WARNING: This post contains graphic descriptions about blood loss and may offend some people. Do not read it if you are easily offended. I have chosen to write about my experience because no-one warned me about what might happen and I’ve had many questions about the Mirena and frankly, it’s my blog and I can write about whatever I want. I don’t really see the point of blogging unless you write about things others will not. This might help someone. If might even help me.

Twelve days ago I had my contraceptive device removed. I expected some bleeding after its removal. I expected a “heavy period” as my Doctor so kindly forewarned me.

I was wrong and she was wrong.

Instead, I am now on Day 10 of the most horrendous blood loss I have ever experienced. Blood clots the size of golf balls have become a regular occurrence. It is so violent I have found myself in supermarket queues with blood soaked pants wishing for the ground to swallow me up. Gushes of blood have become so normal I have started not leaving the house for longer than half an hour blocks, too nervous of a repeat performance. Today, alone, I have changed my tampon and accompanying maxi pad five times in  five hours. And this is Day 10. There are no signs of this abating.

And I count myself lucky. I work from home, which helps, and I have a supportive husband who can step in when I need to rush to the toilet, again and again. What about the women who do not have a support network? What about the women who have to stand for long hours for their job? The ones who have to take public transport to and from work, who sit there squirming in their seat? What about the ones who can’t be seen rushing to the toilet every hour, pay docked, questions asked?

What disturbs me most is that I can not get any solid explanations about my body’s response to the Mirena’s removal. And I’m a journalist for fucks sake. Is this blood loss normal? Will it stop soon? Is there anything I can do to make it possible to leave the house? Why was I not not pre-warned about this?

I went to a different Doctor yesterday and asked her what she thought. She too had no answers. I have a strong suspicion that no-one really does. And they should know. What they do know is that for the most part this “revolutionary” IUD can stop periods for many women and according to “research” it is “simply the best” contraceptive device ever. A term I’ve heard many times. A term I beg to differ on.

For me, it’s been a disaster. For me, it’s taken six, now edging to seven months of my life away. It’s caused me to stack on 12 kilos. It’s caused pimple outbreaks, akin to being a teenage boy. It’s caused a roller caster of emotions and huge mood swings. Heart palpitations. Anxiety. Bloating. You name it.

Since its removal (you can read about that here), my whole demeanour has changed. Instantly, I felt a weight lifted. Instantly, I felt happier, less anxious. The heart palpitations stopped. I stopped craving food with such ferocity. I’ve even lost a kilo. It was instant, how much better I felt. I walked lighter. I’d taken back control of my body, but then the bleeding started.

I just want it to stop. I’ve had heavy periods my whole life. I know what it’s like to sleep on a towel in bed and have nausea knock me out, but this is different. I’ve had days of heavy blood loss, not weeks. I am so drained.

In my personal experience, the Mirena has been a complete disaster from start to finish. For others, it’s been life changing. I just wish there was more information out there for the people whose bodies do not react positively. For people like me. Why isn’t there?

Has this happened to anybody else? Have you ever had to do the “blood shuffle” in a public place?

Since writing this post I have done an update – you can read it here.

bigwords x