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.]

61 thoughts on “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. 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. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. .

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

      • wow! I ve been having these symptoms for the past 2 and half years!! Mirena is ruining my mental health. It is hell!! I wasn’t this paranoid, sad, panicky person all the time … with no desire to live… how do you feel after you took this horrible thing out of your body? Do you feel like a happy person again? I want to remove it but I am afraid to get pregnant.. I already have 3 kids. But I am no longer the same person I used to be before Mirena. I am now a paranoid person full of depression and anxiety. Thank you Linday for sharing your story. This s real!! I feel the same way. and interestingly all these symptoms started happening 1 week after I put Mirena. And they never stopped..i am still debating if I should remove it or live another 2 and half years with this thing…

      • OH MAN, GET IT OUT!! I can’t believe you’ve lasted this long!

        When I got the Mirena out, it took only THREE DAYS for all the hormones to get out of my system and get me back to normal. And I’m not kidding you when I tell you that it was like a lightswitch being flicked. As soon as it was out, I noticed a difference.

        If you are really scared of getting pregnant again, there is Paraguard, a non-hormonal copper IUD. I’ve heard good things about that but I’m too chicken to put anything foreign in my body ever again after the Mirena debacle.

  14. 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

  15. I just had an IUD implanted 2 days ago and the
    First night I couldnt sleep, and last night I couldn’t either so I decided to go online and do a research because I call the hospital to talk to a nurse but I was surprise that a nurse wasn’t available and I need it to leave a message so I did and I am waiting for a responds and I’ll let you know what was there answer. Now I am nervous they will totally refuse to take this IUD out. I remember asking this Dr if I could remove it on my own but her answer wasn’t clear. I guess I’ll tell them if they don’t take it out I’ll call 911 and that I will take this dumb thing out on my own because they don’t want to. I am so sorry you went through a night mare.

  16. This post has given me hope. My girlfriend of 2.5 years has had Mirena for about 6 months now. Although I believe she still loves me she has no sexual desires with or without me and has openly questioned her love for me several times. She was the one who told me she loved me first and used to be so affectionate. It hurts me terribly.

    I am so stunned with the dramatic turn in our relationship. She has said I’d be better off without her or that we shouldn’t see each other anymore, but she cannot seem to break up with me entirely and always wants me to spend time with her. I wish I could do more for her but the littlest things seem to set her off. We have several weeks of great experiences and fun together but if I say even the slightest thing wrong she will cry and say we’re not right for each other. I love her a lot and the side effects she is experiencing (no libido, weight gain, headaches, dizziness, stomach issues, mood swings, etc.) kills me. It hurts me directly and indirectly knowing she is suffering.

    She has taken the step to see an OBGYN to talk about her side effects. I hope between the two of them they will be able to pinpoint Mirena as the likely cause and get her back to to girl I fell in love with. I am however, very worried her doctor will too say not to worry or it is likely something else. I truly believe this is the problem. Her zest for life seems to be gone. Not only for me, but when she is alone or at work also. Everyday seems to have a new physical or mentally painful experience for her and I don’t know how I can help her.

    My question is, if she does have her MIrena removed what are the complications of that? If she has it removed and still doesn’t feel better and it is something else other than the IUD, is it a painful or less effective to have it a second time around? From what I’ve read it seems it cannot hurt to at least see what happens after the IUD is removed. Seems worth the try.

    • To follow up my girlfriend had her Mirena IUD removed today! She said she discussed her side effects and the OBGYN said it was likely not caused by the IUD. After reading this blog and others and other comments I am not surprised with the OBGYN’s assessment.

      I am so pleased with her decision. I only hope she feels better in the upcoming days and weeks and we can begin what I hope will be a new and happy chapter in our relationship.

      • HI! I actually was just in the process of replying to you!!! I don’t understand why OBGYNs are so reluctant to admit that these things cause side effects. Like I mentioned in the blog, I was back to my normal self in less than three days after removal, which is EXACTLY what the kind OB said would happen. If PMS is a real thing (and it is) and if hormonal changes are PROVEN to cause changes in behavior/mood/overall physical wellbeing, why is it so outlandish to think that CONSISTENTLY PUMPING HORMONES INTO YOUR BODY wouldn’t have some sort of effect??? I sincerely pray your girlfriend’s situation improves. Please keep me posted — I would love to have more examples to point to!!

  17. Thanks Lindsay, I’m make sure to update you in a month or so! My gf still isn’t convinced that the IUD is causing her these side effects. But I’m glad she has listened to me and has had it removed. She has an annual physical/blood-work tomorrow also so fingers crossed if that clears it will point further to Mirena pending her feeling better in the upcoming days or weeks. We have a lot of rebuilding to do but this seems to be the best start I could ask for. For her own well-being and ours. Cheers for the great resource!

    • I had my IUD implanted last Friday. I didn’t sleep one wink last night and Found this post after googling Mirena plus insomnia and am so worried that it’s a side effect! I’m tempted to pull the stupid thing out right now. I’m sure my doctor will tell me I’m crazy and that it’s not related, as she was the one selling me on it and all its benefits. Your comment about the insomnia starting three days later makes me feel like I could be having an adverse reaction too. Thanks so much for the info

      • They will very likely not believe you. It’s ridiculous. Be vigilant in tracking your symptoms and be resilient. Do not give up. I can’t imagine what my life would look like right now if I hadn’t fought my way through this. Hang in there and let me know what happens!

    • Reading your post seems eerily similar to my situation with my Girlfriend. Our relationship went from happy, fun and outgoing, constantly pushing each other to attain goals and to try new things and very supportive too just toxic. Within a week I watched her become very negative and hateful/ spitefull person and seemingly rewrite our relationship to all negative. Very edgy and the least little thing would set her off so I was constantly walking on egg shells. When I mentioned maybe it was the Mirena, all hell broke loose and I listened and watched as every bad aspect of her life which suddenly developed all became a fault of our relationship as she explained it. She would not even consider the mirena being the culprit as it would mean the OB that told her there would be zero side effects was wrong and that everything she has been blaming for her depression and so on would also be wrong. I knew her right up to mirena to be a different person. I was terrified to leave her because I knew who the girl was I fell in love with And she changed very suddenly after marina. I met with my family doctor who is held very highly in the medical field in canada to ask a few question. She told me she has had numerous cases of the same and she will no longer insert them as over 1/2 are coming back with terrible experiences. Or want on depression pills. Scary enough she finally had it taken out but won’t say why. It’s been three weeks and almost right away she became less edgy. Like most spouses would notice certain times of the month were worse then others and the worst of them still remained but that was only a week after removal. The Doctor said it would take about a month for her hormones to be naturally adjusted. She has started to joke around and smile again and has started to be thoughtfull towards me again. The hatred seems to be going away. She is again asking me to do things. The sad part is there is so much trama caused in our relationship now that I don’t know If I can handle it anymore. After 6 months of being the target of such anger and emotional abuse it has built up. I am still trying and giving it more time to see if she comes around 100% over this month but there is only so much a person can take before you go numb and begin to resent someone.

      To the women reading this please keep in mind that if your other half has mentioned a noticeable change in your mood/ personality and they are worried that chances are they say this out of love and honesty if they have stuck around through ups and downs with you. Don’t see this as us blaming you for all the problems but as us worried about you and our relationships. Relationships have two people in it. Not one and some other person who is just there when you want them.

      Also my doctor recommended having a look in progesterone sensitivity I believe is what she called it. And when I looked at a woman’s natural hormone cycle with my doctor it was very evident that when progesterone levels were highest was when my GF was the most angry and upset.

      • This story makes me so sad. I’m glad she was able to finally get it removed and I sincerely pray that you and she can work together to rebuild what has been broken. Bless you both.

  18. Wow these comments are so mind-easing! I’m 25 and after being on the pill for 7(ish) years I needed to take some time away from hormonal BC. The last year of taking them I was getting severe migraines with aura and bad mood swings along with being irritable (Not a good combination when trying to maintain a relationship). My doctor and I decided that it was a good idea to stop taking the pill and see how my symptoms subsided. She suggested that Mirena was a good option but I thought I would research it first before making any decisions. Well, after doing just that and thinking/talking it over with my boyfriend I decided about 6 months after being BC free that I would give it a try. Even though I was fully aware of all the symptoms and horror stories I needed some form of BC and I felt like this was my last option since the doc told me that I would have little to no side affects due to the hormone release being localized within my uterus and not in my blood stream. So a prescription of Ativan and 2 Ibuprofen’s later I’m back at the Dr’s office nervous as hell. As much as I prepared myself for the pain, it didn’t do any good. I can’t imagine how it would’ve felt if I wasn’t loopy from the drugs. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was probably one of the worst things I’ve experienced as far as pain goes. Thank god my boyfriend drove me because I could barely move without cramping up for the rest of the day. Then there was the cramps days after being inserted. Then they persisted on and off for several weeks after (which I expected). My period started becoming inconsistent (which I also expected but was pretty annoying and inconvenient). As time went on, I started to get bad cramps again which made me consult my doctor. She told me that I had developed IBS symptoms which may or may not have been from Mirena. I also complained that shortly after being inserted, I started to develop acne on my face. (I might add there are brochures everywhere throughout the office for Mirena and whenever I tried to blame the IUD as the source of my problems my doctor was usually quick to stop me in my tracks and prescribe a “band-aid” solution while saying that Mirena wasn’t the cause). She told me that because I was on the pill for so long, it was the reason that I had such good skin before. Even though I wasn’t on the pill for 6 months and still had great skin. Even though it didn’t make sense to me I still went along with it because she had told me that my body was still trying to adjust to the hormones and that I should wait it out. She then prescribed (surprise surprise) me an acne cream that was new and upcoming and the best of it’s kind apparently. Fast forward 2-3 months…. I actually started to feel normal and Mirena was totally forgotten about. Even though my acne still persisted, I was relieved to think that it might actually work out for me. YAY! Fast forward again another 2-3 months… Not so much YAY which brings me to about 2 months ago. Still acne and oily skin… yuck. Cramps came and went (Mostly came when I was supposed to be on my period but they got pretty bad at times which frustrated me). Still got my period which wasn’t regular. Basically whenever it damn pleased to come but it was mostly just spotting for a couple of days which wasn’t too bad. Then, the mood swings started to creep up *sigh*. I was getting to the point where I was actually questioning if it was the Mirena doing this or if something was actually wrong with me mentally. Since my doctor thought Mirena was the greatest thing since sliced bread, I was hesitant to see her at first worried that she was going to dismiss the issue. My mood swings slowly got worse over a period of just a few weeks. This was then accompanied by severe irritability. (My poor boyfriend! I’m sure he wanted to smother me in my sleep some days). I felt myself getting worse and worse and I didn’t feel like my normal self anymore. I just didn’t feel right. Which really started to upset me because it was affecting my relationship and my well-being. I then realized that this is EXACTLY what I was like when I was on the pill. I needed this thing out of me ASAP! Went to the doctor prepared to beg her to have it out. To my surprise, she told me she had no problem taking it out BUT offered me an alternative solution (Shocking!) which was anti-depresants to stabilize my mood. I was actually offended that she would do that but she said she just wanted me to be aware of my options. Just to appease her I said I would give it some thought and come back in a week. Giving it little to no thought at all (my mind had already been made up) I was back the next week. I told her I wanted the IUD out. Five minutes and a little pinch later (I was expecting it to hurt but it was such a breeze) I was out of there! Seriously within just a few minutes I felt such a sense of relief. It was like my body was so happy that it finally had nothing irritating it anymore. I felt so enlightened and free. My mood had instantly changed. I had some mild cramping for a couple hours which was the least of my worries, two days later I got my period like it was the first time. Let me just say there was a fair bit of blood lol but it only lasted 2 days.

    So here I am in present time. Having Mirena taken out has been the best decision ever other than being out of options for hormonal BC (Dr. has told me that my body must have some sort of allergy to Progestin). I guess it’s time for the boyfriend to rubber up! So just to give a little update on how my symptoms/side effects are…. The IBS symptoms are completely GONE, cramping completely GONE, acne started to clear up within days and is completely GONE other than some scarring from before, my mood swings and irritability are GONE (Well back to the normal amount anyway hehe not every woman is going to be completely free of those but at least I feel human again).

    On a last note I just want to say thank you to whoever reads this extremely long post. After reading the other posts on here, I felt like I needed to share my story. Even though Mirena might seem like the “perfect” solution and your doctor swears by it or highly recommends it, just do what you feel is right for you. And even if you have decided to get the Mirena and something is “just not right” or you feel “off”, listen to your body. No doctor knows your body like you do. I really wanted Mirena to work for me and I think that’s why I held off on having it removed for so long. Yes, it’s super convenient but do not let Dr’s or anyone make you think that you should keep it in if your body doesn’t agree with it. Listen to your body!

    • AMEN SISTER! Listen to your body! YOU KNOW YOU BEST! I hate when doctors try and override your own intuition. So frustrating. I’m so glad you got this all sorted out and are feeling better!

  19. Omg this article brought a tear to my eye!! I had the iud fitted back in March and it has had such a negative impact on every aspect of my life!.

    I was recommends to have it since suffering extremely painful and long periods after the birth of my daughter 6 years ago. Over the years the doctors have subjected me to various forms of contraception all of which played havoc with my body.

    I spent 5 years begging for a hysterectomy because the pain and bleeding was so bad but I kept getting refused due to my age,each doctor stating I was to young!

    In the end my husband had the snip,which i hoped would convince them a hysterectomy would be the way forward,but no they recommend another pill. I decided that I didn’t want to subject myself to the pill again and decided to take nothing and put up with the pain!

    In 2013 my periods got even worse lasting anything between 15 to 25 days and they were heavy for the whole time. It got to the point where I’d have no intimate time with my husband,I had to reduce my sports down,which was really hard because I was a keen runner ,cyclist and swimmer. Soon I was having to drop out of triathlons/events because my heavy bleeding had sent me anemic and I was suffering with all the symptoms that come with being anemic.

    So before I knew it everything in my life had stopped due to these heavy periods .I was spending next to no time with my little one and struggling with everything I did.I went to my doctor again begging and crying for help,oddly this time it worked. I saw a very understanding young male doctor who reffered me to our local hospital and for the first time ever I felt like I was being listened to.

    I was referred to a gyno doctor who agreed I couldn’t carry on the way I was and assured me the iud was the way forward,it would stop my pain and the heavy periods which would then mean I wouldn’t be anemic anymore,which I obviously thought fantastic!!!

    Well it’s now November and i had no idea the iud would do very little for my periods ,it’s increased my pain which means I’m constantly uncomfortable and have a permanent pain in my cervix which is sole destroying and after reading this blog I now know why I’ve not slept for 3months and have felt very down in the dumps. I assumed the anxiety I had been feeling was down to lack of sleep and other problems I had, only I didn’t have any problems just very over active mind that has been sending me loopy!!!

    I got to bed feeling exhausted and can never sleep,I think I’m lucky if I get 3 badly disturbed hours,which leaves me feeling very emotional and the inability to do anything. I struggle just as much now as I did with the anemia! I barely do any sports lately,I barely have decent time with my family and I’m struggling in my job, the iud has postively made my life worse!!!

    Thankfully I went back to my surgeon two weeks and made a very emotional plea for help and his agreed to give me a hysterectomy, so Tuesday my hell will be over. I know it seems extreme wanting such a surgery done but after 6 years of hell I can’t bloody wait!!!!

      • Hi, thought I’d post an update. I had my hysterectomy on the 11th November and had open abdominal surgery so I’m still in alot of pain,but I already feel this is worth while.

        My surgeon came to see me post op to explain that I had more surgery than originally planned,he told me that when they opened me up my pelvis,ovaries and womb was black because i was riddled with endometriosis and they had to burn as Much of it out of my pelvis and ovaries as they could to reduce the pain I had been suffering all these years.

        He appologised to me and stated they should of done more for me back in March instead of fitting the iud and if they had investigated further in March they would of done the hysterectomy then because of how bad things appeared to be when they opened me up.

        Although I’m in alot of post op pain I can honestly say I already feel that my anxiety has lifted and the intense feeling of worry I’ve felt for the last 3 months seems to of lifted the last few days and I can sleep,ive been sleeping loads which has felt amazing!I i know my painkillers maybe helping with this but it still feels great!

        If there is one bit of advice or one thing I’d like to share with people from what I’ve learnt is make your doctors look harder,instead of letting them mask heavy bleeding and pain with contraceptive like pills or iud’s make then look harder,make them find out why your suffering!I suffered for 5 years and now I know why and I’d really hate for any other women to go through the hell I’ve been through!

  20. Hi. I am so desperately hoping the Mirena is the cause of all my recent issues. I have had severe depression, insomnia, hair falling out, panic attacks. SEVERE panic and anxiety and horrible thoughts. I have been sent to therapist/psych office. I am getting the Mirena removed TOMORROW!! I am praying this will relieve all my symptoms I have mentioned, along with a foul smell and tremendous weight gain. I have lost will to live life. I feel like everyone, including my family, is a stranger. I have no clue as to why this is happening and thank goodness I came across postings on the internet about this, otherwise I would have gone to the psych ward just like others. I am so close to doing that but I need to know first if it is the Mirena. There is a burning sensation in my uterus also. I too only read the pamphlet the doctor gave me and trusted this was my answer for the heavy periods I had. It did fix that problem, but OMG. I would prefer to bleed for a week than be on the verge of insanity and panic every single day. I have had bouts of depression before, but NONE like THIS!! I am even scared to go to the doctor tomorrow. I feel like being alone but I am scared when I am alone. Very very paranoid and worried about everything and everyone. Also having constant “flashbacks” from my life… I am 46 and have been thinking about things that happened to me when I was just in middle school. I even went to my GYN and she said not to remove the Mirena, that I was just having a panic attack. Well, the panic attack has been going on since JULY!!! I finally reached the point to see someone in September. I would wake up with night sweats in a PANIC. Panic so awful I can’t describe it here. Again, I am getting this removed tomorrow and I only pray it gives me relief. I need to sleep again. I need to be happy again. I need to care about something again. I would appreciate contact from anyone who has also had this happen.

  21. I understand completely!!! the effects of Merina IUD gave me such horrible panic attacks at one point in time I had thoughts of suicide. My panic attacks would last for days….it was like my mind was on replay and I would go for days without eating due to the fear and anxiety the attacks created. It took me two refills of xanax and three months to figure out it was my merina and I got it out as soon as possible thanks to wonderful blogs such as this to help me figure it out! My OB/GYN assured me that it couldn’t be my iud and told me I need to see a counselor!!! I have never had problems like this before and my life wasn’t anymore stressful. She did remove it after I urged her to. I felt fine for a few days and then the “merina crash” hit. It sucked but I had been living a hellish nightmare anyway and knew it was a step I had to take in order to get all those horrible chemicals out of my body. I have gone through one cycle since having my IUD removed and while I did have a few days of distant panicky feelings during “that tine” my mind could control my thoughts and I got through it with out medication. I am almost back to the person I was before I had this devil placed inside me….I will never get another iud!!!! Ladies know and trust your bodies!!!

    • PREACH! i am SO GLAD you listened to your body and kept fighting. i really honestly believe that the OBs are getting some sort of financial compensation from mirena or something because they push it so hard and are soooooo adverse to any criticism. ugh.

  22. OMFG…. I have been battling this for years. I WORK at a physicians office and still can’t get any answers. This is my story:
    http://laughingwithpanic.weebly.com/

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through what you did, but I am so glad people like you have helped me realize that I am not crazy. Getting the Mirena removed at the end of march!

  23. I absolutely love this I have!!! been experiencing the ECXACT same thing, the mirena literally ruined my life, I left a job of 8 years where I was making GREAT money, I lost my two best friends, and almost lost my 20 and 17 year old, lost a couple of great relationships because of my CRAZINESS! I am in the midst of losing my soul-mate of a lifetime who suggested that I get on depression meds asap so that we could have a relationship because he cares for me a lot but doesn’t think that my anxiety disorder is healthy for our relationship!!! Which I agree 100% with him. I actually may have lost him already, but while reading your post I called my OB which couldn’t see me until next week, so I got in with another OB tomorrow, all because I cannot handle one more day with this EVIL inside me. I will get back on here in a couple of days to see what the results are. I need some good sleep myself I have been lacking for a couple of years now and it’s starting to show on my face. I have been on the verge of suicide, I have more foggy days than good ones. I have picked up smoking marijuana because it relaxes me when I feel an attack coming on. I REFUSE TO LIVE LIFE IN THIS DARK ALLEY WHERE I SEE NO END. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST YOU MAY JUST HAVE SAVED MY LIFE!

  24. I found this blog when searching for sleep side effects of mirena. I do think mirena had some effect on your moods that started thisnl whole thing for you,
    but the memory lapse and such, I think is more attributed to the high amounts of sleep aids and anti-depressants you were on. I’ve had mirena for about 2 weeks or 3 weeks now. I’ve been constantly spotting though that doesn’t seem too abnormal from what I’ve read. For the first week my anxiety and moods were a tad out of control. This really isn’t specific to mirena for me – any hormonal birth control does that to me when I first start it. To be honest, most hormonal birth controls are linked to anxiety and depression. What I have noticed this week is, is the insomnia. I’m not bad yet, I can still get enough sleep in the night. I don’t have issues falling asleep initially but I wake up at weird hours and will have problems falling back to sleep.

  25. Got mine out and feel better already. So glad I didn’t wait and have such a terrible story as you.
    I’m writing about the results of having it out on my blog lifeafterthem.com.

  26. I have been writing a very similar post in my head for months now, because I had a terrible (although not exactly the same kind of terrible) experience with my Mirena IUD, too. Let’s SEO the sh-t out of that horrible product until the world knows the truth! :)

  27. Hey, so I just read your story today.. I’m so sorry you went through all of that. Today I was telling my aunt about some things that have been happening to me and she told me to do some research on my birth control which is mirena… so this popped up. Almost every one on here has been experiencing the same Things as me. I’v honestly had some sort of birth control running through my system since I was about 16/17 because of period issues. But I got married a couple years ago and had quit the pill because I got very very VERY depressed and I had never felt like that before.. some days when I would take the pill I swear I could feel that heavy feeling instantly so my hubby told me to go off of it.. it was a good 6 months before I got mirena and during that time I felt slightly different but I feel like it takes quite a while for the stuff to get out of your system.. well this past October made a year of me having Mirena. I’m 20.. and anxiety has become a part of my life.. having anxiety attacks..worrying about things that aren’t happhappening.. nervousness. My skin has gotten worst which I think may be from just being stressed out about being so darn anxious! But it could be from mirena too.. Iv also been having lots of stomach issues which I have gone to the doctor for. Didn’t start till this past year.. just reading all these things has made me realize all the changes in my body since I got mirena. When you’re married..Its not just yourself it’s affecting it’s your hubby too! Mine just wants me to be happy And help.. and I do too! I’m thinking I’m going to be doing something about this soon. I’m just a tiny bit scared because I keep hearing of how when it’s taken out there are side effects.. hopefully that won’t be the case.

  28. Thank you so much for this post and all the comments.

    I’m another woman to add to the list. I stopped taking Yaz a few years ago after four months on it because I started experience panick attacks. I had always suspected previously that anxiety disorders and panic attacks were semi invented syndromes suffered by people who need attention. I was wrong! (Sorry) My doctor refused my suggestion (based on timing) that BC and anxiety were related however he agreed to switch me to lower dose Alesse. I improved but retained distant feelings of paranoia and impending doom around my periods. Finally, for convenience I switched to mirena last July. Since then I have gradually begun to experience increasing night sweats. I wake up and the sheets are soaked. I thought this was strange… And gradually, always near my period (I don’t bleed anymore but retain PMS symptoms like acne and sore breasts) I have had increasingly debilitating anxiety and paranoia. It’s usually directed at my husband who I suddenly become convinced is leading a double life (I’m embarrassed to even type this, he’s wonderful). I usually have enough sense to keep these feelings to myself since there is no evidence or even logic behind these feelings of paranoia. Currently I’m on day three of what I can only guess is a panic attack. I fall asleep and wake with a feeling of doom and my heart start racing. I can’t eat, I have the trots (lovely), and my mind jumps from “I probably have a brain tumour” to “how much would it cost to hire a PI to tail my husband” (tail him where, to and from work?? Craaaazy!!!) I know in brainest brain that this is NUTS and all paranoia. My sister, who I can confide in and has had genuine issues with depression, is like “You’re tripping and need to STAHP.”

    I’ve never experienced depression or anxiety before I started messing around with BC. Bungee jumping? Sure! Leave my job to start my own business? Hell yes. Husband wants to go on a golfing trip with his buddies? Good for you! No doubts, no worries, no jealousy. Until this.

    So thank you very much for sharing. I’m seeing my OBGYN next week for removal. I’m already prepared for her to disagree with me but I will tell her my story anyway so she can add my anecdote to the list. If there are enough of us maybe they will finally start listening to the women using it and not drug funded studies.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Currently awake at 5 am as usual, I know it must be from the mirena. I have not been myself in the 2 years I have had it in. Anxiety, insomnia, and panic attacks as well. Calling my doctor first thing in the morning to get this awful thing out of me. Thanks again!

  30. I’m 51 years old & I have had my Mirena out 3 weeks now after having it in 8 weeks. I can’t believe the change in my life. I’ve gone from a confident fun loving woman to a timid shell of a person. I’ve been put on ante depressants, anxiety meds, sleeping tablets, seeing a pschologisy and now they want me to see a psycharitrist. I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t work. can’t function. All my friends & family are worried about me and just about all I can do is sit and stare into space. There are some times when I feel almost normal but they are few. The insomnia & anxiety are by far the worst side effects. The most frustrating thing is finding medical people who believe you. I feel lost & shattered and like this will last forever. I’d love to hear from anyone who has recovered what they did and how long they took?

    • Hi Jill. After I got mine removed it took about 3 days for the hormones to all leave my body, but after that I was completely back to normal. Get it out ASAP!

  31. I’m so glad I’ve found this thread. I’m having mine removed on tues and it can’t come soon enough. I’ve had mine for 18 months and I have been so depressed. I almost left my husband last year but have been fighting to save our marriage. The light bulb moment only happened last week when I started researching Mirena side effects. I called the doc’s the next day and told him I want it out. I tried last year to get it removed because I could not stop eating junk food and I’ve been very controlled all my life, but as with most people’s experience the doc just dismissed it and told me to keep it in longer and everything should settle ….. BULL!!!! Nothing settled and I battle that flat feeling everyday. Really glad to have found this thread, thanks Lindsay for sharing your post Mirena experience…. ROLL ON TUESDAY!! 😊 Good luck to the rest of you that are having it removed soon. Will keep you updated with how I feel after.

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