For some people, the Mirena is a hassle free, wonderful form of contraception. For five years you don’t have to think about it. For many women, you also take back control of irregular, heavy periods – in fact you might not have one for the entire time. You might experience up to six months of it settling in and then it’s all good. But for many women, it will be the worst decision you ever make in regards to your body.
The Mirena was a disaster for me. It was so awful that I had it removed after just three months. This was not ideal seeing that it took two attempts to even get it inserted in the first place. It was a painful and embarrassing experience. And then once I had it, my body reacted in ways I wasn’t prepared. I gained 12 kilos in three months, had constant acne, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression and was bloated all the time.
My doctor tried to persuade me it would pass. My doctor kept saying “wait it out, it’ll get better”. I trusted my gut and one day I made an appointment and determinedly stated: ” Get this little evil fucker out of me. Now.” And she did.
I immediately felt happier.
Two days later, I began to bleed blood clots the size of golf balls. This continued at a steady rate for 24 hours a days over a two week timeframe. I went back to my doctor who couldn’t explain what was going on and was instead told to wait it out, once again.
I was beside myself with worry and was frightened about what was happening to my body. I Googled, I asked friends, I cried to my husband and then I did the only thing I knew to do – I wrote a blog post about it asking for help. You can read it here.
It took one of my amazing bigwords’ readers, who lived locally, to arrange immediate blood tests to check if I was losing too much blood. And then the day after recieveing my results, the blood stopped. Just as instantly as it had began, it was over. I still had no answers from the medical profession as to why this had happened to me, but I do have hundreds of private messages and comments from you telling me in detail your experiences with the Mirena. And like me, many women who have contacted me in the past two years were in the midst of horrendous blood loss or depths of depression and had sought help from their local doctor or, in some dire cases, the emergency department of their local hospital – and they were getting NO ANSWERS. They too had done a search on Google and had landed on my blog post.
I have been privy to some of the most private experiences of women from all corners of the world. When you are waking in a pool of blood and it gushes down your legs as you walk and your doctor can’t help you, you feel alone. You feel terrified. You just want someone to tell you it’ll be ok.
I am not a medical professional. I can not tell anyone that they will be ok. I can only tell them to go back to their doctor or local hospital and demand answers. To keep safe and be kind to themselves. I can only speak my truth and hope that helps another woman out there know they are not alone in their experience. I can only direct them to the comments on the blog post so they can read of other’s experiencing similar outcomes. That is what blogging should be all about. People sharing their experiences with others.
And then it started to weigh on me. I wondered what I could do, particularly when getting comments, like this one:
Omg I thought I was reading about myself.. I have had that evil in me for 3 years and dealt with depression, weight gain, moods, headaches, bloating, aches and pains and my depression has lost me my job and made me so bad I attempted twice to take my life. This has affected my family so much that I had it taken out 4 weeks ago when I linked it to my symptons and I am already feeling better.
In a way I’ve been the keeper of all these women’s stories and I knew I needed to tell someone who could help in real ways, not just a supportive forum. I wasn’t sure if I should just suggest my doctor read the comments and tell her peers or if I should send a link to the Australian Medical Association or pass the information on to the company or a lawyer. And then my local television news crew at Ten Eyewitness News Adelaide contacted me asking if I would go on camera and talk about my experience. I did.
I don’t know what will come of the story, if anything. I can only hope it has helped shed some light on the matter. I can only hope it has helped even just one woman know why she is feeling the way she is. I hope it will encourage medical professionals to dig a little deeper and provide more informed advice to women getting this device about the multitude of possible Mirena side effects. And at least let them know, after its removal, to buy a heap of maternity pads and wear dark pants for awhile, just in case.
It’s been two years since I had mine. I am now only just managing to lose the weight I gained. I am back to my normal moody self. I feel worlds away from that awful time.
If you are in the midst of the scary part, please seek medical advice and most of all know you’re not alone and you will feel better. The bleeding will stop. You will get your life back.