MIRENA IUD RUINED MY LIFE — a public service announcement.

DISCLAIMER: I’m taking a small detour from my normal blog content to do the Internet a favor. When I got my Mirena IUD in September, I didn’t do enough research. The only “research” I did was read the pamphlet my OB gave me. Big mistake. The eight weeks I had the Mirena IUD were the worst in my life and I’m blogging about it, hoping that when poor, unsuspecting women (who are smarter than I was) Google Mirena IUD, my blog will come up and they can save themselves from the hell I went through.

Also, at the mercy of search engine optimization, I’m going to refer to Mirena IUD by its name on every mention so that it will (hopefully) come up high in Google searches and not be buried by other stuff.

Okay. Here’s how Mirena IUD ruined my life.

After I had my son, my OB suggested I get the Mirena IUD inserted because it was one of the only birth controls I could take and still breastfeed. The Mirena IUD is a device that is inserted into the uterus that pumps out a constant, low-dose of hormones that prevent pregnancy but allow you to breastfeed.

A couple days after I had the Mirena IUD inserted, I started losing sleep. At first, it was only that when my baby woke me up in the middle of the night, I couldn’t fall back asleep. But after a couple days, I found myself immersed in full-blown insomnia. I couldn’t fall asleep at night without ingesting huge, unholy amounts of Benadryl and, even at that point, I could only sleep for an hour or two at most. (Yes, I am still breastfeeding. I called my pediatrician concerned about this — they told me that Benadryl was safe. So was Ambien.)

Then, I started having really horrible anxiety. A panic attack here and there. Really scary stuff. The insomnia and anxiety worked hand in hand, too.

After about a week of this, I went to see my primary care doctor. I hadn’t slept in a week and was beside myself upset. The doctor I saw (wasn’t my actual primary care doctor — she was out that day) attributed this to postpartum depression and gave me a prescription for Ambien and referred me to a counselor.

The Ambien worked for a day or two, but after that, I had to start taking more than one, sometimes three in a night to sleep. This was so dangerous. A few times, I had to have my husband drive me to work in the morning because the drug was still in my system. There are days — ENTIRE DAYS, PEOPLE — I don’t even remember. One day (sorry if this is TMI) my husband and I evidently engaged in — uh — married people activities that I HAVE NO MEMORY OF. Finding this out scared the everloving hell out of me and was the last straw.

Then it hit me — these symptoms had only shown up when I got my Mirena IUD inserted. I knew in my gut that Mirena IUD was the problem and I decided that I needed to get the Mirena IUD removed ASAP.

I went back to my primary care doctor even more upset about this, convinced it was the Mirena IUD. Because she did not insert the Mirena IUD, she didn’t want to remove the Mirena IUD. (Again, sorry for the repetition but I’m hoping this gets my blog a lot of hits from search engines.) What she did do was text her OB friend to find out what antidepressants were okay to take while nursing and, after hearing back from two of them, prescribed me Zoloft.

So, at this point, I was taking Ambien, Zoloft, AND Benadryl to try my damnedest to get some freaking sleep. But it still wasn’t working. All of these medications were prescribed to me because I wanted to keep breastfeeding but I didn’t feel comfortable taking so many freaking medications WHILE I WAS BREASTFEEDING.

OMG. The deeper I get into my story the angrier I become.

I did not relent. I knew in my soul that the Mirena IUD was the cause of all the insomnia. So I kept calling my doctor and my OB’s office to get some answers. But everyone shrugged me off, saying it was just postpartum depression and that I should feel good about the fact that I was “treating it”.

Bullshit.

A couple weeks went on and then one day, the anxiety got so bad. I had the worst panic attack of my life. I was shaking so hard and couldn’t breathe. My husband had to dress me. He had to feed me. All the while, my baby boy is laying there, crying, and I couldn’t even care.

I am not making this up. Ask him about it. It was bizarre and scary and horrible.

I was sick of not being taken seriously by the doctors. I was sick of being told this was postpartum depression. I know myself and I know my body and I know that what I was going through was because there was this foreign object inside of me pumping me full of crazy hormones and I was not going to stop until I was heard and the Mirena IUD was removed.

Finally, it came to the point where I had to lie on the phone to my OB’s office and tell them that I had thoughts about hurting myself and my child.

Magically, their “blocked out, totally full” schedule had an opening with another OB in an hour.  Funny how that works out.

When the OB walked into my exam room, he greeted me the way I’d been referred to by all these doctors over the past weeks.

“Got them postpartum blues, eh?” (He’s from Georgia.)

“NO,” I literally yelled at him. My voice scared me so I backed off a little. “Okay. Well. Maybe. But I don’t think so. I really think that my Mirena IUD is causing all of this.”

I then told him my whole story. When I was done he looked at me straight in the eye and said the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard spoken.

“No, you’re right. This isn’t postpartum depression at all. PPD would have shown up 2 weeks postpartum at the latest, and you’ve had this only since 8 weeks postpartum, which is exactly when you had that Mirena IUD inserted.”

I exhaled. He went on.

“This is pretty common, actually. The hormones that the Mirena IUD releases into the body are directly linked to depression, anxiety, and the resulting insomnia.”

When he said that, I swear to God, I wanted to punch every doctor, nurse, technician, pharmacist, receptionist, and OB I’d talked to over the previous weeks in the face. Here, finally, a doctor was telling me that what I knew in my heart was right all along AND EVERYONE ELSE JUST ASSUMED I WAS FULL OF CRAP.

“We gotta take that Mirena IUD out immediately,” he said. “Your hormones should level out within two to three days.”

EDIT/UPDATE: After he took the Mirena IUD out, he asked me how my mood/behavior was around my cycle since having the Mirena IUD inserted.

I laughed at him as I recalled YET ANOTHER way the Mirena IUD was ruining my life.

“I’ve been bleeding non stop since the day I got the Mirena IUD,” I told him. “I don’t know what a “cycle” is anymore.”

He looked at me with wide eyes. “Oh,” was all he said after a beat.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that lovely little detail. I bled, pretty heavily, for eight. weeks. straight.

SO MANY F WORDS, YOU GUYS.

The night I got the Mirena IUD removed, I didn’t sleep. But I didn’t have any anxiety. The following night I slept a few hours.

The third night, I slept like a f$&king baby. And my bleeding FINALLY stopped a week later.

When I had a follow up appointment with my actual OB she still maintained that what I was experiencing was PPD. She also claims that this is completely “abnormal” and that I am a “special case”.

O RLY?

mirenaIUDfail

TWENTY-THREE COMMENTS, the majority of which confirmed my suspicions. Oh and just FYI, if you do a simple Google search for “Mirena” and “insomnia” and “anxiety” you can have a freaking field day.

God, I’m so stupid sometimes.

Here’s the reality.

PMS is a real thing, y’all. So is postpartum depression. Behavioral and mental changes, directly resulted from hormone shifts within the body, are a real thing. It really really really happens. The medical community confirms this.

SO WHY IS IT SO F’ING FAR FETCHED TO THINK THAT CONSTANTLY PUMPING MY BODY FULL OF HORMONES WOULDN’T HAVE SOME EFFECT ON MY BEHAVIOR AND/OR MENTAL PROCESSES??!?!?!

Dan and I have agreed to keep my body hormone-free from here on out. If the worst thing that happens is that we get pregnant with another beautiful, wonderful, amazing blessing of a child, then so be it. I’d get pregnant a thousand times before I put anything like the Mirena IUD in my body ever again.

[Imagine me dropping my mic and walking away LIKE A BOSS because I am.]

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22 Comments

Filed under baby love, life, pregnancy, psychology, rants, transformation

22 responses to “MIRENA IUD RUINED MY LIFE — a public service announcement.

  1. oh my darling. I totally get you. I have not been on birth control in 5 years because of the way it messed with my body. I had the Nuva Ring (which my OB basically pushed on me… blabbing about how great it was) and when I went to her complaining about the anxiety is was giving me, the lack of sleep, this feeling of being gross and totally against…naked adult activities she told me that it definitely wasn’t the Ring and was probably problems I was having with my boyfriend. (WHAT?!?!?) Needless to say, I took the ring out and never went to see her again. Later I found tons of discussion boards online full of women having my same problem. I am so glad that you not only figured out your problem, but are not being silent about it. I have known too many women who have had similar experiences with birth control.

  2. mom

    Some women are ulstra-sensitive to hormones…birth control pills, replacement hormones, etc. and many doctors treat them as though they are nuts because the symptoms they cause mimic mental disorders. I am glad this has been resolved for you and I am so sorry that you, my son in law and my grandson had to deal with it. God bless you all.

  3. mom

    that would be *ultra – sorry didn’t proof read before posting. love you.

  4. I went off birth control in June and I’ve never felt better. No baby yet.

  5. I’m glad you found a Dr to listen to you! Noone knows you better than you! When I went to my Dr after having John I was concerned that the post baby blues as everyone was calling them had become much more! I know my thoughts, my body, my behavior and it’s something I’ve been hyper aware of for yrs. I’m VERY blessed to have all of my Drs being ones who aren’t above listening to my concerns about my health! That’s how a Dr should be with a patient!
    The ambien has one side effect that I’m not crazy about! Engaging in activities and having NO memory of them! I take ambien because of chronic insomnia and can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat here while my husband tells me what I’ve done, eaten, said, posted after taking it! I have NO memory what so ever of these things but have seen the posts the next day or seen wrappers by my bed that I swear I didn’t open.
    I can’t do hormone based birth control because of a blood clotting disorder and because of my mental health issues so I haven’t been on anything for birth control. Due to my current state, my chosen method didn’t work! Who knew after yrs of not being able to get pregnant i’d become super fertile?
    After researching my options and my refusal to get “fixed” I’ve decided that the hormone free paraguard iud is something I will try. I’m hesitant about foreign objects in my body so I don’t know how it’ll go, but I have to do something with this being the 2nd yr in a row I’ve been pregnant!

  6. Amber

    This is a wonderful resource Lindsay! So many mommy’s are made to feel as though they are crazy, and that’s just not the case. I’m so glad you listened to your intuition and stayed persistent. Thank you again for giving other women experiencing the same thing a voice. xoxoxo

  7. made4neonlights

    I’ve had Implanon since Nov 2010 and thankfully never had any weird side effects that I’m aware of. The implantation hurt like a b—- and I’m sure the removal will be no picnic (you have to replace it every 3 years) but the only thing is now we’re down to the last year and I went from having 1 period every 3-4 months to having one every other week. Super fun. Probably has something to do with the hormones running out? Anyway I hope everything works out for you! It’s hard to leave a cohesive comment from an iPhone.

  8. Danielle

    Have you ever considered (if you already aren’t) seeing a DO instead of an MD? My experience with them is that they usually have a knack for listening better and looking at your situation as a whole to try to solve what the problem actually is, instead of just prescribing medications to alleviate symptoms. (No offense to any MDs out there…I know not every one is like that.)

    Either way I am glad someone finally listened to you and you’re putting the word out there!

  9. mom

    Here is a site where you can sign a petition for Mirena side effects to be honestly and completely disclosed so that future patients can make informed decisions.

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/mirena-awareness/

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  11. Thankyou for your story. Mines been in for 4 months. Hair falling out, nausea, depression anxiety and loss of will to live. Hot flushes, no sleep. Severe lower back and cervical pain. Cry all time. Hopelessness. All medics say its not rhe mirena. Unbelievable!! MYbe not nuts after all . God bless!

  12. Thanks to my father who told me regarding this blog, this website is actually awesome.

  13. Goodbye, Mirena

    I had been stacking birth control pills back-to-back since 2009 to stop my periods and the horrible symptoms. This had worked just fine, but you have to take the pills at exactly the same time every day or you get spotting. I thought I would try Mirena and see if I could have a hassle and period-free life. I had it implanted on 7/17/13. After two weeks my hair started falling out and the PMS started coming back. After three weeks I realized that most of the symptoms that had gone away on the pill were back; insomnia, weight gain, extreme fatigue, depression, acne, feeling of impending doom, anxiety, cramping, and sore breasts. Today is 8/13/13 and I pulled out the Mirena myself this morning. I cannot go back to those horrible symptoms and ruined life. I was doing so well on my pills. I knew if I went to the Dr. to have it removed she would tell me that it was all in my head and to tough it out. No way, Jose. I am not imaging this any more than I was those awful PMDD symptoms. Back to my pills.

  14. Rachel

    Honestly, your story could not mimic mine better! I had a laparoscopy only 10 days ago to diagnose endometriois.. endo found, aswell as cysts and a “stuck” ovary. Gyn decided to insert mirena to stop periods.. therefore stopping the endo. I’ve refused hormones for 5 years due to severe side effects on the mini pill. Persuaded that the hormone is only realeased locally and there are barely any side effects, I went with it. After the pain relief and opiates wore off, I started feeling anxious. I went into town with my partner and almost had a panic attack when I couldn’t find him.. not normal huh? Then the insomnia began.. falling asleep for 2-3 hours and then waking up bold upright, shaking in a state of panic, managing to fall back to sleep, only to have horrifying nightmares and wake up again! I haven’t eaten a full meal in a week as I feel so sick, and my stomach is so upset, probably from all the stress! I called my GP but was told it was probably just me feeling “lonely” as my partner is working away, and to stick with it for at least 6 months! Then the anxiety began.. I constantly felt full of dread, and cried for 3 days straight for no apparent reason and at the drop of a hat, if somebody even looked at me, i’d cry, i’d wake up crying and go to sleep crying! My partner started to notice and was getting pretty worried.. I’d avoided the internet until now but after another night of no sleep in a state of anxiety at 5am I googled the mirena.. I argued with every GP in the city until I found somebody to take it out. I found a lovely nurse who although didn’t believe it was causing my symptoms, agreed to remove it as I was so distressed; it was removed 2 hours ago, I will NEVER be persuaded to take synthetic hormones again. Thank you SO much for sharing this, really hope that you’re back to normal now! Can’t wait til this feeling passes! x

  15. Lucy

    I’ve had my Mirena in for a year after suffering from horrendous periods and have finally made an appointment to have it removed next week, my symptoms are as follows-
    I feel psychotic to the point of wanting to hit everyone, no patience, severely depressed, have no interest in anything, zero ZERO interest in sex or my relationship, lost my ability to care about a lot of things, panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety shall I go on…..,
    I went to see my GP a few months ago and she said I must be mistaken and was it because I was having relationship problems and did I need anger management??? . I’ve made to feel like I am nuts!!!!
    I did not have it fitted at my Doctors but at a sexual health clinic which were fabulous and supportive. I am going back there to have it removed but just thought I may get support from my local doctor.
    Its been an awful year and Im so scared I will always feel this way. My only consolation is my dear friend recently went through the same and says after having hers removed 4 weeks later she feels like a different person. .

  16. Glenda

    I am experiencing the exact same symptoms as you! Its amazing! I have an apt with my GYN this thursday and I Can Not Wait! I know this is not me and I feel so much better when I am not taking any hormonal birth control. You would think I would have learned my lesson after this happening to me with the Nuvaring 2 yrs ago, but I took the Dr’s advice that the hormones only stayed locally and would not mess with my mental health. BS! I even felt better while i was pregnant last year! Never again will I take any type of BC! I am trying to talk my husband into a visectomy (wish me luck) THank you SO much for writing this! Its like a weight is lifted off my shoulders!

  17. Rebekah

    I am so happy I found this! Thank you! After 3 years of Mirena ruining my life and relationships I am finally getting it removed!

  18. Monica

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve been going through exactly the same thing. I’ve had my Mirena for 3 years as well and I’ve been going through hell trying to get to the source of my sudden and unrelenting insomnia. For me the anxiety is present as is the depression, but it mostly centers around not being able to FREAKING SLEEP. I’ve had thyroid tests, I’ve had a sleep study (still waiting on the results of that), but after reading your blog, I’m more convinced than ever that Mirena is the culprit or at least a huge contributing factor. I’m having mine out ASAP. It sounds like you didn’t experience any side effects after, and I hope I get relief too once it’s gone. But seriously, thanks for sharing your story. It helps to know you’re not crazy, because like you, I’ve been hearing that it “couldn’t be the Mirena” and like you I have questioned my own sanity over and over again since this hell ride started.

    • oh YES! get that thing out ASAP!

      When I went in to get mine out, the doctor said the hormones would remain in my system for another two days tops. As soon as all the hormones were out of my system I had NO SIDE EFFECTS and was completely back to normal. GOOD LUCK!

  19. steph

    Thanks so much, I’ve had mine in for a month and expected some physical side effects in terms of cramps, bleeding etc….but I did not expect the sleepless nights, mood swings and general feeling of “holding on to the sides”. The doctor talked me about of having it removed yesterday, saying “we won’t hold a gun to your head but………….” suggesting there was NO scientific evident to support the insomnia or associated anxiety, depression, mood swings etc…. She suggested sleeping pills and I suspect next time, she’ll suggest anti-depressants. My parting comment was, I’ve heard of a few people removing them or their own. I was so cross.
    It just makes me realise how lucky we are to have the internet and be able to share all of this information between ourselves. Twenty years ago we’d have been none the wiser!

    • you are so right! i was SO THANKFUL for the internet during this whole debacle. i hope and pray you get yours out soon and your issues resolve!!!! keep me posted!!! xo

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