So it’s been almost 3 years since my last post. To be honest, life with my Mirena was going well, and I just carried on and forgot about this blog because everything was spiffy.
Until I realised it wasn’t.
For me, I didn’t just wake up one day and realise the Mirena was affecting me. There is no defining “something is wrong!” moment I experienced. It took time, years, to understand it was affecting me in so many ways.
Firstly, and for me the most awful side effect: Libido. Gone. Dead. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know my libido experienced a resurgence after I stopped taking the Depo shot. It didn’t last long. Again, I didn’t just wake up and become aware of this. It happened slowly but surely, until it again became a part of my life. Eventually, it dawned on me that I couldn’t be touched without recoiling. I actively dreaded sex. I would spend all day, every day, thinking about what excuse I could use that night to avoid it. If my boyfriend couldn’t see my face during sex, I would keep it scrunched up. I cannot stress hard enough how much I hated sex. Hated. HATED. OMG HATED.
But still… it took a while for the Mirena connection to dawn on me. I went to the psychiatrist. I saw a mental health nurse up to three times a week. I took Zoloft (which would have made my libido worse!). I was convinced it was all due to depression and anxiety, which I do suffer from, and nothing else.
After a year or so I weaned myself off the Zoloft (kudos to any of you who have done that same – that shit was HARD to deal with!).
Another thing you would have read in my previous posts is that I managed to lose weight in the first year or so of having the Mirena.
Fast forward to now. I am the fattest I’ve ever been – 86kg (189lb), and that weight ain’t shiftin’. I’m no athlete, and I’ve never had a slim build, but nothing has made this weight lessen. It feels as though the more I exercise and the less I eat – the fatter I get! And the weight gain has destroyed my already pathetic self-esteem, which has made me even MORE fearful of sex.
Anyway. I finally realised that my avid avoidance of my partner is not okay. Not at ALL.
I moved house in the last year, and the clinic I had the IUD inserted in wasn’t an option anymore. As I hadn’t yet found a GP in my area, I literally Googled “friendly female doctors” and picked the place with the best Google reviews.
I worked myself into an absolute panic before the appointment. I (much like you I assume, if you’re reading this!) spent hours reading people’s horror stories. GPs refusing to remove their IUDs. Begging doctors to do it and getting declined. I sat in the waiting room in such a state that I almost fainted.
My game plan was this – go into the room, ask for a pap smear, and then ask for the Mirena to come out. That way, she’d have no choice but to do it, right?? She’d already be elbow deep in my biznis!
So in I went, and did just that, and…
*Hallelujah chorus plays*
It turns out Google didn’t let me down and the doctor was in fact the friendliest doctor ever. She didn’t ask why I wanted it out, she didn’t blink an eye. She just said “as long as your strings are easy to see, we’ll have no problem at all!”
I told her my strings were still in place (a blessing not everyone can report!) and warned her I had a tilted uterus in case that would cause any problems. Nope. She was in and out in seconds flat.
How did it feel?
I was quite scared of the pain due to my horror insertion, but it turned out to be nothing scary. It was a sharp, intense pain – I exhaled a quick “oof!” – but it was over so quickly that I exclaimed “was that it??” Compared to the insertion, it was nothing. Yes, it hurt, but for less than a second. Stubbing your toe is worse. That hurts for 20 seconds. This was nothing. Just breathe and you’ll be fine.
So I’ve had it out for 6 days now. I didn’t get any cramping at all, but from the experiences I’ve read, cramping afterwards (even for a few days) is common and you shouldn’t be worried if that happens to you. I’ve been spotting since the day it came out but usually only see the blood when I wipe. It rarely makes it to my liner. I’ve been wearing a liner every day (and a pad to bed at night) since I have zero idea what my cycle is or when it will return – 4ish years of no periods has been nice!
So! Here we are. I’ve just ordered myself a Caya Diaphragm*. I am OFF the hormones and can’t wait to see how my body reacts.
I had a Mirena for almost four years. It was an exceptionally efficient birth control, mostly because it made me abstinent. It affects everyone differently and, like all birth controls, you need to try it for yourself to see if it works for you.
I have learned that there is no hormonal birth control on the market today that my body will respond well to. If you have no issues with hormones, the Mirena would probably be amazing for you. These are just my experiences… and I am SO GLAD TO HAVE THIS THING OUT OF ME (and sitting in a little jar in my medicine cabinet like a tiny little uterus trophy).
*This turned out to be a bit difficult in Australia. I asked a pharmacist and they could only source them from Medical Industries Australia, which is where I ended up ordering mine from. You can easily track them down on eBay etc. Just be aware that you must order Caya Gel to go with it.