Sunday, January 13, 2013

Diary of a Mirena Removal

*Warning: depending on how sensitive you are, this post could potentially offend you with its detail about bodily functions. (That sentence actually makes it sound worse than it is, but yeh, just warning you. It's mainly written for the sake of other users of Mirena IUD - if you are family/a friend of mine that doesn't have endo or a Mirena, you probably really don't want to read this.)*

Surprise! As I mentioned in my plans here and here, I got my Mirena IUD removed on the 4th. I ended up booking an appointment with my GP to get it removed instead of waiting to see my gyne on the 24th since I just couldn't bear it anymore. (FYI, my gyne had already agreed to take it out at our last appointment but he didn't want to do it just before Christmas in case I had some strange withdrawal symptoms that might ruin my holiday).

Before my GP removed it, I did a lot of asking around to see what to expect. I didn't find much information - only information on what it would feel like to get it put in (which was done under general anaesthetic with my laparoscopy for me so I have no idea what it was like). So here is my experience so far:

2 mins: Oh my god that hurts like !@#$*&^$*&(). If that's what it feels like to have a small plastic device removed from your uterus I do not want to know what its like to have a baby removed from there. I'd like to be able to describe the pain but I don't know what to compare it to (it's nothing like any endo pain I've ever had), so I won't. However, it's nothing I can't handle with a bit of deep breathing (quickly followed by panadol and nurofen). The terrible cramping passes in about two minutes. Doctor gives me a certificate for the rest of the day off work if I needed it.

2 hours: Feel quite dizzy so I've left work and gone home (beginner's tip: don't schedule the removal for the middle of a work day if you can avoid it). I also had a sharp pain in my right side near my ribs for a little while, but a heat pack fixed it. My lower abdomen now feels really strange, like my uterus is shrinking. Probably not, but that's what it feels like. I've got a heat pack on my belly so that helps a bit. I end up napping for a little while and the dizziness eventually goes away...

5 hours: Feel pretty much better, the dizziness has gone away and I'm feeling pretty good physically. No more weird shrinking feelings. No bleeding yet either.

36 hours: Slight spotting, but that was happening before I took the Mirena out. At the moment, I still feel really good physically, but I'm still an emotional rollercoaster. Half the time I feel like I'm on top of the world, and the other half I feel like I just don't want to do this anymore. It's like being a teenager all over again. So basically, if it turns out that the Mirena is indeed causing my depression/anxiety, it is not an instant cure to take it out.

~45 hours: The bleeding comes on so fast I feel like I've wet myself. Doesn't hurt though - no cramping. The blood is really black and quite clotty. There wasn't any warning either - I had some light spotting. Emotionally I'm feeling pretty good.

~4 days: Still bleeding, but thankfully haven't had too much cramping. Also, it's not a huge amount of blood, it just tends to come in rushes like I described before. And big clots. That's fun. I had some cramps towards the end of the day yesterday that seemed like they were going to be quite bad but I nixed them with a Panadol/Nurofen combination (and a nice swim at the river).

~7 days: I stop bleeding and things seem to be fairly normal. Haven't had any terribly low moods since the first couple of days, but we'll see how that goes...

Disclaimer: If you are thinking about getting a Mirena IUD for treatment of endometriosis or use as contraception, please don't let my experience or the horror stories on the internet put you off. I think that it is a wonderful tool to be used in either of these situations, and some people tolerate it very well and it's pretty much like magic for them (I have a few friends this is true for). I just think it is important to be aware of any mood/anxiety changes along with any other symptoms while using the Mirena IUD, and, as with any other medication, that the pros and cons are regularly recognised and considered. In my case, the anxiety/depression that was potentially due to the Mirena had become too much and I needed to remove it for the sake of my sanity/career/life/poor friends/family/housemates that have had to deal with me lately.

If you're thinking about getting a Mirena put in, or you already have one and are experiencing unusual depression/anxiety, you can read more about my experience with the Mirena here. Also, for the those in their first six months of having the Mirena in - we're all different, but by my 10th month (which is when I got it taken out) most of the symptoms I had (bleeding, breast tenderness, change in breast size) had settled out.

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