3-and-a-bit year update: IT’S OUT

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.

*Record screech*

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.

The removal

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*

*Angels sing*

*Kittens appear*

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.

Post-Mirena

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.

TL;DR:

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.

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Mirena: One Year Today!

Huzzah! Hooray! Happy birthday, little guy!

MirenaBirthday

I have carried you for one year in my womb, nurtured you with chocolate, loved you as only a non-mother can… etc etc. 😉

So, it’s been a year. As per all of my updates until now – I fucking love my Mirena. It’s been a great year for me. My Depo/Implanon woes have vanished and I feel normal. My period has disappeared. My libido has mostly returned, and I’m having vaginal orgasms (plural!) which I’ve never had up until now at the ripe old age of 29.

Anyway, I’m off to buy my uterus a birthday cake! (…To be eaten by mouth, in case you were wondering.)

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Mirena: 10 month-ish update

Well, hi there! As you can see, it’s been some time since I’ve posted. That’s mostly because everything is going smoothly. Here are a couple of updates as I approach the one year anniversary of shoving a foreign object into my womb:

Bleeding. I can say with some confidence that my period has completely stopped. I haven’t bled since July, and that was practically invisible. In fact, I only recorded it as a period in my period tracker because it might have been blood. It also might just have been bad lighting or patterned toilet paper, it was that indiscernible.  Seriously. Period – gone. AWWWW YISS.

PMS. This behaves as normal, just sans bleeding. I still get the stupid depressive feeling about a week before a period would be due. If I catch myself feeling mopey or crying at an ad on TV just because there’s a cat on it, I whip out my period tracker, and without fail find that I would be due for a period in the next week if I was still bleeding. So as far as PMS goes, it remains unchanged in me. My periods exist emotionally; they just don’t show up in my pants anymore. Fabbo.

Libido. Okay, here’s the best part. For years I’ve had an altered libido from the Implanon and the Depo shot. I’ve also never had a orgasm in my sexual career through coitus alone. That is, until last night. BOOM. Genuine vaginal orgasm. For the last couple of months, I’ve felt a little something down there during sex that I’ve never felt before (I’m approaching 30 and have been having sex since I was 17, so needless to say I wrote myself off as one of the majority who can’t orgasm vaginally). I am mentioning this to show that, at least for me – and keeping in mind that all contraceptives affect everyone differently, your results may vary, yada yada yada – the Mirena has not affected my sexual function or libido. I am quite chuffed with myself today. Yes indeed.

That’s about all for now. Unless something terrible happens, I am looking forward to the next four years!

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Mirena Update: All’s Well

I don’t really have much to say at this point other than I am still loving having a Mirena. My cycle is averaging around the 40-day mark, and my most recent period was the lightest yet. I kept waiting for at least some moderate bleeding, but it never came. Just really light spots for a few days. It’s looking like I might lose my period altogether – I can’t wait!

So… yeah. Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said. Love it. Big ol’ thumbs up.

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Mirena: 3 Month Update

I. Love. Mirena.

I could pretty much leave this update with those three words, but I’ll elaborate a little further…

Periods. Since I had the Mirena I.U.D inserted 3 months ago, I’ve had two periods. The first ran from December 21-27, and the second has just finished up, running from February 3-9. For anyone who doesn’t want to count (that would be me!), my period tracker tells me that’s a whopping 44 day cycle. They have both been what I can only refer to as “reverse-periods”, by which I mean they start off lightly and tend to be heaviest on the last day. However, I’m playing fast and loose with the word heavy – I’ve never needed anything more than a liner. Old pads and tampons are just gathering dust in my cupboard.

Moods. I feel wonderful. Sure, I still have occasional dark days, and PMS still hits me the same as it normally does. Generally though, I feel like me again – the me who I was pre-Implanon, pre-Depo. Regular, unaffected me. Not crying, serial-killer me! I’m also finding it much easier to handle food cravings, and although (as I’ve documented in my previous updates) I’m struggling with weight, it doesn’t seem to be so much of an emotional battle anymore. I can say no to excessive food more often now, and although I still catch myself binge eating, it’s not at EVERY opportunity. Saying no once out of every two or three times is positive progress, and I’ll take it.

Libido. Normal. No painful sex, boyfriend has never felt the Mirena strings.

Cramps. Normal period cramps.

Pimples. Negative. I mention pimples because I’ve read many reviews where people have noted that Mirena has given them issues with this. I seem unaffected.

Sooo, there you have it – here at the 3 month mark, things are going very well. This is my personal experience and yours will be different, but if you are scared to try the Mirena, know that there ARE positive experiences out there, and this is one of them. Hopefully it stays that way!

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Mirena: 2 Month Update… Let’s Talk About Vaginal Lubrication!

That’s right, vaginal lubrication! I promised you this blog would be uncensored, and uncensored it shall be… so let’s dive right on in.

It’s been exactly two months since I had my Mirena inserted, and for those of you who read my original post, you will know that I was having trouble with extremely painful intercourse, due to the side effects I experienced with Implanon and Depo Provera. I am overjoyed to report this particular issue is no more. My libido seems to slowly but surely be returning, and along with it has come (pun sort of intended) some good old fashioned, slippery, naturally lubricated sex. Good.

It is not just this that tells me the Depo is finally making its exit from my body. For the first time in well over a year, I’ve managed to start losing the weight I gained from my previous contraceptives. The hormones involved in both the implant and the injection gave me an appetite that was out of control. I became obsessed with food, and although I was aware of the problem, I could not control it. This might sound like fantasy, but I’ve spoken with other women who have reported exactly the same problem – hormones can do really, really crazy things! In the last month, I’ve been able to lose 3kg (6.6 pounds), and although this is not even close to what I put on over the last year, it’s a good start. How have I lost the weight? The food obsession seems to be decreasing. I have the ability to feel full again, and to tell myself I don’t need to snack. I’ve been eating very well and hope this can continue.

Now, periods. So far, I could not be more pleased with how the Mirena is affecting my periods. I have had one period since I wrote my last update. It lasted for seven days and was very, very light. I am using an iPhone app to track my period, and should be due for another one in 4 days; I’m interested to see how my periods progress from here on, and hoping they’ll disappear completely soon!

There’s really nothing else to report here at the two month mark, which is a very good thing in itself. I am very happy with my decision to get an IUD thus far.

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Mirena: 4th Week Update… And Some Depo Remorse

Here we are at four weeks, and once again my body has decided to make a liar out of me; in the best possible way however, so I’m certainly not complaining. In my 3rd Week Update I noted that I had started to bleed again. On the very day I published that update, the bleeding ceased completely and hasn’t come back. I am now of the opinion it was actually a week-arse period. Good work, uterus! Valiant attempt. If that was a period, then I’m already a Mirena fan. It was practically nothing, hence why I thought it was still to do with the insertion. I hope this little-to-no blood loss continues.

That is not to say there hasn’t been spotting. I do spot, but it is exclusively after sex and it is a very tiny amount. I assume this too will pass.

Onto cramping. Nothing to report, it’s gone. Gone in the sense that I still occasionally feel something in my nether regions, but in just the same way they would feel sans Mirena. Everything feels completely normal.

I mentioned that I was having headaches. These, too, seem to have lessened…  but I am now irrationally moody! I’ve been in a huff all week. I’m again not willing to blame the Mirena for this just yet; I’m fairly convinced that this is all down to various “life” stuff and that it will blow over if I start taking care of myself a bit better. I’m trying to eat well and lose the Depo weight, but so far nothing has shifted. It’s just so hard to tell if the headaches/moods/weight is still a result of the Depo shot. According to some women, their Depo withdrawal side effects can last a year or more, so I just can’t blame my Mirena for any of this – it’s far too early to know. I now wish I’d never taken that injection. The more I reflect on it, the more I realise it was just an awful thing to do to my body.

When I went in for my initial Mirena appointment, both the admissions nurse and the doctor responded the in same fashion when I told them I was on Depo: a drawn-out “oh nooo”, a shake of their head, and then “so how much weight have you put on?”. All contraceptives have their side effects, and I am able to say I was fully aware of the Depo side effects before I had the injection. Unfortunately, none of us know how we personally will react until we try something. Many women handle Depo wonderfully. I was not one of those women, and feel as though I am certainly now dealing with the fallout.

FOURTH WEEK WRAP-UP

I’m still feeling very optimistic that this is the right birth control method for me. I just wish there was a way to judge it on its own, without wondering about what the Depo may or may not still be doing inside of me.

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