortho-Evra - the weekly patch; The Pill - the daily dose of hormone ; and Mini-Pill / POP (Progesterone Only Pill) - apparently suitable for nursing moms.  Despite all these options, there was one thing I knew for sure - I didn't want to do the hormone thing.

So, then there are the barriers: Diaphragm, Cervical Cap, the Sponge.  Condoms, of course, are condoms.  Cumbersome and inconvenient.

Then, there was one other thing I had always heard about but never thought too hard about: the IUD.  There are two IUDs: a hormonal IUD called "Mirena" and a copper IUD called "Paraguard".  I was intrigued.  My doctor walked me through the IUD process.  Insertion was relatively easy, but the uterus usually responds angrily with the insertion of a foreign object.  So, "expect really, really bad cramps for a day or two after insertion," she said.  With Mirena (the hormonal one), users tended to have fewer and lighter periods.  WIth the Paraguard (the copper one), users tended to have more intense periods.

Well, if I couldn't persuade my husband to do the *snip-snip* (and since we weren't even sure if we were really done), I decided to give the IUDs a try.  It sounded great.  Worry-free sex!  Leave it in for 5 (the hormonal Mirena) or 10 (the copper Paraguard) years!  I was so very apprehensive about the low levels of hormone that the Mirena emits in the uterus, but my doctor convinced me that the levels were so low and trasmitted very locally (and not systemically like the Pill, Depo, etc).  So, I chose the Mirena, also because of the period-supression.  Worry-free sex AND a period-free life!  Sounded too good to be true.

I guess it was too good to be true.  After about six months, my body started changing in very small ways.  If I wasn't so hyper-sensitive, I may not have noticed.  I had a dull pain in my lower back and I felt ever-so-slightly bloated everywhere.  One night, I googled the heck out of "Mirena side effects weight gain" and found several message boards where women talked about Mirena's negative side effects.  I think Mirena has few and far between negative effects, but some women did experience similar things that I was experiencing.  So, the next morning, I made a quick appointment to get the thing out.  It was easy.

That was about 4 months ago, and we've been practicing our haphazard birth control.  And, I am finally going to bite the bullet and try the Paraguard.  I know, I know.  They say you get earth-shattering, god-awful periods.  But, everyone is different.  They said I'd love the Mirena.  And, I didn't.  So, I'll try it.  I always said I'd be willing to try everything once.  My appointment is Monday.

Finally, I leave you with some insight given to me via email from a [male] OB-GYN friend:

The Ortho-Evra patch is a great invention.  It's probably the most commonly prescribed birth control these days - it's taking over the pill.  It works just like the pill in terms of hormones, and the advantage is that you only have to change the patch once a week.  Yes, once a week.  It stays on your skin, surprisingly, despite taking baths, swimming, etc.  You put it on once a week for 3 weeks and the 4th week is patch free (when you have your period - like the placebo week of the birth control pills).  The side effects are similar to the pill - some breast tenderness, a bit of nausea (yet less than the pills), but NOT weight gain.  Also, because it's a patch, the most common side effect is local redness where the patch is placed.  Overall, women LOVE this because of the ease of use.

The IUD (intrauterine device) is quite good as well.  This is for monogamous ladies who want longer acting contraception.  There is a 10-year IUD (Paraguard) and the 5-year IUD (Mirena). Basically it's placed into the uterus, an office procedure, and there's little pain involved and it's quick.  The advantage of this is that it provides over 99% protection from pregnancy without needing to take a pill, a shot, etc.  It's low maintenance.  The side effects of the Paraguard IUD is that the periods can initially be longer than usual and this may last for many months.  Also there may be a clear discharge from the vagina - many women love this as well.  The Mirena IUD is a bit different - not only because it lasts 5 years but it's actual realeases hormones, progesterone-type, in the uterus.  (vs. Paraguard which is made of copper) This only acts on the uterus and has very minimal effect on the blood - essentially none.  Women love this because after one year of use, your period decreases by 80-90%.  Yes, I said 80-90%.  Some women even stop having their periods.  We use this device for women who are bleeding too much and don't want surgery.  Anyways, those who WANT a period will not like these "side effects" of Mirena.  Most people don't want their period.

Both are great.  If you're looking for something longer term, easily reversible (can just pull the IUD out and there's no delay in trying to get pregnant) and low maintenance then the IUD is a great way. But it's all preference.

Comments

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What about the boy being snipped? My husband has volunteered. I was worried, but it actually is reversable (not 100% of the time, but most of the time from what I have been told...) if ya'll change your mind and is not a big scary procedure. Ask your OB about it if your honey is open to it.

Oops, sorry.. you mention that you aren't sure you are done.. :) Must pay closer attention!

Wow. Such great info. I too, don't wanna do the hormone thing at all. I did it when I was in my early 20s for 5 yrs and that was enough! The caveat on the commercials is enough for me: "may cause stroke or heart attack or blood clots in some women". That's all I need to hear. Plus the fact that all those synthetic hormones give me headaches. Your post has some really useful info!

FYI...there was a new warning about blood clots last week - http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/11/10/patch.warning.ap.ap/index.html - so i don't think that'll be an option for us. the mini-pill is supposed to be good, like you said, for nursing moms, but you have to take it at the EXACT same time every day for it to be truly effective, and i know that i'd never be able to do that.

Thanks for your post. I am really curious to hear how the Para Gard works for you. I got it about a month ago and the verdict is still out. It is really nice to be off hormones! The downside is that I have been feeling kind of crampy in between periods, but I am hoping that it all settles down.
Good luck!

Any updates from the Paraguard mamas? I'm still on the fence about which, if any, IUD to get. I'd love to hear more about them from those of you who use them!

I loved my Paraguard (had it out recently after 6 months use). I had been on the pill for YEARS and started getting serious migraines every pms week, and my dr said my body was reacting to so many years of hormones. Getting the Paraguard in was a little painful, crampy, but an advil knocked it out and after that it was great. It made my periods a little heavier and an extra day or two, but otherwise it was great for me. The only reason I got it removed is that we decided to have another baby.

I have a Paraguard and also love it. My husband and I are also on the fence about a third. I have had it for about 4 months now and my period was defiantly heavy and lasted a day or so longer. But these were also my first periods since I got pregnant with my son a 1.5 years ago. My only problem now is I can't find my strings. (You should check your strings are there after every period.) I went to the Dr last week to get an ultrasound to see if it was still there and it is. Man, that would be a bummer! But the dr still doesn't know what to do if I can't check the strings every month. I'll update when they come up with some thing.

I think the Paraguard is as good as it gets, second only to the snip-snip. I like that the Paraguard is non-hormonal. I never have managed to figure out how to check the strings. Periods are definitely more abundant than I have ever known. Aside from that, I can't think of any other major side-effects. Paraguard gets my vote.

I just got my paraguard on July 27th. Everything has been fine. But I started bleeding this week, at first very light. But now, I feel like there's a fountain between my legs!!! I'm not cramping at all, but I;m bleeding something awful. I also want to know from other users: has anyone felt very bloated since the Paraguard??

I have the Paraguard (now, but formerly the Mirena) and fountain flow is now the norm. This time around, though, we didn't have the same sort of torrential downpour. But, they say that's the side-effect: crazy abundant periods. Not painful, just abundant. I may feel a bit bloated, but I have to say I felt more bloated with the Mirena. I am glad about my choice with the copper stuff.

What about length? Are your periods longer than before with the Paraguard? (After I whelp out baby #2 this fall, we'll need to do some thinking). And does insurance cover it like any other prescription bc?

I am getting a mirena fitted because I have severe migraines but, I am frightened it may not work. I have tried many migraine perscibed tablets,health tablets and other alternatives but nothing has worked.Just the mention of the mirena freaks me out,I would prefere to be asleep.Has anyone been in my position?I am eager to know if there is someone out there like me.Please help me.

My husband and I used condoms for many years because I just hated the pill...it made me feel queasy and bloated and pissed off. I also ended up developing an allergy to latex so we had to use the super-expensive and kinda yucky non-latex condoms. Anyway, as we got more to the stage of feeling like it wouldn't be terrible if we had an accident and ended up with a baby, I started using Ortho Options Conceptrol gel - it's in a handy little injector thingy and although it takes a sec to put it in it really isn't too bad. My husband loved it, I liked it a LOT better than condoms and we didn't get pregnant for over two years. We actually started to think maybe we couldn't have a baby since I didn't have that much faith that the gel on it's own was good protection. Well, I stopped using the gel and was pregnant in a month! So, I guess it worked and I would reccomend it for anyone who doesn't want hormones or metal things in their body...although I doubt it's as bullet-proof as an IUD or patch.

I have had the paraguard for over 10 years and I'm due to get it out. It has been great. Maybe I'm lucky, but other than the unpleasant pain during the insertion my periods have been normal and I've had no side effects. I'm supposed to get a new one and my doctor has suggested the mirena but I'm not sold on the progesterone. Some studies suggest the paraguard can last longer than 10 years but I hate to be the guinea pig.

I've had the Paraguard twice, once before kids for 2 years, once after my first child for 2.5 years. I had increased cramping for a few months and my periods were definitely heavier, especially if you compare them to being on the Pill. I tried EVERY brand of the Pill and got tired of my docs telling me there was no way low-dose hormones could cause weight gain and mood swings. I would go off the Pill and lose 5-10 pounds in a week! Plus I was moody. I just couldn't stand the Pill. I just had my second child and will now get my 3rd IUD. I don't recommend them for women who have never had a child, as my periods were painful when I had the IUD before having my kids. However, even though my periods were heavy, they were not painful after the first couple of months. It's worth it to not be moody and stay thin.

Wow, I got a Mirena inserted today. This site is neutral on it compared to some of the boards. I’m really concerned that I’ve made a big mistake. I didn’t ask enough questions. My doctor didn’t give me all the risk info. She even went so far as to say that she’s been curious about Mirena but she is on the pill. I didn’t really think about that statement until I got home. The pamphlet has only a partial list of side effects. I’m trying hard to resist the urge to dash to her office to have it removed. Stroke runs in my family, as does breast cancer, and who has got time for migraines, mood-swings, acne or weight gain etc.? Has anyone had a positive experience with Mirena? I will be really disappointed if my Ob steered me wrong on this. I know, my responsibility to do the do diligence, still very disappointing.

I got mirena in the fall of 2005, after being on depo provera for about a year.I'm pre menopausal and was having extremely heavy periods. The depo worked for about 10 months then the bleeding started again. I had some bleeding and spotting for the first 6-8 weeks after the mirena was inserted. After that, I had a light period (more like a day or so of spotting) every 4 or 5 weeks. It's now late march 2007 and I haven't even had spotting . I was booked for a follow up visit about a month later to check that it was still in the right place and then had the mirena checked again after a year during my annual physical.
I was informed by the Doctor before I chose the mirena of what to expect in the first few weeks, Irregular spotting and some heavy cramping when it was inserted and for a few days following. Those were exactly what I experienced and none of the other side effects she had discussed with me.
I visited one of the mirena side effects sites too. Some of the comments alluded to there being little information accompanying the product. Perhaps U.S. regulations regarding the disclosure of such information differs from Canada's because I found no lack of information with the product at all. Both common and rare side effects were listed and nothing I read on the complaint sites was news to me.
I tend to take some of those sites with a grain of salt. If you scroll down and look at the sponsors and donators of one site in particular you will find a list that is full of Homeopathic and Alternative Remedy companies. Their products are in direct competition with those of the pharmaceutical companies.

Addendum...I will be 49 in a couple of months. My Doctor's intention was to find something to relieve the extremely heavy periods I was having and provide birth control. The mirena was her initial recommendation but I chose the depo. I'm glad I switched to mirena and it should see me through menopause.

I got pregnant on the pill and with the patch. I am using Mirena now, and I have no problems at all. Since, I am still breastfeeding, I haven't even had a period.

I can "feel" it once in awhile, but that's all.

I've had the Mirena since my 19mo old daughter was six weeks old. LOVE IT! Like others, very mild periods, more like spotting for a day. I've not had any weight gain, acne, or any other side effects. It's been the perfect choice for me.

Have had mirena since my son was about 5 months old (my first). It's been in for about three months and I'm way less moody than being on the pill, but I can't feel the strings. Going to get it checked out this week, but I noticed others said they couldn't feel theirs either and was wondering how common this is.

i've had mirena for about a year now and have noticed few side effects. apparently the strings are rather, um, pokey... but mine have been missing for a while. i had an ultrasound about a month ago and found that the IUD is in place. often, the OB trims the strings to avoid that annoying (to your partner) poke, and they further recede after that.

other than that, i had normal periods for the first 10 months or so; in the last two months, they've been markedly lighter (3 days instead of 5, far less flow).

the only problematic issue i've run across is dull, achey crampiness near my ovaries when i'm ovulating. the ultrasound checked that, too, and apparently everything is fine - it's simply a side effect.

overall, i'm happy with mirena. i'm the worst at consistently taking pills, despised the patch that i tried (yucky sticky rings -think of the sticky goo your kids' stickers leave everywhere, then multiply that to small circles on your skin), and lost a couple nuva rings (still don't know where they ended up!).

we're pretty sure (well, i'm sure, but i'm outnumbered around here) that we're done having babies, so it's a perfect option for me.

oh, and one more thing. even though advances have definitely been made in the IUD world, my mom had a copper IUD in the 70s and suffered a minor stroke due to the device. that kept me as far away from the copper version as humanly possible. it's just one more thing to worry about for me, as the likelihood of it happening to me may be genetically based.

Hope,
I just had mine checked (and this is a new doctor, not the one who put it in) and she said that my strings are pretty short. She advises women to periodically check the strings, but she said I probably wouldn't be able to find mine because of their length. She said that's pretty common though and not anything to worry about.

I have also heard a few things about our parents' generation having health complications with the copper IUD. I am hoping that the modern-day copper IUD is new and improved, seeing as I did end up going with the Paraguard after a year with the Mirena.

On checking the strings: I tired and tried and tried and finally felt the strings one day. It must have taken a year of intermittent trying. More recently, I haven't been able to feel the strings, and I am just hoping that my provider can assure that all is fine during my annual checkup.

i've been glad to find this site. i'm researching mirena as a birth control option after i give birth to our 2nd child. i had previously takent eh pill for close to 15 years and never had any problems with it; however, i've recently found out that i have a gene mutation which makes me more likely to develop blood clots...no more estrogen for me. so my dr recommended mirena as the most effective option but gave me other options as well. i've read so many message boards with horror stories about the negative side effects, and it's refreshing to read more normal sounding negatives as well as some positive experiences.

for those of you who experienced the more negative side effects for more than the first 6 weeks or so, did you also have issues with other hormonal birth control, or no?

thanks for any input...i'll keep on researching.

I had Mirena inserted five weeks ago and have had a few side effects that I was wondering if anyone else has experienced. Along with light bleeding everyday since insertion I've had "hot flashes" on and off...I'm nearing menopause yet didn't have any hot flashes prior to getting the Mirena. I was experiencing heavy bleeding every month (with no end in sight) and chose the Mirena versus having an ablation done to control the problem. Any comments would be appreciated!

I agree that the Copper IUD is good for people who are in a steady relationship, and the men are scared to get snipped. Or for the women who don't want to under go surgery to get their tubes tied. I've had my copper IUD for a little over two years. Everything is great other than the periods(a little longer, stronger). I have two wonderful boys. My husband would love a girl but as of right now I'm happy. The IUD gives me control of the choice, like when or if we will have one more. Besides it gives me the piece of mind that we can "practic" and not worry about getting pregnant. I recommend it to any one who has one partner that wants control over their bodies.

hi, I have read all the posts. I got my mirena 8 weeks postpartum after baby #3, last ditch effort to try something reversible since I can't take the pill anymore due to vascular problems. Hubby said he'd get snipped, and is still willing to do it (grudgingly) since our long awaited baby boy arrived after two girls. I was excited about the prospect of no periods. I had a paragard before I got pregnant this last time and I couldn't stand the gushing, two boxes of super plus tampon periods and I swear I could feel the stupid thing in there just about all the time. Not anything real painful, just mild crampyness, but just constant. I always knew it was in there.

The mirena was great for about six months while I breastfed. I chalked up the low sex drive, lack of lubrication, and painful intercourse to breastfeeding and exhaustion. I had no bleeding at all for six months, but then in Jan. started spotting. Every day. Not a lot, not enough for a tampon, but enough for a pad. I buy them in bulk now. I get up every morning and start bleeding. I bleed when I exert myself or exercise. I feel mildly achy and crampy all the time. I can deal with it, I guess, if it will go away at some point, but it's been three months and no end in sight.

Any one else had this experience? I'm thinking that the constant spotting is because I didn't bleed for half a year, but thought it would let up after month #3. My libido is still pretty much non existent.

Kathleen - I'm five weeks into the Mirena today. I had my period when it was inserted and I've had it every day since. I too have been experiencing peri-menopausal (I'm 40) related heavy bleeding alternating with no period but constant spotting. All in all I haven't had a blood free day since last November. After all the tests and ultrasounds it was recommended that I try the Mirena before the ablation or hysterectomy options. So far - I haven't seen any improvement in the bleeding. In fact it is worse. I expected this and was asked by my GYN to wait 6 weeks before calling. I haven't had real cramps since I gave birth to my sons over a decade ago but they were back with a vengeance for the last few days so I decided to google for similar stories. I've been on this computer for 4 hours reading comments about Mirena. I'm a little freaked out by some of what I'm seeing but haven't had any of the bad side effects others are complaining about. I have had an almost daily headache but not too severe. I take anti-biotics for acne but have noticed a few bumps more than usual but not enough to be worried yet. I haven't had any joint pain and no hair loss. I do think weight gain/bloating could be an issue. I'm supposed to start a marathon training regimen this month - partly as a challenge to lose the weight I've put on in the last few years. If I have more weight gain AND sore joints I'll go crazy. I'm going to keep poking around and will check back to postings here and some other sites for more info. I'll also definitely be following up with my doctor at 6-weeks regardless of the bleeding. A girlfried had an ablation last year. I'm meeting up with her this week for a drink and recommendation.

I had the Mirena for 9 months. I am posting just to say that I am glad that the Mirena does not affect everyone in a negative way. I know women personally that have had positive experiences with it. I did not. We are all different and to say we all would react to the same medications or hormones would be crazy. I had all the extreme symptoms that are on the other sites mentioned above, I only found those homeopathic sites because I "googled" side effect of the Mirena and I thank god I found that site because it answered all the questions that I had for the previous 9 months. It was a scary 9 months, I really thought I was going mentally ill or was going to be diagnosed with a terrible disease. I was seeing a Neurologist, had CAT scans, blood work like crazy, you name it, I was probably tested for it. My OBG-YN said it couldn't be the Mirena. That is where this site and the others are a godsend, because we need the knowledge ourselves. If you want to try the Mirena, go for it. If you start to feel any of the symptoms we talk about, then you know it's the Mirena, get it removed. If it works for you, that's terrific. We have given you the knowledge of what to look out for when the doctors and manufactures do not. Actually, Berlex has been calling me and all my symptoms have been recorded with them. I would advise anyone who has negative symptoms to call them, they have a phone number specifically for negative side effects. I hope this helps.

I've had the Mirena for about two years now. I've had some issues, but nothing that makes us regret our decision. We don’t want any more kids (I'm 38) and my husband (37) is completely willing to get a vasectomy, which I feel is our only other realistic option (besides Paraguard), but that’s still too permanent for us, I think (you never know). Overall, my periods are definitely lighter than before and with less cramping. Mirena has made me a casual observer of bodily functions I formerly kept close tabs on. Am I sad? Hell no. I have tried only twice to feel for the strings early on and gave up. I think checking those strings is something the manufacturer and health care workers tell you to do to cover their asses. If I had time to do that, in a place convenient for such a personal chore at the time I thought about it, I’d also have clean roof gutters! Besides, I have trouble believing that thing could just slip out without my noticing it (have y'all seen it?). I’ve had two annual exams since I had it inserted and everything’s fine. I spot at what I feel are odd times, but then again, I have no idea when my period’s coming or how long it’s been gone. When I do spot, the consistency is such that it only shows up on toilet paper; seldom on my panties. There was a series of cycles a year ago in which my period was heavier and went on into weeks (like two) so a midwife affiliated with the team who inserted it gave me a Rx for birth control pills to help my body remember what a normal cycle was and that (or something) worked. My libido lately has crashed (so I don’t even feel like pleasuring myself), but I don’t blame Mirena because I’ve also had times where my sexual appetite has been voracious with Mirena.
Ladies, our bodies are so mysterious and wondrous that there’s no telling how any bc method will affect anyone, just generalities. If something about your body seems off while using any hormonal birth control method, maybe it’s not the hormones, maybe it is.
All we can do is make the best decision with the facts at hand about the method and its risks and benefits in light of our particular circumstances and risk factors and go from there. The good news is that all side effects, if that is truly what they are, will likely end soon after the hormone or foreign substance is removed. I, for one, can put up with a hell of a lot in exchange for the low failure rate of Mirena (reduced somewhat because I don’t check my strings – whatever), it’s safety and ease of use, if it means we won’t have another baby. Good luck!

Reagon: If I were you, I'd check the strings. Lost IUD's have worked their way up to the stomach cavities on a few girls at curezone and required surgery to have them removed. That is one of the reasons your Dr. told you to check the strings. They can come out on their own, and they can find their way and work themselves into your body. I'd rather let my gutter's go, and make sure my health is intact.

How can an IUD get lost in your stomach cavities? lol That makes no sense. The uterus is a "one way street" only opening up at the vagina. what goes in that way, comes out that way. The only place an iud could get lost is down the toilet, but I doubt an IUD could simply fall out between the neck of the uterus. Maybe after some 20 kids it might. :D

I've just seen my gynae today because I'me having an extremely heavy period that so far has lasted 15 days. The uterus lining is very thick and with this problem, I'm more likely to develop pre-cancerous cells. My gynae has recommended Mirena and I'm sat here googling the side effects... I think I'm happy to try it once. If it doesn't work out for me, I'll remove it. But I guess the fact that it's a contraceptive too is a bonus in my case. I think I could put up with feeling a little bloated than dealing with cancer or another 9 months of puking my guts out, er, I mean pregnancy.

There are more than 3 people on curezone that their IUD's have been lost in their uterus. They become a mass of a blood clot, actually one girl is pregnant because the IUD moved up. Now she is so concerned because of what effects these hormones will do to her baby. Or if she can carry a pregnancy with foreign matter in her uterus. Read the posts. Another had her IUD work it's way through her uterus into her stomach cavity. I don't think she's LOL. Use the Mirena at your own risk, but it's a risk I don't want to take. Good luck.

Be skeptical about IUD horror stories. It is worth noting that people who are finding this site and other sites regarding IUDs most likely:
• haven't chosen, but are researching;
• have IUDs and think (or know) they are having problems with them;
• are on some sort of crusade for or against them for whatever reason; or
• are regular visitors to this particular site and decided to chime in because of all the free time on their hands even though they have no beef whatsoever with IUDs.
In other words, the overwhelming majority of IUD users (Mirena or Paraguard) are quietly living lives relatively free of the worry of unplanned pregnancies or complications and don't have much reason to seek out IUD information or post comments. Me personally, I wouldn't be here except that I discovered at an annual exam last week that I left a tampon in for three weeks (mi vida loca) and the IUD may have to be removed because of the risk of infection (I'm on plenty of antibiotics, btw). I just wanted to do a little more looking to see if I should get the Paraguard this time. I'll stay with Mirena.

Well, glad to have a place to share our concerns on all this!! I have my second Mirena, now for 5 months, and am starting to doubt my decision. After the birth of my second child, I had my first Mirena inserted. Within months my periods ceased - Yeah!- but in hindsight, that was the biggest positive. I had it in for a year and 1/2, and noticed that while I didnt gain weight, I was unable to lose any!! (must admit I am not a big exerciser anyway, but even with healthy diet and exercise of chasing 2 kids, couldnt shed ANY!I used to have a great metabolism!)I started having joint pain esp. in my hips (similar to round-ligament pains)so bad I couldnt sleep at night. And I started to get these really big, painful, cystic acne outbreaks... unusual because during my teens, on the pill, or with pregnancy I have always had great skin! My husband also complained about my lack of sex drive... but I wrote it ALL off as being a part of our busy lifestyle w/ the kids, work, etc. Then, after a year and 1/2 of wearing Mirena, the worst possible side effect happened to me- I became pregant, ectopically. While Mirena lessens your chances of getting pregnant, it does in fact increase the chances of any pregnancy you may have, being ectopic. (this IS in fine print on the Berlax info...) I had to go thru chemo-like treatment to "treat" the pregnancy, which was 6 horrific weeks of feeling lousy, and I had to have the Mirena removed.Then, I went on the pill for 6 months, and my skin looked great, and I felt pretty good, but didnt like having my periods again, and was very weary of getting pregnant, (I was on the pill when I became pregnant with both of our children! That's why I went to Mirena!) After discussion with my doc, and still not wanting to take any permanent couse of action, I opted for another Mirena, and my Dr. also had confidence that this was fine. I liked that with Mirena I had no periods and could have sex without fear (well... not so much after last time)...
Now, five months into this New Mirena, I am noticing again, I have ZERO interest in sex; The thought of it actually kind of repulses me! My joints and hips feel swollen and sore. I am back to feeling bloated, and the cystic acne is has returned with zeal. If I look at pictures of myself, I looked so much better for that 6 months I was on the pill. I've also noticed that my energy level is nil- I feel almost the way you do during the first month of pregancy--CONSTANTLY!! Tired, moody, achy, blah.(Def.NOT pregnant!) I am seriously thinking about getting rid of this Mirena!!! Now that I've had the opportunity to compare the difference, I'm sure that's the cause of all my ailments!!
This is not a "horror story" I am using to scare anyone away from Mirena. If you are considering Mirena, you should simply be aware that there may be more side effects than what your doctor informs you about, and you may physically notice a difference when using Mirena. Obviously, I have some confidence in it, as I have used it twice. I am just wondering now if it is worth it... Like Reagon said, our hormones make us each react differently to these things, and we may never really know what causes what.... but it's nice to know we're not alone!

I can not believe all of this...I was googling Mirena side effects when I stumbled across this board. I am planning on making an appointment to take my IUD out ASAP. I have been using Mirena for almost 3 years and have been writing off symptoms for almost a year now. I thought I was just struggling with loosing weight. I have NEVER had acne problems until using this product. I thought it was due to stress or some kind of product my skin might be reacting to. I also have had a decreased interest in sex and moody. The worst however is the pain in my lower abdomen especially after sex. I am over this product!

Wow, I feel like I definitely did not do my full research before getting the Mirena five months ago. I have the following side effects: zero libido, acne, trouble losing the baby weight, moody and tending toward depressed, vaginal dryness, and pain in lower abdomen after sex (the FEW times I will, out of pity, grant him the opportunity...)

I am going to get mine removed. Thanks, you guys, for sharing...

It has been two months since I have had Mirena inserted. I am retaining water like crazy, my skin feels like it is being stretched. I must have gained close to 20 lbs in a month. Now it makes sense why my face is breaking out. It also definately has affected sex, I haven't read anyone elses comments, but it has affected my orgasms. I don't seem to be "tuned in" as much.

It is nice to actually read a few good stories about the Mirena. Just had my second daughter and want to call it quits, but I think my husband still secretly wants to try for a boy. I have had the Mirena for one week now. Insertion was painful (not too bad) and I was crampy and nauseous that day. But now I am only feeling crampy every now and then. I think it is worse when I sit for long periods of time. Spotting is daily but I do not even need a pad. My face broke out for the first time in a long time yesterday and it seems a bit oilier. Both my sister and a close friend have the Mirena and they love it. I plan on discussing their experiences in more detail this weekend. I used to have the Norplant and I believe the hormone in Mirena is the same, levonogesteral? sp? I could not gain weight on the Norplant, so it would be great if the Mirena was the same. I still need to lose about 20 lbs to get all of the baby weight off. We'll see!

I have had mirena for 18 months but did not start experiencing side effects until about 6 months ago. I was thrilled with it and recommended it to 2 friends. But now I am ready to have it out to be done with the headaches, depression, mood swings, itchy skin, weight gain and inability to lose weight, bloated feeling and complete lack of sex drive. I feel horrible for my husband. He had started doubting our marriage and thought I should go to counseling. I am not sure what I will do after we have baby #2 (not trying yet but in the next year) for bc, but not mirena...I will need to do a lot more research or hope my husband will get snipped.

Thanks so much for sharing!! I attributed all the side effects most of you all have been having to age. I have had the mirena for almost 2 years ( I'm 42) and have gained weight, had more headaches and acne etc. even though I still exercise 6 days a week, eat healthy, and have run a marathon I can't lose any weight. It was getting depressing, and I finally thought the only thing that has been different in the past 2 years, besides getting a little older, is getting the mirena. I'm getting it out ASAP. The only downside will be dealing with heavy periods again. We are done having kids, so my husband is going to have to deal with getting snipped.

The so-called horror stories about Mirena are not all exaggerated. Well, at least not mine. I had it inserted 7 weeks after my second child's birth. I had some extreme cramping at the time of insertion, but felt ok a few hours later. Then, about 3 days later, felt a weird twinge in my stomach. When I went to the ob's office, they felt for the strings but could not find them. A CT scan revealed that the IUD had punctured my uterus upon insertion, and was now floating around in my abdominal cavity. I had to have surgery (with general anethesia) to remove it when my baby was 2 months old. This apparently happens to about 1 in 1000 people, very rare. They tell me that my uterus healed up well and I can still bear more children if I ever want to do so. But if left unchecked it could have gotten tangled up in my intestines and caused perforations. Something to be aware of, although again it's a very rare occurance.

I thought I was so smart to get the Merina IUD after the birth of my second child. But, here's a little tid bit that the docs failed to share with me. The probability of a LOST IUD is MUCH greater than anyone is willing to share. Even more surprising is that the IUD will actually travel through the uterus and puncture the uterus wall. I'm currently sitting in the hospital after a 3 hour surgery this morning which was required to remove the IUD before it caused damage to my stomach. I am here to tell everyone that the facts are not accurately represented by either Merina or by the doctors. Know that their reference to the possibility of a lost IUD is not as “rare” as they indicate.

I posted earlier regarding Mirena. I thought things were just fine, but after reading this, I began to research. You see, I had been having horrible joint pain in my hips and hands; I am talking to the point of bringing me to tears and waking me up at night. I also couldn't hold my daughter for more than a few minutes(now 20 months) because my arms would ache excruciatingly; I have three kids and this never happened with the other two. My skin had also gotten very oily and my hair was even worse, despite the fact that my hair and skin had tended to be dry my entire life; oh, and my hair was also thinning way more than normal post-pregnancy.

I had also gained back all the weight I lost in my six weeks post-partum.

It all seemed too coincidental, so I had the Mirena removed a month ago. The joint pain is gone, and I can hold my daughter like a normal human being now. My hair is getting back to normal and my skin is sooo much better. I have not lost the weight, but my mood and energy level are radically improved.

I think Mirena may be great for some people, but if you have problems (and 5 percent of people do), don't hesitate to have it removed.

I posted earlier regarding Mirena. I thought things were just fine, but after reading this, I began to research. You see, I had been having horrible joint pain in my hips and hands; I am talking to the point of bringing me to tears and waking me up at night. I also couldn't hold my daughter for more than a few minutes(now 20 months) because my arms would ache excruciatingly; I have three kids and this never happened with the other two. My skin had also gotten very oily and my hair was even worse, despite the fact that my hair and skin had tended to be dry my entire life; oh, and my hair was also thinning way more than normal post-pregnancy.

I had also gained back all the weight I lost in my six weeks post-partum.

It all seemed too coincidental, so I had the Mirena removed a month ago. The joint pain is gone, and I can hold my daughter like a normal human being now. My hair is getting back to normal and my skin is sooo much better. I have not lost the weight, but my mood and energy level are radically improved.

I think Mirena may be great for some people, but if you have problems (and 5 percent of people do), don't hesitate to have it removed.

Wow! I'm so thankful my friend told me about this thread!
I've had my merina for 19 months now (after the birth of my daughter.) The insertion was pretty painless; it was an easy transition. I've had very little spotting, nothing noteable or predictable. I suppose I could be experiencing other side effects now that I've read the other responses (low sex drive, but I assumed that was part of juggling all the balls in my life....and not losing weight even though I go to the gym three days/week.)
Now I am seriously questioning if the Merina is still a good choice for me. Six weeks ago, I had an intense episode that I can only guess is what a miscarriage would feel like (I've never had one.) My bowels cleared and I truly felt like I was preparing for birth again (swollen cervix, sweating...everything just felt "open.") It hurt to move at all. After sitting on the toilet for 30 minutes I managed to move myself to the bed where I slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I was exhausted but not experiencing any of the symptoms I mentioned. I saw an OB/Gyn who did an exam/Pap. Everything was "normal" he said. He attributed it to the fact that my husband and I had just had sex and that sperm can sometimes create uteran contractions.
So, here we are six weeks later and I just experienced something very similar even though my husband and I did not have sex. (Well, at least not directly preceding the episode!) This time it didn't last as long and I was better able to coach myself through it since I had experienced it before.
I have an appt with my midwife and my primary care physician (in case this is actually related to my bowels. Like I said, my system has cleared itself both times before the episode.)
I think I would be a fool to leave it in because it does feel like my body is trying to expel something. I'm hesitant, though, because I don't know what my second choice for birth control would be. I've really loved the lessened cramps and fairly non-existent periods. I'm getting ready to go back to school and absolutely don't want to risk getting pregnant again!
Thank you all for sharing your stories. I'm going to sit with this for a few days. I will post again once I've made my decision. My appt with my midwife is 6 weeks down the road (oy!)

I have had the Paraguard for 8 months and am having it removed next week. I had one child before insertion and was a "good candidate". My periods became encreasingly heavier and more painful and began to last 3 weeks long. I started to become moody and depressed and have never had that problem before. I researched and found that some women develop a copper allergy to the paraguard. I am happy for the women with no adverse effects because it is a wonderful deevice as long as your body can handle it.

like lauralye, i've done more research since my previous post and have decided to have the mirena removed. in the last two months, i've gained nearly 15 pounds, have extreme fatigue, joint pain, and headaches, and have such a foggy brain i can barely remember my name half the time...and this is in addition to the ovarian pain and pain during sex.

i had chalked up all these symptoms to having three kids, a business, a teaching job, and little time to exercise. BUT, i've been getting MORE exercise, MORE sleep, and am not teaching...

it's been a connect-the-(symptoms)dots for me with this product. i agree that not everyone's body will react in the same way, but i've realized this is not the birth control solution for me.

I have had a merina for about 8 months now, no periods which I love, but I have had mild cramping with vaginal discharge that I can feel trickling down from my uterus at odd times of the day. I have started wearing panty liners. At first I thought it was stress incontinence from having 4 kids. I also gained 25 pounds in the two months after getting it inserted, I attributed this to quitting my job and being home and eating more over the holidays. I have been back to work for 6 months, on my feet many hours a day, sometimes do not eat for 18 hours straight and have not lost a pound. The places I put on the weight is also peculiar to me, inner thighs and belly. It makes me think, is this hormone synthetic or from a cow or a pig? I am thinking about getting it removed. Not wild about having periods again but the extra weight I am carrying around, not to mention the bizarre vaginal discharge have absolutely put a damper on my sex drive.

I wrote this original post about a 18 months ago now, and I am glad I made the decision to remove the Mirena, to wait a few months, then to replace with the Paraguard.

When I had the Mirena, I experienced bloating, moodiness, achiness. I know they say it's all "local" and that the hormone shouldn't have any effect. But, I believed the hormone definitely affected me and I was happy after having it removed.

I guess I've had the Paraguard in now for about a year and a half, and I have no regrets. Periods have normalized for me, so they are back to what is "normal" for me.

I've had Mirena for twelve months now. I haven't experienced any negative side effects except for 'occasionally feeling it' (during ovulations). The first few months I experienced a lot of pain during sex. But after three months or so, this pain dissappeared. I'm so glad with Mirena, because I have no more periods (some spotting now and then). I have no problems with my skin, nor with my weight. My sex-drive hasn't been better! I guess the effect of Mirena really differs per individual.

I am due to have my second child in a couple of days and I was just wondering if anyone would be able to email me some stories about how well or not well the paraguard iud worked for them. I have looked at all of the posts but most of them are about the mirena iud which is not even an option for me since my mother had a stroke at a young age and I so I will not even consider hormonal options. (Not to mention that I have tried the low dose pill before in the past and it made me really moody and sick to my stomach) I am desperatly seeking a good birth control option but nothing seems to be safe enough. When I heard about the paraguard I was intrigued however...I am really concerned about perforation and I've heard that some woman still get pregnant while using it...plus I don't want to feel it while I have sex or for my partner to feel it. Not to mention that I am concerned that sex could push it out of place.

If anyone would like to email me thier paraguard information/stories. Good or Bad...email them to [email protected]

I don't check message boards that often since I have to use the internet at other peoples houses and that generally takes quite a bit longer to sort through all of the entries.

Thanks

I have had my Mirena inserted about 8 weeks after the birth of my first child, now nearly a year ago. I have had side effects, but nothing more than waht was warned of--irregular cycles, (very) painful ovulation that was never a factor before, consistent headaches about every other month, and problems loosing weight despite activity and diet. My doctor has readily admited that hormones are not a mastered science and we are still learning more as days go by, and I really think the slight release of hormone is a factor. A risk worth taking, perhaps. But my post-pregnancy was not "normal" as far as weight gain, and I had huge problems breast feeding. I struggled with having a consistent supply, then right after the insertion of the iud, totally dried up. Nothing could alternate this. A connection that should not be overlooked!

The insertion was a piece of cake after the 40 hour labor that I expirenced, much like a pap smear, no biggie. I did bleed quite heavily for nearly a month, then fairly heavy for the next month. Since, I haven't even needed a tampon or liner. I think my body finally adjusted.

Sex is still as amazing as our honeymoon, orgasms just as real and satisfying and achievable. I do feel a bit of surprising cramping or spot of bleeding when I have an especially strong orgasm, which was never a problem before.

I have little expirence with other contraception, and an iud has proven satisfactory to me and my husband. Thank you for sharing your expirence so that I know what not to discount as just an off day!

I have been trying to do some research on pregnancies while an IUD (Mirena) is in place. I have had my IUD for 3 yrs. and I just took two pregnancy tests and they are both positive. My sister said she just looked it up and found that some women say they have had false positives with the Mirena. I'm making an appointment with my OBGYN tomorrow! I ahve not every found the strings, so who knows, the damn thing could be lying at the bottom of my uterus. Now I'm worried about what will happen if they have to take it out or if it's ectopic. Eek

I've had a paragard IUD for about 6 weeks now and just got the first period post baby (she's 10 months old). The insertion and subsequent spotting for a few days was very minor. I'm 43 and figured this would take me through to menopause. I knew there was the possibility of heavier periods, but wow, this is intense. No cramping or usual low back achiness, just incredible amounts of blood. I think the mild headache I got on the second day of the heavy bleeding was due to dehydration from all the bleeding. I've been drinking tons of water now, and am looking forward to when the flow will stop. I'm wondering if anyone on paragard has experienced the heavier periods eventually lessening to a more normal flow after a few months? I'm going to give it 6 months, but really, if the flow is always like this, I think I may open the conversation about vasectomy again with my husband. (He was always for vasectomy after the birth of our second child, but got cold feet. I happily got the IUD, and I'm hoping this heavy flow issue smooths out).

I just googled Mirena side effects and I'm so glad I found this website. I wish I would've researched side effects (besides the booklet) as well before I had this inserted. I've had the Mirena for 7 months now. Two months after my 3rd child arrived. Today, I just passed my second strange clot. The first time it happened in May '07. I don't mean to be so descriptive but this was not a blood clot. It's like a mucous fatty tissue with vein like lines in it. (yes gross) It's hard to describe. This has followed a heavy period with mucous. Now the bleeding has finally stopped after a week and half. In the past I've also have had major cramping where my right ovary would be. Which I never did before.
I'm 33 and I feel like teenager with acne again. Cystic acne. I've been to the dermatologist and have been using expensive lines which help with moisture and brown spots but not the acne. I'm so not myself. I can get extremely emotional and moody at times, low and behold I'll start my period within two days. Thankfully I have a LOVING husband with strong shoulders to deal with me. I've been chalking up the stress to fact I have 3 kids 8 y/o boy, 3 y/o girl and 9 mo. I have had roller coaster days being tired and then a surge of energy. But I never thought the Mirena could be causing this. I considered calling my OBGYN to put me on Zoloft. But I would rather have the Mirena taken out first to see if my symptons are better.
I was originally looking to see if someone had strange clotting like me. I just think I need to have this removed.

I only googled Mirena because I feel like I've had some weight gain around the middle/thighs. Wow...I found so many NEGATIVE comments about it, now I'm worried about whether it was a good decision. I had mine inserted about 3 months ago, very little cramping accompanied by a 12 day period, but everything has been fine since then, little or no bleeding in fact. After reading everything, I've decided majority of the people only post (negative) comments because something negative made them search/post in the first place. Usually only those "unhappy" speak up. That said, so far I think I'm a happy Mirena user. Just a little skeptical about the weight gain. I havn't changed a thing, and weight has only changed by about 3 pounds but boy do my jeans feel a lot tighter. Guess I'll just monitor it and see how it goes. Ironically my Dr. recommended this form of birth control given my health history (I'm 34 yrs old): heavy/long irregular periods, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a level IV melanoma (skin cancer) which fortunately was confined only to skin. So I'm not thinking the Mirena causes these things, but maybe people already have a pre-existing condition or maybe it may worsen some health conditions. Whatever the case, it's definitely individual, and if you try and like it, chances are we WON'T hear from you.

I sing the praises of my copper coil IUD to anyone and everyone who brings up birth control in my presense. After my daughter was born, my husband was practically sprinting to get snipped (a knee-jerk reaction to a difficult pregnancy). I bargained with him to hold off and let me get an IUD instead, a decision that would allow us to change our minds more easily in the future, but would still afford us the same low-maintenance protection from any surprises in the meantime.

So, when my daughter was five months old, I got my copper coil. I was warned about increased cramping and bleeding during periods for three to six months, but after having no period at all for over a year, I really had no basis for comparison anymore anyway. I found it to be a manageable discomfort.

Now, after three plus years, I think it's the best thing ever invented. It requires nothing of more than my usual annual exam and I can't feel it at all. And, most importantly, it's one less thing for me to worry about. Phew. And because it is the hormone-free variety, I know that all of my crazy is my own (for better or for worse).

I had my mirena inserted 6 months ago. I have gained 21 lbs; 3 inches to my hips and 1/4 inch on each thigh. I maintain a 1500 calorie per day diet and work out at least 4-5 nights per week (two with a trainer). I am so bloated around my mid section it is disgusting. This weight gain is throwing me into a state of depression. After reading similar experiences I have made a decision to remove the mirena. I had a copper IUD previously and my doctor talked me into the Mirena because of heavy periods. Has anyone experienced weight gain and had the Mirena removed? If so, what was your experience after removing it as far as weight is concerned? Did the pounds shed off pretty easily?

I am on day 14 after having Mirena put in. So far so good! I had some bloating for about a week but that has gone away and I am back to my 115lbs. I haven't been intimate with my boyfriend yet as I am still having some spotting. Does anyone know how long that is supposed to last. I will have no spotting for a half a day then get excited thinking "tonights the night I'm finally gonna get some" and then by the time I'm home, the spotting comes back again. I just had my third baby 5 months ago and I don't want anymore kids for a few years. I'm 29. The pill made me angry, depressed and sore as hell!!! Overall I feel really good with the Mirena. I can feel the string (more like a wire rope) just putting my finger in to about my knuckle. I thought that was odd so I'm curious to see how the bf reacts to that cuz it seems like it would be a little uncomfortable if you ask me. We have a good healthy sex life and if that thing gets in the way at all, it's outta there!! Come on people, MIND OVER MATTER..... If your making yourself believe that your gaining weight from the iud and you keep saulking over it, I'm sorry to say buy your just going to keep gaining and gaining.....

I am 26 yrs. old and have had the Mirena inserted since Spring of 2004. I had not related the changes in my body to the Mirena until recently, after a hunch that it was the cause of my steady weight gain and a night crammed with web research on the side effects of it. I never thought to research the side effects, as my OB/Gyn told me that the dosage in Mirena was so low that it had very few, if any instances of them. And no weight gain! Too good to be true.

I have always been a steady 107 lbs., maximum 110. I am now 122-123 lbs., no change with exercise or diet. And it's mostly in my midsection! I have NEVER had love-handles before. The same thing happened to me when I was on the Depo-Provera, but without the concentration in the midsection, and without love-handles.

Not only have I experienced weight gain, but I also have frequent nausea, which I've become accustomed to over the past year or 2. I gag all of the time, even at just the thought of something. In the past few months, I have developed some sort of rash on my eyelids whenever I wear the same makeup I've been wearing for 12 yrs. According to my optometrist, it's contact dermatitis, which is common but why am I getting it now, all of a sudden? I also just recently developed a skin tag, which is my very first one, and very unsightly. My 20/20 vision is now 20/30 in both eyes [which could very well just be the result of aging] and I now have terrible PMS and mood swings, which I've also never had before. I've never had ANY of these other symptoms with the Depo, aside from the weight gain. And loss of sexual desire, which I definitely have with the Mirena, just not as severe as with the Depo. Though I may not have been on the Depo long enough for these new side effects to show up.

I'm not so sure that it is the Mirena that has caused ALL of these changes, since I've had it for about 3 yrs., but there is no other explanation and my periods didn't stop until just a year ago so it is possible that my body is still reacting to the steady dosage of progestin.

Once I stopped getting the Depo shot, I immediately lost the 12 lbs. I gained. I am hoping for the same when I get the Mirena removed. I have an appointment to get the Mirena replaced with the Paraguard this Thursday and I cannot wait.

The only good thing about the Mirena is not having periods. But after experiencing all of the side-effects that come with it, a longer, heavier period doesn't seem so bad! :)

Aw C'mon, Melissa, why do you have to stick it to people like that: Different people respond differently to all things, including Mirena.

That being said, I have been Mirena free since June. I have not lost the weight (though it has redistributed to a more normal proportion), but my hair is coming back in thicker (back to normal) and my skin is no longer riddled with breakouts. The "mask of pregnancy" which lingered for 2 years has almost completely faded (seriously, it was BAD).

The most profound difference has been in my moods. I am a very driven and focused person, but I was having trouble even getting out of bed in the morning. I was irritable with no libido and let's face it, depressed. Since having the Mirena removed, I feel as if a veil of darkness has been lifted.

If Mirena works for you, great, but if you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, then, it may be a bad match for you.

I just had to comment on the Mirena. I never in my life would make up something like this, I have nothing to gain! I felt so grateful when I found these boards on line and realized I wasn't crazy that I literally cried. I got Mirena put in 4 years ago after the birth of my 2nd daughter. I have gained about 30 pounds (not including the pregnancy weight I never lost). I have headaches constantly, my skin is so oily I can wipe it with my hand and it is shiny and wet about 4 hours after I wash my face and use toner. My hair is a greasy mess. I always feel "stiff" like I've been sitting too long. My moods have been absolutely out of control. I even did therapy and was on Prozac for a good year. Finally I googled Mirena. No way. All of these women were telling my story! I had something in my body for 4 years and I never made the connection that it was ruining my quality of life. Doctors make it sound like no symptoms like this could possibly be from Mirena. Well, apparently they can if women are experiencing them. I removed Mirena yesterday. Now I'm just praying for some relief quickly.

i have had paragard iud for two months now and its great. i got it seven weeks after the birth of my baby during insertion it was uncomfortable but bearable and i cramped the whole day i took some pain killers though and it improved by the next day. my period lasted for eight days with minor cramps. My skin is great and i havent added much weight i would recommed the non hormonal contraception because i noticed the side effects are not many.
i need to go for a check up just to check if it was compatible and it went great i didnt react to the copper so i guess i will use it for the next couple of years.

I had my daughter on 9/26/04. After my six week check-up my doc suggested the depo. Sounded great to me and away we go...well my thick biracial mane of black hair started to turn thin and fall out and I started gaining weight ever so slightly until BAM I was fat and had a thin patch on my scalp. What the heck? I did not know this was the depo and I stayed on it until 4/2007. My doc suggested mireana. So far mirena has been fine. My hair is still thin but I think it is coming back. Thank God I had a lot to start with. I have had no periods until the last four days I have had spotting. Though it is somewhat odd that I have it after 9mths with nothing it is not even anything that comes out on my underwear. I called the doc and he recommended me taking premarin. I am leary of this. Mirena, like depo, thins the uterine lining. Your period is based on levels of progestin and estrogen. The progestin Mirena releases prevents the lining from being thick therefore it is not shed in abundance. Estrogen builds up the lining. If I took the premarin which is estrogen replacements that come from horses, for two weeks like the doc recommended, I would build up the lining and sure, bleeding would slow but as I stopped whoosh here would come the progestin induced release..No not for me. I will monitor the spotting and if does not decrease I will seek a second opinion but besides this mirena has been great. As far as the weight gain which a lot of women experience on these methods. I lost 26lbs since being on mirena with no effort. Just my normal day to day. As the depo wore off, it took the weight with it. However, there is a program called Michael Thurman's six-week body makeover. While I was on depo, I did it and lost 40lbs in 8wks. It can overcome the weight from depo I promise. Sorry for my odd writing and any typos, I am in a hurry. I am headed to med school and from all my knowledge I can tell you that everyone reacts differently to every different birth control method. Make sure to make your own assessments and keep a journal of your symptoms. Doctor's cannot always be expected to fully understand your specific condition. When you give them the data you collect and specific instances they can better diagnose your specific problems and assist. God Bless Everyone.
K

First of all I would like to thank you foe sharing your stories... you have saved my life.

I got mirena "the monster" in October 2006. For a while I thought it was the best thing ever. In the next few months I gained a few lb, my skin stared to scare after bouts of acne, I did not have the usual energy. I blamed the new job, stress and aging. It seeemed like an accelareted aging but I have just accepted it, low metabolism, everyday stress, you name it.

In May 2007 we went for a graduation of a friend. When entering the auditorium I started the feel panicky... it was a weird sensation but I decided not to pay attention to it. I love crowds, I love people. I forgot about it soon afterwards.

During my annual the doctor told me that my thyroid is becoming hypo and I have the elevated number of antibodies.

Then in July 2007 I was returning from Europe I had a full blown panic attack (I know now what it was). I had to be taken to the emergency room where I was treated for tachycardia and ordered to see the cardiologist. The months between July and December I have spend trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I started to have the anxiety attack on the regular basis, insomnia, I lost half of my hair, I was just barely surving, living from day to day, unable to accomplish anything, I was just trying to attend to the basic needs of my family.

I went to the cardiologist, endocrynologist, ob, EarThroatnose doctor (In september I developed the strange sensention of a foreign object in my throat), my family doctor (several times). I was put on Beta blockers, xanax, lexapro. Nothing was helping. I was depressed and absent, could not remember a thing, my mind was under some gaze. I could not understand: I am happily married wife, mother with no worries, great financial situation, job and perspectives. No drama and trauma in the last few years.

But even though it did not make any sense, I started to look for a psychologist/psychiatrist. I hired the private trainer and started the rigorous program of exercising. I learn how to meditate and attended twice a week yoga classes. I read everything in the library on the subject of anxiety, I learned relaxing techniques, bought tapes, music, dvd's. Changed diet. Eliminated alcohol and caffeine. Got massages. Everything provided only a temporary relief.

I started to make notes... the most severe anxiety started every 28 days (for a week) and sometimes in the 14 days. This when I suspected that mirena may have something with it. Then I found this site and several other sites. In December, after a month of researching I came to the conclusion that it is impossible that thousands women on different continents are hallucinating... and on December 22, 2007 I went to take The Thing out. the best Christmas gift ever!

12 days later I had the famous Mirena crash (thank you again for sharing!), with a mini depression, suicidal thoughts, full blown anxiety and a lot of crying. The period brought a huge relief. The side effects are still present but they are diminishing day by day.

As someone here recomended, just when I was about to start this month "the anxiety period"... I went to accupuncturist. I told him that I need help with anxiety. When on the table he told me that I am having hormonal imbalance, I have a lot of heat (?) inside and that the region that correspod to the liver is pretty swollen. He told me that he is going to help me in 5 session and that I will be able to take off myself and that my body in a few months will return to normal. I have had two sessions, I did not have acute anxiety this months, I almost feel like my old self.

I am off meds, I take occassionally the beta blockers for heart palpitation (one time in January), I started to supplement with vitamin B complex. I drink Sleepy Time Extra -- with valerian (celestial seasoning) at bed time. If I need to make sure that I will sleep I take the prescription antihistamine (hydroxizinum).

I am sure there is a light in the long tunnel... courtesy of producents of Mirena... well ... you could say that I owe them a lot of spiritual growth and learning... at the price of personal hell...

Please know if I can be of any help-- I will gladly answer any questions.

Have hope! Take the damn thing out!!!

First of all I would like to thank you foe sharing your stories... you have saved my life.

I got mirena "the monster" in October 2006. For a while I thought it was the best thing ever. In the next few months I gained a few lb, my skin stared to scare after bouts of acne, I did not have the usual energy. I blamed the new job, stress and aging. It seeemed like an accelareted aging but I have just accepted it, low metabolism, everyday stress, you name it.

In May 2007 we went for a graduation of a friend. When entering the auditorium I started the feel panicky... it was a weird sensation but I decided not to pay attention to it. I love crowds, I love people. I forgot about it soon afterwards.

During my annual the doctor told me that my thyroid is becoming hypo and I have the elevated number of antibodies.

Then in July 2007 I was returning from Europe I had a full blown panic attack (I know now what it was). I had to be taken to the emergency room where I was treated for tachycardia and ordered to see the cardiologist. The months between July and December I have spend trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I started to have the anxiety attack on the regular basis, insomnia, I lost half of my hair, I was just barely surving, living from day to day, unable to accomplish anything, I was just trying to attend to the basic needs of my family.

I went to the cardiologist, endocrynologist, ob, EarThroatnose doctor (In september I developed the strange sensention of a foreign object in my throat), my family doctor (several times). I was put on Beta blockers, xanax, lexapro. Nothing was helping. I was depressed and absent, could not remember a thing, my mind was under some gaze. I could not understand: I am happily married wife, mother with no worries, great financial situation, job and perspectives. No drama and trauma in the last few years.

But even though it did not make any sense, I started to look for a psychologist/psychiatrist. I hired the private trainer and started the rigorous program of exercising. I learn how to meditate and attended twice a week yoga classes. I read everything in the library on the subject of anxiety, I learned relaxing techniques, bought tapes, music, dvd's. Changed diet. Eliminated alcohol and caffeine. Got massages. Everything provided only a temporary relief.

I started to make notes... the most severe anxiety started every 28 days (for a week) and sometimes in the 14 days. This when I suspected that mirena may have something with it. Then I found this site and several other sites. In December, after a month of researching I came to the conclusion that it is impossible that thousands women on different continents are hallucinating... and on December 22, 2007 I went to take The Thing out. the best Christmas gift ever!

12 days later I had the famous Mirena crash (thank you again for sharing!), with a mini depression, suicidal thoughts, full blown anxiety and a lot of crying. The period brought a huge relief. The side effects are still present but they are diminishing day by day.

As someone here recomended, just when I was about to start this month "the anxiety period"... I went to accupuncturist. I told him that I need help with anxiety. When on the table he told me that I am having hormonal imbalance, I have a lot of heat (?) inside and that the region that correspod to the liver is pretty swollen. He told me that he is going to help me in 5 session and that I will be able to take off myself and that my body in a few months will return to normal. I have had two sessions, I did not have acute anxiety this months, I almost feel like my old self.

I am off meds, I take occassionally the beta blockers for heart palpitation (one time in January), I started to supplement with vitamin B complex. I drink Sleepy Time Extra -- with valerian (celestial seasoning) at bed time. If I need to make sure that I will sleep I take the prescription antihistamine (hydroxizinum).

I am sure there is a light in the long tunnel... courtesy of producents of Mirena... well ... you could say that I owe them a lot of spiritual growth and learning... at the price of personal hell...

Please know if I can be of any help-- I will gladly answer any questions.

Have hope! Take the damn thing out!!!

I know a couple of people who have had great experiences with IUDs but I don't feel comfortable with them. Besides the issue of having an object placed inside my body, my mom got pregnant with an IUD in. Granted, it was back in the 70s and things have changed, but unlike my mom when she got pg with my brother, I do not want another child and the possibility of failure is too much for me.

After the birth of DD, I went back on the Pill. I'm religious about taking my pill and have never forgotten or had problems with it. Still, I'm over 35 and I'm not interested in remaining on the Pill forever (menopause happens very late in my family).

I think my husband has finally realized that another child is not really in our future and I hope to be taking him into the doctor's office soon. After all, I did my part, 9 months and childbirth. He can do his part for our family.

I had my mirena inserted 6 weeks ago. In that 6 weeks, I have gained 9 pounds (still eating healthy and haven't changed my diet at all!!)and I have terrible acne! I am having it removed next week. Does anyone know how long it takes for you to lose the weight once the mirena is removed??

I had the Minera inserted yesterday. Wish I'd seen this site first. I would've been prepared for the insertion "discomfort". The pamphlets provided by the clinic mentioned "cramps". Too mild a word. I'm not a whimpy woman, and I don't want to scare anyone but that procedure "hurt". It was more like labor contractions than menstrual cramps. And if at all possible, have someone there to drive you home.

I have been researching Mirena....I have not had children yet, but I simply cannot take the pill anymore! I have tried everything! The pill makes me sick constantly and makes me gain a ton of weight. booooo. I have talked to a few people who have not had any children, but have Mirena. Im just wondering if I should get one even thought I have not had any children.

I have been researching Mirena....I have not had children yet, but I simply cannot take the pill anymore! I have tried everything! The pill makes me sick constantly and makes me gain a ton of weight. booooo. I have talked to a few people who have not had any children, but have Mirena. Im just wondering if I should get one even thought I have not had any children.

I just had my iud/paraguard removed today I'm not sure I made a good choice to go on the pill but the I had the iud for 2 yrs and I was so tired of the lower backache and ridiculous periods they did calm down from the first year but they still went on for a week n just when u thought it was over it came back and the discharge was really weird and uncomfortable and also the cramps and pain with the period I'm actually considering the mirena version now that I hear it makes ur period so light I will try this pill thing first but I have little faith after reading up on it.....

I got the Mirena IUC 3 weeks ago. The only side effects I am currently having is spotting. I just had a baby 4 months ago and my husband and I are so afraid of getting pregnant again. I noticed a comment about "may cause stroke or heart attack." That is said on all birth control commercials, sometimes they don't say it...it is just in the fine print. The idea of 5 years no babies really keeps my interest. :) I'm not having any problems, like i said, just the spotting but that is normal. I have a friend who got the IUD and her body COMPLETELY rejected it..but as they say "All women are different."

hey i just recently had a baby (14 weeks ago) and had the Paraguard placed...i have not stopped bleeding since the baby...i have severe cramps in my left side and blood clots the size of my hand....could this all be related???well i go to my OBGYN next week i'll let you know!!!!

It has been a while since any answers to this thread were posted. I have had the Mirena three times (in between being pregnant of my kids), and because I was not well-informed of the side effects, I was left in the dark with my health issues, especially my mental health. I had no periods at all, but suffered from anxiety, nausea, bloating, oedema, eczema, rashes, depression (my doc put me on anti-depressants), yeast infections, PMS-feelings all the time, hair loss, an operation on a 6cm ovarian cyst, extreme fatigue, migraines, and I was just ANGRY all the time at my husband and had no patience with my kids anymore. The doc as I said prescribed antidepressants and sent me to therapy. But I didn't have any issues to discuss there. It was the hormones that drove me crazy. Mine was taken out three months ago, and I'm SO much better. I don't have the side effects anymore (except for just a few days before my period starts). I'm off anti depressants and feel great.
There are not many women out there experiencing these side effects. Only 5-10%. About 10-20% of women stop using Mirena within one year from insertion. Those are the lucky ones in my opinion. There's a group out there who doesn't know their side effects are from Mirena, and their doctors keep it that way (most of the time they say the hormone doesn't enter your blood stream. but it does, as can be proven by a blood test already within 15 minutes after insertion). If the hormone would be working only on location in the uterus, how can there be 'common' side effects as nausea and migraines? ;)
I just thought I would post this. A helpful site, for me, was the following: http://www.medications.com/se/mirena
I also started a forum for Dutch women to discuss their experiences.

If Mirena works for you, that's absolutely great. But please realise that it doesn't work the same way for everyone, especially not for those who are sensitive to any hormonal contraceptives.

Kind regards

Claudia

Oops just discovered that this thread is still very alive ;) Sorry bout that. I'm glad it is. Take care all of you ;)

I can't believe I didn't research IUD's before having mine put in. I am normally much more prepared than that. But I didn't want to get back onto the pill after my baby was born, and there isn't a mini-patch yet that allows for breastfeeding, so I decided to try an IUD.

Well, now my baby is 7 months old and I have been feeling SO tired and moody, it's just unreal. I thought it was seasonal depression because of the dreary winter weather, but it is warming up now and I still feel awful. So then I thought it might be a late onset of postpartum depression, but I never experienced that with any of my babies, and I didn't see why it would hit so late anyway.

So then I suddenly got a burst of inspiration and thought it might be the birth control, so I Googled "IUD side effects" and TA-DA! I was so amazed to find these forums where other women have expressed having similar symptoms from Mirena. I now know why I feel so yucky. I called my doctor and am going to have it removed.

Thank you for your posts, ladies. I'm glad to know the source of my trouble and what to do to fix it. It will be SO nice to have the "REAL ME" back again. I hope it won't take long to get these yucky hormones out of my system. Can't wait!

I have had the mirena since january of 2005. When they place it in I did not feel a thing. The next day I had cramps and bleed for 2 months. then every 3 months I had a cycle. Now I am down to no cycle but spot everday. Recently I have pms symptoms such as bloating swollen breast fatigue and feeling cranky swollen feet. All these things sounds kinda of bad but actually I can live with it. I have 3 children and I am not ready to have more yet. All these things are minor to me compared to having severe cramps and sickness every month. So if you decide to use Mirena everyone body is different. You may have all the symptoms, some or none. I can deal with anything compared to the convenience.

I have had paraguard for a little over two weeks now. I've never had children. The insertion process was hell. I would not do it again! I almost passed out from the pain. My period lasted 9 days and the bleeding was horrible, but what was worse were the cramps. I took alot of pain medicine, but nothing stopped the cramping. It was miserable. After my period finally stopped I had tons a cream colored dis charge that was a bit annoying. I feel bloated all the time. Now, only a week and half after my period stopped I started bleeding again! Heavy bleeding. I think I may go Monday and have the thing removed. I regret getting it. The cramps are unbearable.

i'm using Mirena since 2005. my son is almost 3 years old now. so far so good. i don't feel any of those bad side effects. i'm happy with Mirena. i've used pills, Depo Provera, and condoms but so far Mirena is the best for me.

hi ms molly and others,
I've had the Mirena for almost 22 months. I haven't had any weight gain, bad headaches, or diminished sex drive. After the initial placement, I had the slight cramping and spotting for a few days, then nothing for a year and a half (roughly). I think total, I had the lightest spotting maybe two or three times over that entire time. That was until Jan 29th of this year. I started lightly spotting, which progressed to light bleeding to heavy bleeding (just like Molly). Strangely enough, over that 26 day long period...I had no pain. Then, it stopped! 5 days later it started again. It's been a 5 day on 2-3 day off process ever since. Each time it starts, the cramping has steadily increased. Still not so bad that I need steady doses of Motrine, but enough to bother me. It's the constant blood flow and exhaustion that's accompaning it that's starting to really bother me. (I'm having headaches, but not sure if it's the device or allergies that's causing them. Tylenol is taking care of the headaches.) I have noticed that every time my husband and I have sex, the bleeding starts the very next day. It's probably the timing, but we wait for the bleeding to stop before we have sex, which he proclaims is a lifetime (about 5 to 6 days), then it starts again. So, it's hard to know if it would go away on it's on without any activity in the area. My doctor gave me the pamplet to fully read and answered all the questions that he could. He actually told me to think about it for a day or two and wouldn't implant the device the same day. I searched the internet and wasn't finding any major problems. It wasn't that old at the time (from what I understand), and a friend completely recommended it. She had one and said it was great. Up until this experience, I would completely agree. Still, this has been taxing and annoying. Now, my doctor is suggesting taking the pill for only a month...hoping that it will regulate my body and not just be a tempoary fix. If that doesn't work, then he said that I might want to consider surgery (Epidermal Eblation....spelling correct?). Although the surgery sounds simple and effective (plus, I have 3 kids and my husband says we are through---5 with the two he came with), it seems so permanent. I don't know, if I'm ready for that. I'm willing to try the pill and pray for the best.
Any suggestions? ms molly, what has happened with you...since your last comment posting (if you don't mind)? Our symptoms seem so similar. I'd really appreciate the insight of your comments, thoughts, experiences. I'll keep you update as things progress.

I just had my daughter in august of last year, and was put on the ortho-evra patch. (which I have had previously) From december-Febuary was on it. I started having terrible migraine headaches in december (I almost never got headaches before) and am still experiencing the aches. even after being off of the patch for 2 months. Has anyone had this problem? and have theirs subsided?
Also, I am considering Mirena. I don't do well with remembering to take the pill, and the patch is sticky and gross, and gets itchy and irritated a lot. However, I'm concerned about the initial insertion process.. I'm not good with pain.. Can anyone explain the procedure and give me an idea of the how much pain there will be during insertion? How is it held in place? how long does it take for them to place it? and also.. whats this about strings? And is it common to "feel" it inside? Because that would most certainly bother me.

Last year, at age 38, i had a massive stroke.I had been on the pill and was a smoker with a family history but have made a miraculous and almost complete recovery. Nonetheless, hormones are no longer an option. I got the Paraguard installed ay before yesterday and it started my period (which was due anyway) but i've been bleeding very heavily since and the cramps are horrendous along with back pain and emotionalism - just a really bad period and just the first 2 days. yikes, man.Time will tell if it's worth it but as i said, Mirena, etc. are not options and after suffering a stroke so young, i don't think anyone should risk it.

Last year, at age 38, i had a massive stroke.I had been on the pill and was a smoker with a family history but have made a miraculous and almost complete recovery. Nonetheless, hormones are no longer an option. I got the Paraguard installed ay before yesterday and it started my period (which was due anyway) but i've been bleeding very heavily since and the cramps are horrendous along with back pain and emotionalism - just a really bad period and just the first 2 days. yikes, man.Time will tell if it's worth it but as i said, Mirena, etc. are not options and after suffering a stroke so young, i don't think anyone should risk it.

I have had the mirena in for almost 3 months. I plan calling ob to have it removed. I have gained about 10 llbs since then me being less than 5 feet tall 10 lbs feels like 100.... I have felt depressed and very moody towards my family and co-workers. I thought I was getting off easy by inserting this and instead i am worst off. Back to my pill.

i am researching mirena and apreciate all the info that is on this site. it is helping me to make my decision. some questions that i have for someone who has mirena is can you feel it when you have sex? can your partner feel it? and can you feel that its there just on a daily basis?

I have migraines and am debating between the paragard and the mirena. I tried pills but these only made my migraines worse. My OB/GYN suggested I try a one time dose of Depo-Provera before getting the Mirena due to history of migraines. If no problems with the Depo, I will have the Mirena inserted. It just seems the Paragard is the way to go with no hormones. If anybody has a situation similar, I would love to hear their story.

I started with Mirena 3/25 bled the day of insertion and had some cramping. 1 week later I started my period. I have now been having my period for 14 days. I went with the Mirena to decrease my periods. Since I would have a period every 18-21 days and flow for 7 days. This doesn't seem to be helping. Dr. told me to stick it out for 3 months. I'm not sure I'm going to make another 9 weeks of this. I do get headaches but I just chalked it up to low iron from prolonged bleeding. I guess if nothing else I'll help keep the tampoon company's in business.

Hi ladies! I've had Mirena in for 10 months now. I'm 28 years old with 3 kids. I have to agree with the other posts that say if you feel the side effect and are bothered or annoyed by them, remove it.
I occasionally spot around the normal time of my period and thats it. I haven't gained any weight, however I've noticed that when I work out I sweat like a dude--drink more water.I do believe its taking me longer to lose the weight, but it IS steadily coming off. Not necessarily as fast as I'd like it, but it IS coming off. My usual cardio routine wasn't doing it so I switched to Pilates and deep breathing. No problem 1-3 lbs. a week comes off. No acne, no pain, no nothin' really. Its working for me, it might be worth a try for you.
Research and give yourself time to think about it, don't hesitate to ask your doc the same questions 4 times in 8 different ways. After calling the OB's office everyday and speaking to all the docs on staff, I finally decided to have it put in. You have the right to be informed.

I am a mother of 2 a 14 year old boy and a 11 year old girl. I recently developed high blood pressure and have been losing weight to come off of the meds. I went to the OB yesterday and she would like me to switch from the pills to Mirena. After reading the comments for the past 3 hours I don't think it would be a good idea. She did lower my dose for the pills because of my blood pressure. I don't have any problems now with the pills at all. My periods are 1 day if that. I don't want to do anything that would change that. My husband has offered to get snip snip. So that means I could come off the pill, but it also means that my periods will go back to 7 days of heavy. Who would want that? I understand that the Mirena would be better for me because of my blood pressure but I don't want to take the chance of having the crappy side effects when I don't have any.
I have been trying to keep an open mind about this but it seems like everyone has the nagging side affect. I really don't want to chance having them. I know that we always hear about the wrose in everything, but I have to say I don't think I have read anything that has been good about Mirena except the periods and I already have that. Now she has changing my pills and this may take me back to having more of a period. If thats the case then I may have to think a little harder on Mirena or call her and see if she can give me back my old pills.

I just had my paraguard insurted last month on march 20th at 22yrs old so far so good I havnt had my period yet so I am alittle worried about how thats going to turn out.I picked the paraguard because my mother just went back a week before I had mine put in and got the paraguard for the second time insurted.My mother has never complained about the paraguard and has never become pregnant after regular sexual activity.Now talk about great birth control.I have never had a child I always thought that you would have to have kids to have an i.u.d.I have had some cramps and am getting ready to start my period but im not to worried its way better then getting pregnant.I am not ready for children right now.Stay away from MIRENA the doctor tried talking me into it but I have herd so many bad things about it 95% of the time.The most people complaine about with paraguard is the heavy periods.Wouldnt you rather have some releaf having no period is what makes people gain weight.

I've had my Mirena for a year now (about 12 weeks after my son was born) and absolutely love it. I haven't had any of the side effects other people talk about, except maybe a lower sex drive (or that could be from the baby). My energy level is fine, my mood is stable, no weight gain, and my periods are more like "spotting" than real bleeding which is nice. Prior to Mirena I had much stronger mood swings, heavy and painful irregular periods, and a slightly higher sex drive (though I still have "high points"). In the past I had always had problems with conventional bc pills (I had tried Mircette and several other "low low dose" pills which always caused SEVERE mood swings for me).
I don't know if this matters at all but I also have a thyroid disorder and take synthroid daily.

For me, Mirena has worked wonderfully for the last year. All of the slight changes I have noticed, probably caused by the hormone, have been positive for me, as opposed to conventional hormonal bc pills.

I had mirena inserted a week ago I too feel like I made a mistake I was not told that u should not use if you had a ectopic pregnancy till i got home and read the info pack even though my health care provider was aware that I had a ectopic pg so now I am scared to death i almost died during my ectopic pregnancy I only have one tube and one ovary now so what do I do I am horrified if anyone knows anything about this please email me at [email protected]

I'm hesitantly considering the Mirena, but am a little concerned about the hormones since i was a recent basket case while taking Yaz (oral). I feel compelled to write about the Copper IUD you all are talking about. It's my understanding that the copper IUD works differently than the Mirena. With the copper IUD, you actually can get pregnant, but the copper in the IUD creates a chronic irritation to the uterus so that the fertilized egg can not implant. The Mirena releases the hormone, preventing Ovulation, like the pill. Sorry if this really startles some of you, but as a Christian, I'm opposed to to the copper IUD. I don't want any more children, but I can't imagine knowing i might actually be conceiving them but causing them to abort with the IUD in place.

I had the Paragard inserted about a month ago. Other than a little spotting and cramping all is well, although I can't feel my strings. I have tried several times and haven't been able to locate them. I'm hoping this is normal. I love the idea of non-hormonal birth control and really hope this works. Any input from others out there with Paragard and string issues would be tremendously helpful.

Thanks.

I just got my Mirena inserted today and the process, was to say painless. I felt pressure but no pain at all. All in all I like it so far, I have had cramps today but thats it. I didn't bleed at all. There is a little spotting now, but nothing bad. I can already tell a change in my mood, it has gotten better, I am less irritable actually, and it has supressed my appetite a bit. I like it so far and cannot feel it at all.....I will keep updated!

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