General Question

marmoset's avatar

After your Mirena IUD was inserted, how long did it take for everything to feel basically normal again?

Asked by marmoset (1242points) July 7th, 2012 from iPhone

From what I’ve read, I’m lucky to have had an easy insertion with very little cramping afterwards, and no cramping or other pain since then. But I’ve been bleeding moderately (like an average-to-light day of a period) EVERY DAY of the six weeks since the insertion. My gyn says it’s okay, my IUD is okay, everyone responds differently, and it might take months to normalize. So what was your experience in terms of how long it took for your post-IUD symptoms to go away?

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17 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I actually never got back to normal with the Mirena. I bled erratically and I cramped like hell for the entire 6 months I had it. I finally decided to have it removed. I hope you have better luck with yours!

marmoset's avatar

That sounds awful, WWFC. I think I’ll have better luck because I’ve had pretty much zero cramping so far.

I searched fluther a bit and found this comment left by an ob-gyn nurse practitioner: “Most women have a few months of light irregular frequent bleeding before the uterine lining goes more or less dormant.” So at six weeks, maybe I’m roughly halfway through my few months of daily bleeding. That would be good!

marmoset's avatar

(By the way, for people reading this thread for who are deciding on whether to have an IUD, that ob-gyn suggests pain medication before the insertion and I agree 100%—mine was easier partly because I had a lot of pain medication.)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@marmoset Oh, absolutely! I took two hydrocodone before insertion, had my sister-in-law drive me home, then two more hydrocodone about two hours after we left the doctor’s office.:D I have an abnormally high tolerance for pain meds, hence the high dosage I took. I don’t recommend that much for others, LOL!

Supacase's avatar

Pretty much immediately. I had no bleeding for a year or two, somewhat regular spotting for about a year and now irregular (but short) periods. I’m due to have mine replaced this year.

I was given no warning about the pain, but they gave me a shot of lidocaine (?) in my cervix just prior. Talk about a whoa-holy-moses-WTF-was-that moment! Hurt like a sonofanitch, but only for a second or two. I did get a little woozy from the pain med but was able to drive myself home within 30 minutes.

hearkat's avatar

I had a Mirena inserted in 2005. I was told there could be some cramping and discomfort on insertion, and was not advised to take any pain medication prior to the appointment. I have a high tolerance for pain, and had had an 8 lb. 6 oz. baby, so I figured I’d be OK. The insertion pain was quite sharp, but over quickly, yet it was acute enough that my blood pressure dropped and I went into mild shock. I’d had that happen a couple times before, that I’d gone into shock after a sudden sharp pain, that my brain didn’t register as having been so bad. So I think that was a unique experience to me.

I don’t recall specifics of how long I had cramping afterward, but as I recall it did take several weeks for me to forget that it was there. I kept it in, problem-free, for the full 5 years, and it was removed at the same time the cut my uterus out due to fibroids. I never had bad symptoms of fibroids, so the Dr. speculates that having the IUD spared me the heavy periods and bad cramping.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know anyone who had a good experience. None of the people I know complained about the insertion, but they complained about various other things. Bleeding, hair loss, feeling crazy. These are just a handful of people, and obviously some people do very well with it. I only mention the experience of the women I know to say if after a few months it just is not getting better or you experience any of these negative symptoms, you are not alone.

jca's avatar

I am just a curious onlooker, wondering why with all of the issues reported here, why not use another method of birth control?

hearkat's avatar

@jca and @JLeslie – It takes a while for the body to adapt to having any foreign object in it – usually 6–12 weeks depending on the device and location in the body and method of placement. Some people defense systems are hypersensitive, and they “reject” foreign materials – whether man made (IUD, knees, defibrillators) or organic material such as tissues from a donor or even grown in a lab. Such cases are rare, but are to be expected. I had never heard of hair loss or feeling crazy with the Mirena, because the hormones are low dose and administered locally within the uterus. I felt crazy because of the systemic fluctuating hormones on the pill, so my mood stabilized considerably after I got the Mirena.

I had used condoms, diaphragm, and sponges with spermicide – the chemicals irritated me. I had used many versions of ‘the pill’, but the mood swings and PMS made me borderline psychotic. Plus, I wasn’t religious about taking it at the exact same time every day, and I conceived my now 21-year-old son while on the pill.

The IUD uses only local, low-dose hormones and serves as a physical barrier to pregnany. I was 38 when I had it put in – and certain I would not ever want to be pregnant again. Since the device wasn’t that widely used at that time, they didn’t warn of the issues on insertion. I suppose it is because of cases like mine that they now recommend painkillers prior to insertion. The NuvaRing was just coming out around that time, so I never tried it – is it still available?. I liked that the IUD was something I would not have to think about for 5 years.

For me – as well as for a childless friend of mine who got hers a year or so after I did, in her early 40s – there were NO complications with the Mirena once it settled in, and we both recommend it for people. I’ll add that she has an auto-immune condition and chronic pain, and still did very well with the Mirena. As I mentioned, the IUD typically lessens bleeding and cramping, and is often recommended for women with fibroids and/or endometriosis. In my case, I got the IUD before those conditions were diagnosed, and so the fibroids didn’t cause me any complications until they got too big and had to be removed surgically. My Gyn felt that the IUD had saved me a lot of discomfort.

JLeslie's avatar

@hearkat All of them waited months, one of them over a year. I don’t think it had to do with the foreign object, it had to do with the hormones in my opinion.

marmoset's avatar

Yes, Nuvaring is still available and it seems to be great for most people. For me, Nuvaring was really good, but I was still having bad cramps.

If I keep having zero cramps with the Mirena, it will be BRILLIANT. The mirena’s hormones are released right into the uterus and act as a mild relaxant for it, so that’s why many people have fewer cramps with it in (after their first few months with it, that is).

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@hearkat Oh, the IUD just seemed to make my endometriosis worse. And I guess I’m just oversensitive when it comes to hormones because even the low dosage from the Mirena screwed me up. I can’t take the pill, shots, anything that involves any type of hormone. I’m stuck using spermicidal condoms, but I can’t use Durex because they apparently use a strange kind of spermicide on the Durex. Years ago, I actually had to call in sick to work because I had such a massive allergic reaction to the Durex spermicide that I couldn’t move to get out of bed. I couldn’t even let my thighs touch each other. My boss forced me to explain my illness and my brain was too slow to make something up… I can’t begin to describe how embarrassing that was.

hearkat's avatar

As with ALL of medicine, there is no treatment that works for everyone. That is why it is very important to research all options and read all the fine print of potential side-effects.

marmoset's avatar

Coming back to update this because I know reports on threads like these are naturally weighted toward people who had problems. I had about 2 months of bleeding ramping down and then NOTHING – no bleeding, no cramps, no side effects, for a year and a half. it’s like my uterus has a magic fairy living in it now. Holy S**t this has been amazing, at least for me!

hearkat's avatar

Thanks for the update, @marmoset! I’m glad it has worked out well for you.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s great! Thanks for the update.

marmoset's avatar

UPDATE: in my 5 years with Mirena, I’ve had 4.5 years of NO PERIODS, no cramping, no side effects. I’m getting my second soon and I’m an evangelist for hormonal IUDs (there are now a couple of choices other than Mirena; I’m sticking with the same brand but I encourage you to research them all).

LIFE CHANGING.

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