Mirena IUD (x-post)
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  1. #1
    Posting Addict dreamchaser's Avatar
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    Default Mirena IUD (x-post)

    Anyone here have any experience with the Mirena IUD? Would love to hear about it as my doctor is strongly urging me to reconsider it to help with my hormone imbalance (long story so won't go in to details and bore you all). He feels it will be very beneficial to me in the long run. We are not ttc, I have premature ovarian failure. I originally decided against the IUD and we have been trying a different method and it's not really working well. So I'm being asked to reconsider. Some of the reasons I was originally against it are: cramping/spotting during the adjustment period when first placed that will apparently last about 6 weeks, I don't like the idea of a forgein object inside me, it's never been an option for me in the past for birth control, and just overall the things I read online back then (June) seemed all negative and turned me off the idea. I feel like now I'm trying to convince myself to try it... Anyhow, would love some feedback from those who have had the Mirena.

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    Mega Poster meggyrn's Avatar
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    I have no experience with Mirena but I think I kind of have an idea of what you are going through. Last March I went to my ob/gyn for very heavy periods/bad cramping, fatigue, headaches, PMS, short cycles and other hormone imbalance stuff. I really wanted an ablation to get rid of my periods since they do me no good but he explained that wouldn't help the hormone issue which I knew. He wrote down a list of options for me along with the pros and cons of each. His options for me for the hormone imbalance, PMS, POF , heavy periods were BCP, depo shot, Mirena, ablation, hysterctomy, low dose antidepressants, serious exercise, high dose progesterone. With these he put what all of these would help. Initially I was against the BCP because I had tried them about a year prior and had breakthrough bleeding constantly and I was worried about wt gain even though I didn't gain wt on them before. My doc explained that I wasn't on the right dose before and I didn't do well with the tri-cyclic BCP. The options that DH and I considered with all of the choices we were given were the BCP or Mirena. With the Mirena he explained that 66% of women no longer have periods, there is no wt. gain, the negative is that 10% of women breakthrough bleed with it. We did decide to retry BCP but a different type. I'm taking a monocyclic pill and take it continuously with no breaks. He explained that I will get some breakthrough bleeding because my lining has to shed sometime. At that point I can choose to take a break and get a period or keep spotting and hope it goes away. In my experience I know that once I start spotting I need to take a break and get a period so that's what I do. Right now I get bad migraines while on my break so I'm trying to find a balance with how long to break for. During my cycles my headaches are completly gone except for this last cycle I got more headaches. If I'm remembering correctly we chose to not go with Mirena because he wasn't sure it'd help my other symptoms like mood and fatigue so he recommended an anti-depressant along with it which I didn't want to go on because I'm afraid of wt. gain. I've been on the BCP since March and have been happy with them except for getting one really bad migrane during my period. I like that I have control over my periods. I know this isn't really the question you asked but if you are experiencing some of the same symptoms I am with the POF I thought this might help you. If you have any other questions feel free to PM or ask on here.

    Meg-30 DH-42

    2 IUI's-BFN
    IVF #1-cancelled d/t embryos arresting before transfer (3/09)
    IVF #2-BFP 9wks-7/30/09 (6/09)
    IVF #3-BFN (5/10)

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    Posting Addict dreamchaser's Avatar
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    Hi Meg! Thank you for sharing your experience. I am currently on HRT. I've been on Estrace since May and Provera was added in July. My POF symptoms have been hot flashes, night sweats, joint pain, and extreme emotions (those were brutal!!). Since being on HRT I have had relief from everything (we had to adjust my Estrace dose a couple times but once we got that figured out I started feeling much better but that's when the spotting and cramping started). I was originally recommended bcp's as well but like you I didn't have alot of luck with them in the past (breakthrough bleeding and migraines while on bcp's), so that's when he suggested standard HRT (Estrace and Provera). The protocol I am currently on is to take both meds daily with no breaks. I was told it's not necessary for a monthly bleed. So I was okay with that. When I saw him a few weeks ago, I was complaining about the spotting continuing and asked if I should switch my protocol and incorporate a monthly bleed. He said we could but that he felt it was just a matter of time before everything would balance out and the spotting would stop. So we left well enough alone. Until last week I had some strange pain in my low abdomen that persisted for 5 days. I finally called the clinic and they ahd me in today for an ultrasound (even though the pain is now gone). No known cause from the pain, however during the u/s we discovered my lining is very thick at 11mm. So he feels that my body is unable to maintain such a lining and therefore causing the spotting. So he has given me two options... 1) stop my HRT for 4 days and allow a bleed. I've been warned it will not be a pleasant experience as I will have a heavy and likely painful period and intense PMS-like symptoms due to the sudden drop of hormones. The hope would be that once the lining is shed it will stop the spotting. (I should mention that I was on Estrace only for 2 months before we added the Provera and possibly the lining built-up by that point. He did that so we could find the right dose of Estrace to control my symptoms. The provera is added to balance out the effects of estrace as one cannot be on just estrace for long periods of time). Option 2 is to seriously reconsider the Mirena IUD. I believe I would still be on Estrace though as the Mirena only provides progesterone. I think the actual IUD just prevents the lining from building up... After thinking some more since my appointment I'm now wondering if I were to do option 1 and then switch my protocol to incorporate a monthly withdrawl bleed. I'm really not keen on the IUD. But was hoping maybe if there were some positive experiences out there maybe I can convince myself it's a good option to try. I know my doctor has been very pro Mirena from the beginning.

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    Mega Poster meggyrn's Avatar
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    I could've written exactly what you wrote about things. It sounds like you have the same issues with the HRT that I do with the BCP. My cycles are about 45-50ish days before I start spotting. If I just suck it up and take a break and get a period it goes away. If not, I'll keep spotting until I take a break. My doc said that I don't need a monthly period but that my lining will eventually build up and need to shed, hence the spotting. When I do stop my pills and take a break, it's horreeeeendous. I get very moody, hot flashes and get the one day bad migraine (which I'm experiencing right now). I think it's from the sudden drop in hormones since it's a moncyclic pill. With tricyclic pills you gradually decrease your dose over a month and naturally go into getting a period. My periods are still very heavy and I still get really bad cramps even though I'm on the BCP. The past few cycles I've taken a break from the pills until my body naturally stops bleeding then restart the pills. My thought was that I had shed my lining completely once it stopped on it's own. I talked to my doc about the migraines and he said to take a shorter break for 3 days. So I'm trying that this month. I'll start again tonight. The problem is though that I always get my bad headache on the 3rd day off my pills so in order to prevent it I'll need to only take a 2 day break and that doesn't seem like a long enough time with a period since I don't get "real" period bleeding until break day 3. I started a log/journal today to see track how things go. It's very complicated and I just need to find the right balance. If by having shorter breaks and no migranes I'm worried my cycles will be shorter. So I need to weigh if that's better than having a longer break with one day of a migrane for longer cycles. I hate hormones!!! If you're worried about the Mirena then I'd probably just break from your HRTs and get a good period. Would you do it every month or just when you start spotting? It sounds like it'd be the same thing I do with the BCPs. Sorry I rambled on about this. It sounds like your body and my body are a lot alike. Yay for us!

    Meg-30 DH-42

    2 IUI's-BFN
    IVF #1-cancelled d/t embryos arresting before transfer (3/09)
    IVF #2-BFP 9wks-7/30/09 (6/09)
    IVF #3-BFN (5/10)

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    Posting Addict dreamchaser's Avatar
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    This truly sucks doesn't it Meg! I hate it so much! Very frustrating!! I feel your pain too! I'm going to probably do the HRT break to allow a bleed (heaven help me if it's as brutal as my dr made it sound!) and then go back on them. I'm also going to ask if I can just change my protocol to allow for a monthly or bi-monthly bleed to prevent this from happening again. At this point in time I'm only getting a few days of no spotting and then I spot for days on end with cramps etc. I had asked him a few weeks ago about trying the different protocol because it seemed to me my body was trying to shed the lining. Hopefully we figure out what works for me and soon. I hope that you've been able to figure out what works for you as well. I'm sorry you are suffering with a migraine right now. They are awful!! I do agree with you, it's more than likely from the sudden drop in hormones. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

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    Mega Poster meggyrn's Avatar
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    I always figure a few days of bad bleeding is worse than spotting all the time. At least with trying your protocol differently you can kind of plan when to get your periods. That's what I did this month. I allowed myself to spot for longer than usual before taking a break because I had a fun weekend planned and I didn't want to have to deal with headaches and a period when we were gone. I just get so frustrated with all of this stuff because my female reproductive organs have given me so many troubles and are useless. At least if I were to go through all of this I could have a baby from it all. At times I'd like to say just cut them all out but then I'd be dealing with more hormone issues.

    Meg-30 DH-42

    2 IUI's-BFN
    IVF #1-cancelled d/t embryos arresting before transfer (3/09)
    IVF #2-BFP 9wks-7/30/09 (6/09)
    IVF #3-BFN (5/10)

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    I love my Mirena! I was also weirded out by the idea of something in me but I liked it better than putting chemicals into my body every day. In all honesty, I had a very long period of what I'd call heavy spotting, not really bleeding but heavy enough to be really annoying, for close to four months, at the beginning. My OB was surprised, she said most women have spotting for 6-8 weeks, she's seen a few who go 10-12 weeks, but she'd never seen four months. But I figured it was worth it for 5 YEARS of birth control. This is going to see me into menopause! Every few weeks I notice a tiny amount of spotting, and I sometimes get a bit of very light bleeding if we have really rowdy sex, not really enough to bother with a tampon. And I feel better hormonally than I ever did on BCP. It's just enough, and in the right place, to keep everything under control.

    I'd also strongly recommend seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner or homeopathic practitioner, I don't know of anyone with hormonal issue who has NOT been helped by one of those. They are far better than Western medicine IMHO because they balance your entire body from a holistic standpoint rather than band-aid-ing one symptom.
    70% of the U.S. population now lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. At 36 and counting!

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    Posting Addict dreamchaser's Avatar
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    Thank you Spacers! I've thought about seeking alternative treatment. It's just difficult to know who to go to. Thank you for sharing your experience with the transition period when you first had your IUD placed. It's always good to know what to expect isn't always how it is for some.

    meggryn, I hear ya there! If I knew having all my useless bits removed would help I'd be all over it! *HUGS*

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    Mega Poster CJNME's Avatar
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    I have had a pretty good experience with my Mirena! I was very hesitant at first because I had a friend who had a less positive experience with it. But after investigating the options for me it was going to be the best in birth control for me. I had the 6-8 week adjustment period with very light spotting, I didn't cramp too bad after getting it in, the worst part was the string wasn't cut short enough at first so I had to go back in to get it cut shorter. Now almost 2 yrs later I have next to no period each month. I also have a lot less issue with PMS symptoms. I used to have fairly bad PMS symptoms. So hope this helps.
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    Abbie
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