Even though Mike and I are certain we are 100% done having kids, we were not ready for me to take the permanent step of a tubal ligation during my c-section. I drove Dr. Risky crazy, though, because I’d make jokes like, “Feel free to take out my uterus when you’re in there, I won’t need it anymore.” And she’d say, “You want me to take out your uterus but you don’t want a tubal ligation?” Yes Doctor, I am aware of the contradiction. Please don’t make me try to explain it.
Until Mike and I are ready to take permanent steps, my doctor team gave me a few birth control options. One is the minipill, the progesterone-only birth control pill. In theory, that would be a good choice for me, since estrogen and my clotting disorder do not mix well (estrogen can cause blood clots). But, the minipill has to be taken at the exact same time EVERY DAY. Do you know what I do at the same time every day? NOTHING. My anxiety would be through the roof, and I do juuuust fine ramping up my anxiety without worrying about a pill’s effectiveness.
The other option is an IUD, either copper or hormonal. All my friends with IUDs are very passionate about them: they love the one they use and hate the one they don’t. Extremely heavy periods are common amongst women with my clotting disorder, so Dr. Risky and my hematologist both recommended the hormonal Mirena IUD for me. The Mirena greatly reduces menstrual flow, which would be excellent for me because I get anemic every month. Also, the Mirena only releases hormones to the uterus lining and is not absorbed into the blood stream, so it’s safe for my clotting disorder.
I have been doing tons of reading on all my options, and Dr. Risky’s office gave me a bunch of pamphlets and paperwork. I wanted to read about the pros and cons and the science behind all of the options. I opened up a pamphlet on the Mirena, and right at the top of page two, I saw this:
Wait…what? You don’t know how it works exactly, but I should pay a bunch of money to have it inserted into my uterus? There are so many things I would accept instead of “it is not known exactly how it works.” For example:
Mirena works by magic
Mirena is a sperm-eating fish placed in your uterus
Mirena is a sharknado
I get that the pamphlet is saying that the Mirena does a bunch of little things that add up to one big thing, but still. Maybe they should think about rewording that answer.
I am (obviously) leaning heavily toward the IUD, and it looks like the magical sperm-eating Mirena is going to be the winner since it has other benefits besides birth control. I think that in a year or two, Mike and I will be ready to schedule him one of these, but until then, I need to do everything I can to make sure I don’t end up with another one of these:
Even if they are really cute.
Becca Masters says:
I had the mirena put in on July 1st. The insertion was fine. A little uncomfy but that’s to be expected when your doctors has her hands in your vagina.
I’ve bled non stop since I’ve had it
The bleeding slows down, Emma feeds on the boob, bleeding ramps up again. I’m hoping that it stops soon and goes away, because I hate it, loved not having periods when pregnant, I’d like that again but without the pregnancy part.
Also, I totally laughed at the size of the box the mirena came in considering how tiny it is!
I had the same thing happen when I first had my mirena implanted, so did my sister. The bleeding does stop, I think it took about 3 weeks, which sucks, I had 1 period after 28 days and then nothing for 5 whole years. No period, no spotting, nothing. I also lost weight while using the mirena. Removal was painless, I started my period exactly 2 days after removal. I swear by it. Best contraception ever.
Casey P says:
I had bleeding/spotting for SIX weeks after insertion. After it finally stopped, I did grow to love the Mirena, but I def had doubts at first because of all the bleeding. I still got a period every month for the next 4 years (but mine were SUPER heavy before), but the periods were usually just 3-4 days of spotting. The bad news is that I still had pretty bad cramps with each cycle, even though the bleeding improved. Pros and cons to everything, I suppose…but I did enjoy not having to remember to take a pill or the monthly prescription costs of the pill!
Yeah, I’ve been warned that an IUD won’t do anything for my cramping. But, I’ll take bad cramping over soaking a super-absorb tampon every hour ANY day.
Take my uterus but don’t tie my tubes? Hmmm,,, I don’t get that. Sorry to say I’ve never heard one good thing about Mirena from any of my friends that have/have had it. Good luck.
You’re not supposed to try to figure it out, it does not make sense and I know it!
I just had this talk with someone yesterday! Have you considered the NuvaRing? I was on the pill and could not commit to taking it daily so this is the best alternative for me. You put it in yourself (much like a tampon), leave it for three weeks, and take it out. I would never, ever go back on the pill!
I love the NuvaRing myself, but if Heather can’t take estrogen due to her clotting disorder, she can’t use the NuvaRing either.
Kari is right – I can’t have it because of the estrogen. Boo!
I had Jaxon Feb 2010, six weeks later chose Mirena.
My last “real” period was Nov 2010!! Hooooray!!
I have spotting and a few cramps here and there. But
I am the poster child for Mirena! It was the perfect choice for me.
I love my Mirena. No kids yet, but I’ve had it in for 3 years, and since the first 6-8 weeks after insertion, have had nothing more than light spotting for the last 3 years. Insertion was uncomfortable, but I took a couple of extra-strength Advil, and it was fine. I recommend it to anyone — I can sing the praises of my IUD for far longer than is normal for something stuck in my uterus.
Copper iud was the biggest mistake. For the first 6 months my periods were just a week of passing golf ball sized clots. I ended u with ‘unusual cervical cell changes’ and had it removed after 1 year.
I have a clotting disorder (factor v Leiden) and had Mirena for about 18 months. The first 6 months was great and I didn’t have much more than a normal period monthly. Insertion wasn’t painful either. Then I started having horribly heavy and long periods. They lasted longer and longer. They got to where they would be 3 weeks out of the month and it would be so heavy I would soak through a heavy pad and overnight pad in just over an hour. It was a nightmare. They checked with ultrasound to see if it perforated my uterus or had dislodged but it didn’t. I ended up having it removed and we had our 4th and then my husband had his visectomy.
I had the Mirena for five years after the birth of my last son, who is now 9. I didn’t have a period for five years. It was AWESOME! One of my friends had the same thing occur and evidently can happen with the Mirena. The insertion for me was difficult, only because I do not dilate (had to have two c-sections because of this and other reasons) and they need to insert it when you are slightly dilated (now this was nine years ago, so maybe that’s changed). They had to manually dilated me in the OBGYN’s office. Not so fun and I have a high pain tolerance. In the end it was worth it, because NO periods for five years. Yay!
I was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition right before the end of my five year mark with the IUD and had to have it removed. I can’t have hormones now like those that are in the IUD, otherwise I would have gone through it again and had another put in. Instead, my hubby got snipped. We were done for sure having kids anyway by then, but I would have done the IUD again. You know because of the no period for five years thing. Good luck with your decision.
I have the Mirena for almost 3 years and LOVED it! My period was 2 days of spotting. I will definitely get another.
I had the Mirena after my son was born and I loved it! It did take a few months for the spotting to stop, which was an almost daily occurrence, but after that I had no period at all!! Since my daughter was born, I now have the Paraguard, which has no hormones (I also have clotting issues), but it works nowhere near as well as the Mirena. I have long 9 day heavy periods which wipe me out. The only good thing, they are like clockwork. So I have that. LOL I plan to switch to the Mirena very soon! Like you though, I wish I could just take my uterus out. Why don’t women come with a “I’m done having kids so I don’t need my period anymore” switch??!
I am on my 2nd mirena IUD and I love it too. I have PCOS and struggled with horrible periods for years but this has cured it. I never get my period and it’s been such a relief after years of my life being ruled by it.
Your babies are so precious- I have an older daughter and younger son too (they are 13 and 10 now) and my daughter still loves her brother so much even though he would like her to lay off now since he’s 10 and very cool.
I can’t believe that they print that – the concept of the IUD has literally been around for thousands of years. We know exactly how it works – a foreign object – in fact, any foreign object – inside the uterus makes the uterus send a hormone to the ovaries that says “seat’s TAKEN”. The ovaries then stop producing eggs (if it’s a hormonal IUD) or produce eggs that the uterus will not permit to embed in the uterine lining. Pretty simple – and women have done this forEVER. I remember going to Pompeii and Rome and the guide saying that they have found paintings on walls of brothels (whose madams often served as de facto birth control experts for the community) depicting the insertion of foreign objects into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Seriously, I was an ART MAJOR and I knew this – it’s not like I’m an OB-GYN or anything. My only guess is that they say they “don’t know” because it’s probably dangerous to imply “put anything up there and you won’t get knocked up” for patient health…and also because they want your thousand dollars.
by the way…I’m ABSOLUTELY not advocating putting anything up there. Paying the $1000 or so is completely worth it (in my opinion) to make sure that only a doctor puts something sterile in there, safely.
Copper IUDs work by decreasing sperm mobility through a local inflammatory reaction. It has nothing to do with the uterus thinking it’s already full and sending messages to the ovaries. The copper causes an increase in immune cells, like white blood cells, which interfere with sperm motility and make the uterus an inhospitable environment. The copper ions also stop the sperm from traveling through the cervical mucus. In addition to creating a foreign body response, the Mirena IUD also has a hormone that thickens the cervical mucus, stops the endometrium from thickening, and can also stop ovulation.
Every comment is about Mirena…I don’t have that, but I’ve been on the Nuva Ring for about 4 years and I adore it. I rarely get my periods anymore, it so nice. And now, since Obama Care, my insurance covers 100% of it.
Casey P says:
I was going to mention the insurance thing…when I had my Mirena inserted, I just had to pay the regular $30 co-pay to see my OBGYN. There was no actual charge for the Mirena itself – totally covered by insurance and that was before the Affordable Health Care Act. I know you (Heather) have had issues with insurance, but I’m crossing my fingers that yours will cover the Mirena as well if that’s what you decide to do.
It does! I called my insurance and they actually cover an IUD 100% – the device AND the insertion. The catch is that I have to pay my doctor up-front and my insurance will reimburse me, but still: worth it!
Unforunately, I can’t use the Nuva Ring because it has estrogen. Luckily, my insurance DOES cover IUDs 100%. It’s a frigging miracle, because my insurance sucks.
I’m sure your doctor mentioned this, but if you finally got the hang of your breastfeeding supply, I would hold off until you are finished because I was told birth control can cause a drop in your supply—I’m not sure if that applies to and IUD or not.
I’ve been told the IUD doesn’t impact your supply since it’s localized in your uterus, but that’s definitely a concern for me!
I got my mirena when my son was 2 months and continued to nurse for another 9 months with no drop in supply! Also minimal cramping no spotting after about 3 months of use and the most important in my mind, I don’t have to remember to take it!!!
Alejandra Hernandez says:
I’m glad everyone here had great outcomes with Mirena. After I had mine put in in February 2008, I too had only good reviews. The insertion was not painful and after a couple months my periods stopped. I loved that. But after the year mark. On May of 2009 I found out I was pregnant. We were surprised because we had been considering taking out Mirena to try for #2. Well I started spotting a couple days later and I was having bad side pain. At the hospital on the day of my birthday no less, we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy. Its a side effect listed on the pamphlets now along with loss of fertility and death. (0.0)
We were distraught. I had to have shots in my hip to help my body expel the pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is very dangerous if not caught early. After that it was hard to conceive again. We had a chemical pregnancy and a miscarriage before finally having our miracle baby in 2011. Sorry this post is so long. I know not everyone’s experience is the same but there are bad but I felt I should say something. Oh my husband got a vasectomy two years after our baby #2, before that we just used condoms (I was too afraid of using birth control) and its great not having to worry about it.
This is definitely a fear of mine. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. xoxo
I got Mirena back in May. I didn’t read up on the side effects all that carefully in advance, and when I arrived for my appointment, the nurse said, “Did you take ibuprofen?” and my response was, “Huh?” So I was gulping ibuprofen in the doctor’s office, which upset my stomach on top of the cramping that ensued. Take the ibuprofen in advance with some water like a smart person.
I can’t say I’m in the love it or hate it category. The insertion hurt. There’s no getting around that. I had assumed I’d go back to work and carry on with the day, but instead I went home and went to bed. I had cramps for several days, although after the first day they didn’t really limit my activity. Since then, I have had random, intermittent spotting and cramps. The spotting might last 10 days at a time or two.
However, I haven’t had children, and it’s supposedly worse in women who haven’t given birth. My doctor says my experience is “totally normal” and by the 3-month mark, I should be done with the cramps and spotting and no longer having periods.
If you google “Mirena side effects,” you will find accounts from many women who claimed Mirena gave them serious depression or other emotional issues. My doctor, of course, said those were really very rare. They probably are, but it’s something to be aware of especially if you begin feeling off in the days and weeks after insertion.
I have a few friends who’ve experienced some of the Mirena side effects, so I’m definitely aware of them. Thanks for the painkiller tip, although I can’t take ibuprofen so I hope that Tylenol will help!
We went the vasectomy route, it is great not having to worry about anything.
Couldn’t do Mirena even if I wanted to. We found out the hard way that anything hormonal spikes my blood pressure… Even progesterone only pills. I’m not 100% on the “done having kids” bandwagon, but I’m definitely on the “nah, a third one can wait until the second is in Kindergarten”, so I’m honestly hoping I will go into early menopause like my mom.
Have you heard of Essure? You get a coil put in your fallopin tubes and your body creates tissue around it thay blocks the tubes. Its a pretty new procedure but it could be worth looking into
I have! It might be the route we go in a few years…its newness gives me a bit of pause, so I’d like it to get a few more years under its belt.
I wouldn’t recommend it. My best friend used it and it failed.
I am hoping you are one of the lucky ones that has no side effects from the mirena. I had many and had to have it removed after a year (mega cysts each month was the main one). GL!
Michelle H says:
Mostly great stories with Mirena. I have had some friends who had negative side effects and had to get it removed. You never know which you will be. Hoping you’ll be on the side that has a great experience!
From personal experience I would NOT recommend an IUD. I got super sick after insertion, ended up on antibiotics and had to have it removed. Ive talked to people who have had the same issues. The more people that I talk to, the more people I hear horror stories from. But that JMHO. Good luck!!
Every person and every body is different but I had the Mirena placed when my daughter was 5 weeks old. I’m not going to lie, the insertion hurt like a mother! I’m going back to have it removed after only a year. It has caused me to hold on to/gain weight, I was diagnosed with a form of dermititis that my derm told me was a side effect, and I just have a general feeling of BLAH. I’ve spoken to many others that have had similar experiences. The no period thing is nice but not worth the trade off. Good luck finding something that works!
Medical mystery is right… I had the Mirena for 5 years & loved it… Until it was time for removal & it was no where in my uterus. Long story short had to have surgery to have it removed from my abdominal cavity… Thankfully it wasn’t attached to anything just sitting on my spleen! Never again for me!!
Ha! Your the only other person I’ve seen that happen to. I had it inserted 6 yrs ago. About a yr after insertion I had a car accident, minor. But I as well have a clotting disorder..Von Whilderbrauns. So they did an whole body ct scan to make sure I wasn’t bleeding internally anywhere. The er doc came in looking weird and says everything ok, but they found something…. In my abdominal cavity. I’m like. HUH???. We quickly discovered the Mirena have expelled and was sitting on my hip bone. I was scheduling a hysterectomy anyway because of my VWB disease so my OB grabbed it at the same time. But I did love it while I had it. Since then I have noticed they no longer recommend it for people with my clotting disorder.
O_O oh my gosh…I don’t even understand the logistics of how that’s possible. Horrifying!
I’ve done Mirena twice and am reasonably happy with it. The first time I had it about a year (between pregnancies) but got it out early bc I was convinced it was making me hungry/gain weight. I decided to give it another go after my second pregnancy and have been happy with it (I think I’ve had it two-plus years now). It does take a little getting used to–you bleed irregularly for a while and you (or Mike–yes!) may be able to feel the strings until they soften up a bit but that was all temporary. The potential side effects are quite scary (ectopic pregnancy! uterine rupture! lost strings!) but I haven’t ever had any problems. And it turned out I was just gaining weight from weaning, not the Mirena
Arg, does weaning make you gain weight? I on the cusp after four years (two kids) … was hoping for the opposite.
I think it just depends on each person’s body. I lose a lot of weight while nursing but then start packing it back on once I start weaning. And it always takes me way too long to figure out what’s going on. Like, OH, you mean I can’t eat like I’m pregnant/nursing for the rest of my life? Bummer!
Good luck to you!
I’ve been weighing these options too and I’m leaning heavily towards the tubal ligation since I know we’re also done with having kids. Actually I’m leaning towards a hysterectomy since my husband and I are ultra-fertile (we conceived twice on two different types of hormonal birth control and twice on “natural family planning” crap) and for some reason he is back-peddling on a vasectomy. It’ll be a discussion my doctor and I have after I give birth – again – in January
Wait – they will give you a hysterectomy for that?
I don’t have the foggiest idea. Will definitely be part of the discussion with my doctor! I just have a tendency to get pregnant ALL.THE.TIME so it’s a step I can’t believe I’m even considering… but am.
I agree with everyone above. And Mirena “side effects” are different for everyone. I had it twice, after each of my daughters. I loved it. Both times.
Until….almost 3 years after I had it the second time, I realized I was having monthly PAINFUL ovarian cysts, monthly cycle-related pimples/acne, monthly RAGE and horrible mood swings that I was feeling were out of my control. After doing some Dr. Googling and checking in with some friends who’ve had them and had them taken out, many people told me that they felt like less of a raging bitch after they got them out.
In desperation this past May, I begged my doctor to take mine out as soon as possible. I’ve had 2.5 cycles since then and my rage is gone, I haven’t had any cyst/ovulation pain, I have less severe acne (this one is gradual), and I feel like a new person. I had been at the point where I felt so out of control that the Mirena started to feel like a parasite and I wanted to rip it out myself.
If you do get it and start feeling like you’re not yourself, just remember that the IUD could be part of the problem.
I did love not having a period though. And not worrying about taking a pill. I wish I hadn’t had these side effects, but they happen. Good luck!
I had all of these side effects. It was terrible.
sherry lane says:
Me. Too. Everything you said here I had to! It was horrible. I would neeeeeeeeeever suggest Mirena to anyone. It took me a year to finally realize I was not just plan crazy and the darn iud.
I’m pro Mirena all the way. Obviously everyone is different and there is no way to tell how you will react to it until you have it, but for me it has been nothing but positive. I just got my third Mirena and I have been period free for 11 years now. The insertion was mildly uncomfortable, but I think that was mostly because I wasn’t mentally prepared for it.
Sarah Q says:
I also have a clotting disorder, Factor V Leiden, and therefore have very, very limited birth control options (read condom, diaphragm, IUD). I elected to go with the IUD. Insertion was uncomfortable and there was a few days of moderate cramping and a few weeks of mild cramping. It took my period about a year to regulate, but I was breastfeeding at the same time. I’ve been very happy with my IUD. I’ve had it for almost 2 years.
I read the other comments and saw lots of positive comments about Mirena. The comment from Norma included what I have been seeing on TV lately. You can research and see what you find but I have heard that it can end up outside of your uterus and cause major problems. Yes, everything has it’s risks, but you seem to be one of those people who end up on the receiving side of the odd medical happenings I had an ablation 1 year ago. It was an outpatient procedure that took about 30 minutes, and 1 day of bed rest. They use a laser to burn the inside of your uterus so you will not become pregnant and will not have periods. That was my choice and I love it. Clearly everything has it’s risks, but I just wanted to let you know what I heard.
“you seem to be one of those people who end up on the receiving side of the odd medical happenings”
That will seriously be on my tombstone.
LOL–I think that would be a really funny tombstone. I am weird and like walking through graveyards and reading tombstones. That one would make me laugh and I would probably choose that place to have my picnic!
Ooo, I’m going to put this on my list of topics to discuss with my doc along with tubals and hysterectomies! Great info.
Please do lots of research before having a tubal. I had baby number 4 last September & decided that tubal ligation would be the best for me. I had read that lots of people have horrible periods after one, but my doctor dismissed that and said it’s because most women have been on some type of birth control for so long that they were just starting to experience a regular period again. I hadn’t been on bc for almost 9 years, so I knew what my regular periods were like & decided to go through with the procedure in Nov. Since having the surgery, my periods range from 7-10 days, the first 3-4 days I have cramps so bad that I have thrown up and passed out from the pain. I wear a super plus tampon & overnight pad & still have to change those within 1 hr for the first few days. My doctor has offered to put me on some type of birth control to help with my problems, but since my insurance paid for the surgery they won’t cover the costs. Tubals are great for some people, but please do some research to make sure it’s the right decision for you. Do a google search on PTLS. Good Luck!
Agreed. I had a tubal during my c-s in October and my periods, which were always easy before (light and non-crampy, I was lucky) have been a nightmare. Waking several times every night to change, ruining clothing, etc.
I’m 100% convinced it was the tubal and since I’ve researched PTLS and talking to other women with similar stories. I suddenly have acne again and have unexplained weight gain. I truly believe fallopian tubes are more important than just a little tunnel. Blood supply to the ovaries can be severely damaged during the procedure. I’m a mess now.
I regret my tubal, big time.
I had an ablation also because of irregular bleeding. My Dr was adamant that it is not birth control. In fact, he wants me to get a tubal, which I am not going to do(I’m 44) Just sharing my experience. I do love the ablation, I get maybe 1 day of spotting every month. It’s awesome.
I had the Mirena for 5 years and absolutely loved it. It’s funny to hear people say they’ve never talked to anyone that has liked it, but I’ve never talked to anyone who hasn’t. I did have bleeding when it was inserted, but it only lasted a few days (although while it was being put in, holy cow it felt like I was in labor again) and I only had bleeding a few times a year, never a regular period. I will say after I got it taken out my cycle was very abnormal, which had never happened before. But I ended up pregnant 3 months later so evidently it didn’t mess up my fertility at all. Good Luck! Hope you love it!
This is what I mean – people LOVE or HATE the IUD!
I’m a daily reader and NEVER comment. I’m sorry that you’re going to get a bajillion different opinions on this, but I just have to add mine. I have never known anyone who’s had success with the Mirena. I had a terrible, painful experience. I would recommend asking about the depo-provera shot – I have always had menstrual issues and it’s the ONLY thing that works for me. Good luck!
I had a horrible experience with the Mirena. It hurt so bad getting it put in. When he checked it a couple weeks later, it had moved…more pain to reposition. The bleeding didn’t stop after 6 weeks so I had it taken out. That was the easy part until he told me he thought it had torn my uterine wall. Wth? I do not recommend it. A friend of mine has it & loves it – no problems. I hope you don’t have any bad experiences if this is the route you go. Good luck!
Delurking to say that: Ya, I got the Mirena and it perforated my uterus. Turns out when when I was laying on the table saying SHIT SHIT SHIT it was because the Dr. actually PUSHED it through my uterus. Apparently I have a high pain threshold. I then had to pay to have it removed from my abdominal cavity, to the tune of $6000.
This is not the norm, but it can happen. I have now met tons of women who have had this happen, but I also have met more who love it and have had no issues.
My sister has one, and her only issue is that it sometimes pokes her man when they are being friendly.
Jennifer Dawn says:
Your doctor pushed it through your uterus and you still had to pay $6000?! That is nuts!
OH! Also, my other sister had one and since she’s never had a baby, her body (cervix) was resistant to having an IUD inserted, so she had to go back a month later, when she was on her period, and the Dr. had to give her a Rx for a cervical softening agent. I would definitely ask for that, if you’ve never had a vaginal birth. I know I would have done that, had I known to do so.
Thanks so much for posting on this topic, it is really interesting to read about different people’s experiences. Today is my younger child’s second birthday and I have to say it’s been the wing-and-a-prayer approach up to now, which makes me hella nervous … but so do IUDs. Maybe I will start taking my temperature every morning like a hippy-dippy acquaintance of mine does?
Jen L. says:
I know you didn’t ask, so forgive me, but I had a tubal and it was a piece of cake. Laproscopic, same-day surgery, easy recovery. The first day, I was a little sore, but it was nothing compared to c-section recovery. AND? I have no scar–they went in through my belly button! I have high blood pressure and a kidney disease, so I can’t use ANY hormonal birth control. I also apparently have a short, inverted uterus (TMI!), so a copper IUD wasn’t an option for me. Please share which route you go with us and good luck!!
I have a clotting disorder as well–found out by having a massive pulmonary embolism while taking birth control pills. My doc doesn’t like Depo for a few reasons, one of which is significant weight gain (we have a strong family history of type 2 diabetes) and more importantly that it’s systemic progesterone whereas Mirena is localized progesterone with much less systemic circulation. She also wouldn’t recommend the mini pill for me given that it’s systemic and the PE I had was so big (over 50 clots in both lungs; it was a huge deep vein thrombosis that basically exploded and went everywhere). Basically, the options left for me were Mirena or Paraguard, the copper IUD; at that point we hadn’t even thought about babies so a tubal ligation was out. (I’m now 26 weeks along w/our first and loving Lovenox). I started with Paraguard because I was nervous about any hormones and had to have it removed after 3 1/2 months–I bled every day after its insertion and developed anemia.
Mirena, on the other hand? My goodness, I’d consider naming a baby girl after Mirena because it’s one of my favorite things–perhaps Starbucks Mirena for a future daughter. Anyhoos, LOVED IT. I didn’t bleed much after insertion, basically spotted for a day. I had one period after Mirena insertion and then nothing for 4 years. Loved it, and I didn’t have to worry about those pesky blood clots from using a pill, a ring, or an injection, because while the risk is lower than if you’re using estrogen, there’s still a risk with progesterone too. Another friend had Mirena inserted and hated it–I realize it isn’t for everyone, but thought it might be helpful to hear from someone who used it safely and comfortably for years despite having a clotting disorder. Good luck with whatever you decide!
I’m on my 2nd Mirena and love it. My husband was “fixed” in 2007 but I still keep it in because HELLO! NO PERIODS FOR THE PAST 9 YEARS! And after kids my flow was ridiculously heavy. I’m due to have it removed soon and I’m super bummed. I guess I could get another one. Not sure when menopause will start (I’m 45 now). But I don’t want a period!
It did take a few months of daily bleeding before the NO PERIODS started, but it’s been worth it. 9 YEARS!
LOL!!! The pamphlet is classic, I’m so happy you posted about that. We chose Mirena also after our second child. I had my doctor put it in on my 6 week check up after delivery. Totally painless for me. I brought the pamphlet home and my husband picked it up. He was like “WTF? Not sure how it works?! What have you done Jessica!?” Minutes later I find him on the phone, I said “what are you doing?” his reply, “I’m calling the urologist and making a vasectomy appointment. At least one of us should know exactly how our birth control works.” So now we are double covered. I haven’t had any type of problems with it so far (2 1/2 years now). Not having a monthly cycle is awesome. We did have some “poking” issues with the string for the first couple of months. And I have to be honest I do get a little freaked out that it is going to just float away in there. I maybe the only person that looks forward to her annual exam just so I can be sure it is still where it should be. Good news is that if it doesn’t agree with you, it can easily be removed and you can try something else. Good luck!!
Marin D says:
I opted for the tubal during my second c-section. I know myself and I would convince myself that another baby would be okay. Maybe this time it will be different. Do I sometimes have a little baby envy? Sure I do. But do I know that it would be a really bad decision to have another baby? Absolutely.
I discussed it with my sister when she was pregnant with number 5 (all c-sections) and she was looking to have the tubal. I told her to do it because the temptation to have more is great and there is really no going back. She did it and we talk about babies and wanting more but glad we had something to stop ourselves.
I love me some babies! But I know my body can’t do that again and my family can’t go through that emotional hell again. I think it was worst on my father and I need him around to babysit.
Stacy G. says:
I loved my Mirena! I had it inserted 6 weeks after the birth of our 4th child. I had some spotting for a few weeks and then over 4 years of no periods! I don’t remember pain during insertion or removal. The only reason I had it taken out was because my husband got a vasectomy once we decided we were ready to be permanently done.
Cynthia Scott Pascual says:
I am 45 & finally had a partial hysterectomy last week (removed uterus & Fallopian Tubes) because I would cramp like heck all month long & then bleed like crazy for 10 days! Can you say, “MAJOR anemia & fatigue”? I went back & forth because my daughter is 19 & I had a miscarriage last October, didn’t even realize I was pregnant until then. The whole thing really spooked me, but of course, we would have loved another child! I tell you, those fertility gods are an unusual bunch! In the end, it took a lot for me to officially end my “Babymaking Abilities” & am still a little sad & it is never an easy situation most of the time. Whatever you decide, I know you are 100% educated on the subject & what is best for you & your body & you have the support of many to back you up. In the end, you have a beautiful family & I am sending tons of good thoughts for each of you!
I never comment on blogs but I do have to add my experience here. I too have a blood clotting disorder. (I had a PE after my daughter was born.) I also have a crazy ridiculous heavy and painful period. The mirena was suggested to me as my only real option. I was on blood thinners that were not really perscribed to women of child barring age unless they are on some kind of birth control because of the drastic birth defects they could cause. I got the mirena. I LOVED it. I didn’t have a period at all ever on it. No cramps, no spotting, moodyness NOTHING! It did float up and removal was a whole lot of no fun. But, I didn’t even have a period before conceiving #2. And I’ve already ordered the Mirena for six weeks post this little nugget being born. I do by the way get the whole ‘take my uterus…but not really thing.’ Not willing to commit to the idea of 1&2 being our onlys quite yet…but not intent to do pregnancy again.
Just in case I didn’t comment on the vasectomy post I have to comment here, if for only the entertainment of the readers who make it this far, Hi!
My husband was referred to Mr. Bigg but ended up seeing Mr. Lovingood. Urology partners in crime with the best names ever for vasectomy docs.
NO WAY! Best names EVER!!!
Love those names…Urologist in the group my husband goes to Dr.’s Semen and Dix.
That is so awesome!!! I had a friend whose OBGYN was named Dr Kuntz!
My gyno as a teenager was named Dr. Petit.
My girlfriend’s delivering doctor: Dr. Beaver.
Whenever you are ready–hysterectomies are THE. BEST. THINGS. EVER.
I had mine (finally)when I was 39. I’m going to be 43. Still happy about my decision.
Just a PSA for people having bleeding coming off of birth control: take your vitamins with any form of hormonal birth control. Even if the hormones are only housed in your uterus, it’s possible for your vitamins to become depleted; especially B vitamins. I had a HORRIBLE time coming off of the Nuva ring. I had heavy bleeding from Ovulation through my period. 21 days a month. For YEARS. Granted, I have a disorder that impacts my ability to process B vitamins (didn’t know about it at the time), but it was worsened by the hormones. B vitamins are crucial to a healthy Luteal phase, so it kind of makes sense that I was such a mess. Heather, with your clotting disorder, you want to have your vitamin levels in check so that your homocystine level stays low.
I was reading about non-hormonal birth control, and a partial hysterectomy (just removing the uterus) is pretty common among women with clotting disorders. Your ovaries are still there, so there’s no induced menopause. Doubtful it would be covered by insurance, though. Insurance companies seem to only cover procedures for men.
Amy T. says:
Here’s my Mirena experience – had my 2nd one put in about 6 mos ago no side effects. Love it. I have friends that are on their 3rd one. Good luck with your decision and if you choose it, I hope it goes well with no side effects.
I can only share that the few people I have known that have chosen the Mirena have since had them taken out early. Things from headaches to hormonal crashes that left them feeling extremely low emotionally made them opt for removal. I have heard from a friend that chose the Paraguard copper IUD that she loves it and has had zero issues.
I ended up getting the Essure procedure done a few years ago. It’s similar to a tubal without the surgery. If you decide you are definitely done and Mike doesn’t end up getting snipped (sorry Mike); this procedure was easy and much less expensive than I thought it would be. I have had zero complications from it and love being free from the birth control pill hormone fluctuations. My migraines have decreased by at least 50% since coming off the pill as well. Good luck with whatever direction you take on it!
Similar to some others, my sister became pregnant with my niece while she had the IUD (I don’t know which version). We were visiting a friend when we found out. I was upset and told her. My friend also had an IUD at the time, had not had her period for a while. She went to see her doctor and found out her IUD had migrated. She had to have surgery to remove hers. So, it has had 100% failure rate for people I know.
We used condoms until my husband had his surgery. Also, breastfeeding stopped my periods. That was one of the really awesome benefits of breastfeeding for me.
One last thing…anyone else’s husband get pinched by it? ya, that happens, too.
I’m jealous of the people who didn’t get periods. I still had them every month!
Someone finally mentioned this! I have heard two people mention that it ‘hurts the guy, a little’. But I’ve also heard guys say that it’s so minor that it really wasn’t worth complaining about. The only time it was significant pain was when it was no longer implanted properly (a doctor had to fix this). Other than that, though, most guys say it’s overall negligible.
This has happened to my sisters husband too!
I’ve carried and birth nine babies. I think my body has done it’s fair share in the fertility department, so for me there will be no surgeries or pills or things inserted into MY body. It’s all on my husband now. I hand our fertility over to him, lol. He will get the big V or he can wear condoms. His choice.
Heather, it looks like many have had success with the IUD you are considering, and many have not. Everyone’s body is different. I hope it works for you – good luck!
You Go Girl!
I’m an NP in a women’s health clinic I insert about 4-5 IUDs
a day. Like you’ve said, your options are limited. People
definitely have strong opinions about them.
Often you hear the horror stories vs. the satisfied
My two cents: I only know two people who have used an IUD, one has had one for years and swears by it. The other one had the most horrific mood swings and was just hormonally out of whack, she had it taken out after 6 months.
Too bad you can’t use the form of birth control that I use! It’s foolproof. (I only date the ladies… haha)
It’s comments like this that make me wish I had a comment rating system. I would star/thumb up/+1 the crap out of this comment because I laughed out loud for five minutes.
casie c. says:
Sounds like IUD might be your best option because of limitations. . .I had a terrible experience with my Mirena, but I have friends who loved it. My only suggestion is that IF you are feeling unlike yourself and *think* it’s not related to the Mirena, have it removed ASAP. I explained away nearly all of my symptoms, blamed them on post-partum, new baby, diet, etc, but when I had it removed, they all went away within 48 hours, so now I know it was the Mirena messing me up. I bet you’ll be one of the ones who think it’s awesome! That would be great!
I’m also leaning toward Mirena after I have this baby (38 weeks along). I know I don’t want more kids, but my husband doesn’t want to do anything permanent until we’re SURE (um…I am!) so I think this is a good choice for us. I love that I can use it when breastfeeding, and that I don’t have to worry about refilling pill subscriptions every month.
Heather – my niece has it and LOVES it. She has not had any issues with it, she FEELS better during her PMS stage as well.
I had my tubes cut, clipped (with gold rings), tied, and burnt. Before that I told my OB if I got pregnant ONE.MORE.TIME. I would come after HIM first and Mr. second. Enough was enough!
Why not just make Mike get snipped now? You’re the one that has had to deal with all of the medical procedures! It’s his turn to take one for the team!
My sister has the IUD and my brother inlaw can feel it if he sticks it in too far. Not fun
Heather, I take the mini pill, by the name of Cerazette and i think it’s wonderful!! You actually have a 12 hour window to take it for it to still be effective (though i do have an alarm on my phone to remind me to take it) and since taking it I have had no periods at all which is, THE BEST THING EVER! So it may be worth looking into what type of mini pill, as i think there are different options. Also, my name is Heather too
I just wanted to say that I think James is totally adorable, and he really is the link between Maddie and Annabel!
I had Minerva for 2 years. Spotted for the first three months then nothing for over a year. Or so I thought. I had 9 sinus infections in those 13 months. Never really correlated the two until later. My hair also became brittle and course, even my hairdresser asked me what meds I was on but I was taking nothing. I had two bad periods that lasted three weeks and finally did some research and found blogs of women who blame Minerva for sinus infections. Had to convince my doc to take the damn thing out. Not one sinus infection in the 2 years since! I know it sounds like a weird correlation but … Now we use condoms
Charlene R says:
I have had a Mirena for about 6 months. I have no bleeding and minimal cramping. I love my Mirena!!!
I have the Mirena and I LOVE it! (I’ve had mine for about a year).
My second time using the Mirena. For the most part, I like it. I am one of those women who still have periods on it though and while they’re not heavy at all, they do last a long time, which iskind of annoying.
I got pregnant less than two months after having the IUD removed the first time, which was awesome.
I’m pretty sure we’re done after two, so I think my husband will have the big V sometime in the next couple of years.
I love the Mirena for period suppression. Mine are normally very, very bad and now I rarely have one and when I do it’s just a little spotting. Just be prepared for bleeding in the beginning. Some women bleed for a few days, some for weeks. But it ceases eventually for most.
I’m going to jump in here too. I also have a blood clotting disorder (MTHFR) and can’t take any hormonal birth control options. I was on a mini-pill called Jovilette, a knock off of Micronor, but it was such a pain that I quit taking it. I guess we’re making a baby.
I did seriously consider Paraguard but wussed out at the last moment because I was worried about it getting loose and floating around in my body. Have you considered Implanon? It’s a small device they implant in your arm that released progestin. It lasts three years. I would go for that one in the future after my family is done.
I didn’t see anything about removal in the comments in a quick scan, but something to think about during insertion is removal of the Mirena. I had mine removed by the same Dr. that put it in, and since I asked to have the strings cut short (if too long, your partner/husband can “feel” them – creeeeepy!), but it created a bit of a headache when taking it out. I needed an ultrasound to make sure it was still in there, and a lot of futuristic looking tools to get it out. However, while in, I loved it, and as other posters have noted, very VERY light periods for the 2 years I had it. I would recommend entirely!
I had Mirena and I loved it. I stopped having periods after about 2 months. Once we are done with our family building Corey has said he will get a vasectomy but I will get Mirena again because I love the thought of not having periods.
Haven’t read the comments but my first reaction to BC talk was Crimey Girl, you and your body have had enough. Get Mike snipped pronto!
After our twins were born (had older child as well) hubby was so exhausted he high tailed it to the doc to make the appointment and had the good sense to NOT whine about the procedure.
He is a smart man
Had a Mirena for 5 years, didn’t have a period for 4 years and 8 months of that time and only one side effect (recurrent yeast infections) that was eliminated once we realized what the issue was. I loved it and I’ll get it again when we’re finished having kids.
My Mirena was the worst GYN experience I have ever had. I was sick for 3 months with extreme nausea, terrible cramping, and interminable bleeding which I would call hemorrhaging. This included huge clots, unlike anything I had ever seen. The nausea seemed to accompany the clotting and cramping, and I was in tears much of the time and walking the floor trying to find relief. No position seemed to help. We considered a visit to the ER during one particularly bad weekend where clotting was so severe. The Mirena finally worked its way partially out of the cervix without my even knowing it, probably via a huge blood clot. I happened to see the GYN during this time since I was having so many side effects, and she removed it. One vacation was totally ruined due to the Mirena – I opted to come home rather than endure anymore discomfort but had to ride with a bag in my hand because the nausea was so unyielding. NEVER AGAIN!
I have the Mirena IUD and have had it for 3 years now. Instead of my periods getting lighter and less frequent they are extremely heavy, clotty and super frequent. Like every 2 weeks frequent.
im in the urologist office more than most folks aka kidney stones (MF’effers) and all the guys were there for “snippy time” and they went in and out and seemed fine. I vote for “snippy time” the guys in my fam- they go that route. Just be careful afterwards until the sperm samples come back zilch!
never had iud, im a depo person and loooove it! SIL loves IUDs and swears by them. good luck!
Well, I guess I’ll post my .02.. My holistic Dr. advised me against getting my tubes tied. He said that because the egg is not expelled properly every month (out of the uterus), it is absorbed by your abdominal cavity. Because the egg contains your DNA, your body can then begin seeing your DNA as a foreign object and attack it. This is what causes the super heavy periods after tubal ligation and can lead to auto immune disorders. All of that happened to my sister. Since I already have fibromyalgia, I definitely didn’t want to add to it!
I had horrible periods my whole life due to what was finally diagnosed as adenomyosis. Sometimes the only thing that would stop the bleeding would be the uterine pressure points my holistic Dr. showed me. After all natural routes for treating my adenomysis failed, my holistic Dr gently began suggesting a hysterectomy.
I was so hestitant to get it even though I knew another pregnancy could be catastrophic for me. The light bulb finally went off when I realized during one of my periods, my 2 year old son was having to take care of me because I couldn’t move because of the pain, fatigue and bleeding. That clinched it.
March of 2012, I had an open supracervical hysterectomy. I got to keep my cervix (provides support to the bladder and the vag) and the one ovary I still had. Best. decision. ever. I have never looked back. I still get a little sad knowing I can’t have children, but in reality, before my hysterectomy I couldn’t have children because it would have been life threatening!
My wonderful OB/GYN I have been seeing since I was 18 years old had no idea just how big my uterus had gotten till he went in there. After the surgery, I went from looking 5 mos pregnant to having a nearly flat stomach!
Holy crow that was way longer than I thought! Sorry about that!