I’ve been reluctant to write about having the coil… what’s the right expression … put in? (urgh) because from what I have seen, read and heard, personal experiences of the coil – specifically the progesterone-leaking Mirena – are as different as childbirth. As different as skin type. As different to what books you like reading.
Really, really different.
The following is all just what happened to me, (and please leave your own experiences in the comment box at the bottom), but it is without question unrepresentative.
I had the coil fitted privately by my obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston at the end of last year. I had an initial consultation, which lasted about ten minutes, and then the coil was fitted about a week later.
For the actual act itself I had pre-emptively taken 600mg of ibuprofen and was pretty much high as a kite. Even then I could tell what was happening wasn’t terribly nice – a lot of tugging and pinching – and I was glad that it was Guy doing it, who delivered both my children, so is inured to the horror show.
“Sorry!” he chirruped every now and again. “S’alright” I slurred. It was like the worst date ever.
No wait; I’ve had worse.
This was eight months ago and as well as having vague “periods” which occur roughly when my actual period is supposed to happen, there has been random and sporadic spotting and bleeding. Some periods have been accompanied by excruciating pain but almost nothing else. There have been breakouts which may or may not be related to the coil, but which have cleared up now.
My most recent “period” was negligible and in all, I am totally delighted with the whole thing and will never change it; if I had done it 4 years ago it would have saved me an awful lot of heartache.
So, do it, but do it forewarned that a) it can be unpleasant to put in
b) the effects are not instantaneous. (I was APPALLED that a reader told me that she had been advised by her GP to have a coil fitted in anticipation of her wedding, which was 6 weeks hence.)
c) it can have negative side effects, which no doubt will be listed in technicolour detail below.
But you also might be completely fine. Personally, I think the benefits are worth the gamble.
The copper coil I know nothing about.
Guy Thorpe-Beeston is at 148 Harley Street; contact his secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org
Personally I am a huge cheerleader for the Mirena. But I know I may have been lucky. I had two in a row from the age of 19 onwards, it all but stopped my previously incredibly heavy and painful periods (so yes you have a few pregnancy scares but just buy a stack of cheap tests), and upon having the second one out, I managed to fall pregnant within 2 months. The fittings/removals were pretty unpleasant but 1000mg paracetamol + 8mg codeine sorted that. The only problem was working out my due date (last menstrual period…err 2006). When I’m done having babies I’m having another one.
Lorraine Tresnak says
I had my first Mirena “fitted” by my GP, I so want to say installed, in 2002 and apart from having period pain cramps for the first three months had no other ill effects. We had discussed if I would be able to tolerate it as I hadn’t had children but it was fine. The “fitting” wasn’t painful more like period cramps to be honest I’ve had worse smear tests. Some light spotting and haven’t had a period since. It’s been the best thing I’ve done and nothing short of miraculous.
I also know of women who have had the awful experiences too.
I’m glad it’s working well for you Esther!
I had the Mirena fitted 8 years ago and I was convinced it gave me acne. I had it removed after a year. During that year I also had glandular fever, was going through a very intense period of training at work and dealing with the unexpected death of a close family member. I suppose the acne could have been caused by the coil or stress or illness.
I’m reluctant to try it again because the acne was so so bad (and left very obvious marks) but I might do one day.
I am now on Cerazette – I can’t take oestrogen as it gives me migraines.
Looking forward to reading everyone else’s coil stories!
A Reader says
The Mirena is the best thing I’ve ever done too. I’m on my 3rd (I had one before I had kids (and it was fine!), one between my 2 kids, and now the one after) and it’s about to expire, so I’ll shortly have my 4th fitted.
For me the bleeding after a fitting is always a lot more copious than they suggest it will be! But as you say, YMMV.
Jo R says
I had a Mirena for 2 years. My periods completely stopped but it made my emotions go completely nutty. I had what I can only describe as rages. I’d lose my temper over everything, awful. I had it taken out and now back to normal. It’s a shame as otherwise it was the perfect solution!
That happened to me too. I did have a bit of spotting, nothing awful, but dramatic mood swings. it was like I had PMT all the time, and was definitely one of the worst phases in my generally happy marriage. I had an almost instant reaction when I had it removed, felt happier, more content and calmer. So wasn’t for me.
I found the insertion ok and then had cramping for about 24 hours. It was great controlling my heavy, painful periods but gave me constant anxiety, a crampy lower back and aching, lumpy breasts. I had it removed after 6 months primarily for the effect it had on my mood. All the aches and pains I had been experiencing went as well. I then had a uterine ablation and haven’t had a period for over a year. The next step after this was a hysterectomy, so I’m happy the ablation was another option that worked.
Ooooh any progesterone based birth control makes me angry bitch from hell. That’s why I’ve gone for a copper coil. Would be nice to have lighter/fewer periods but not worth being mental for.
I’m on my second, largely forget about it, but occasionally think about how simple it’s made my life. Apart from the time when I still bothered to check the threads and they’d ‘gone’, rushed off to the doc in a state of terror (three children under 7 at the time) to be told the threads had curled around my cervix. I just ignored them after that.
The info recommends not using tampons but I’ve hardly needed to anyway.
North Londoner says
I had one fitted decades ago solely to help with excruciating periods (I’d already been sterilised) and although the putting in was fiddly with the occasional stabbing ouch because my uterus points the wrong way or something, it was nothing compared to the period pains. Anyway, I kept it for nearly 10 years because although the hormone part had long worn out, it still worked brilliantly for the purpose I needed it. It’s out now and I’m menopausal and trust me that’s a WHOLE other ball game. If you don’t want to be foul-tempered, frigid and sweaty, you have to put up with teenage acne and a beard. Oh joy!
I am always raving about the Mirena to my friends, especially for those that have heavy periods. I had mine fitted about 4 years ago and it was literally life changing. I had awful periods for many many years, to the point that I worried about standing up in the office, staining chairs and leaking through clothes – it took up a scary amount of my headspace for a week every month.
But, the Mirena has solved it all. Light/next to nothing periods, no pain. No worry. Granted, it wasn’t nice to put in but for five years’ worth of hassle free menstruating, totally worth it. In fact, if you aren’t using it for contraception (my husband has had the snip) I was told to only have it replaced when my periods have come back, which could be up to seven years. The lovely doctor that fitted mine said that if the Mirena wasn’t around, then I was looking at a hysterectomy in the long run- like my mother and grandmother had.
This was a super long comment, but how often does one get to rave about contraception on a public forum!
I had a Mirena coil fitted by the wonderful T C Li, much loved Sheffield gynaecologist. (I had one fitted privately, my sister had hers on the NHS. Same man, but she got a cup of tea). It didn’t suit me. Terrible acne and I was as miserable as sin. I had it removed, then, as I’d had my children and I had a procedure which I called the boil in the bag but I think is a vaginal ablation. Basically they knock you out, put a bag up your vagina and boil the kettle. Obviously I remember nothing of the procedure but the results were bloody fantastic. Within 6 months my periods had virtually stopped. No more pain. I recommend it to all my friends!
I literally do not know what to say to this
Think it is also important to mention that these can be very successfully fitted by GP’s and Practice Nurses as well as in the rarefied world of Harley St gynecology clinics! If you look at your GP website it will tell you which of your GP’s specializes is womens health though in my experience female GP’s are just much better at this kind of procedure . No surprises there. I was also told that these were the top choice of female GP’s for their own contraception so that’s another recommendation!
Yes, sorry Ruth – thanks for pointing that out
I had a Mirena installed to relieve my heavy periods. It was miraculous. I had spotting for six weeks after it was inserted and slight cramps. No worse than my normal period pain. Sorted with panadol and a hottie. After that NO periods for eight years.
I told my gynie at my next visit six months later that it had changed my life.
Oh and I forgot to add the reason I had it; hassle-free contraception that is apparently more effective, statistically, than sterilisation?!!!? Never got my head around that one but apparently so.
Fiona Burrough says
It’s amazing and despite my first one getting lost (?!?!?) and having to get fished out by a gynaecologist and his very camp trainee gynaecologist I got another one cos they are AMAZING!
I’m on my third Mirena, I love it. Had it put in at six week check after first baby, didn’t feel a thing, removed to have second baby, back in at six week check and have had a change since then due to the five year expiration date arriving. I have zero bleeding, just feel a bit grumpy and have sore boobs around what I assume would be my period time. I am very happy, have heard of other women not having such a good experience which is such a shame for them. My 14 year old daughter wants one as soon as is sensible/practical because she is HORRIFIED by the whole period business and cannot believe nature would be so cruel as to lumber women with this painful, inconvenient and gross nonsense.
I’m a big fan of the contraceptive injection myself. No periods, no spotting, no cramps and NO BREAKOUTS. I’ve been having it for 18 months now and am totally in love. I tried all of the skin care options for my horrific hormonal acne, acid toners helped calm it but it’s only since I started on the injection that my skin has cleared completely. I’m also eternally grateful that I never have to buy sanitary products. I still do, I donate the towels and tampax I would have bought to my local Red Box project. They supply local schools with sanitary products for girls and young women who can’t afford them – definitely worth a google if you’ve got let over towels etc hanging about.
That’s a great idea!
I had a different type of coil fitted a number of years ago (can’t remember the name of it, sorry) – but it was so horrific I had to have it taken out again two weeks later because the hormones in it turned me into a wailing banshee. I honestly think my husband might have left me if I’d kept it in. Recently I had a Mirena put in, very hesitantly due to the past experience, and the fitting itself was horrible – including some serious swearing by myself and an instant apology to the nurse I swore at – but the GP told me it was because I have a womb that has ‘flopped back’. Sounds nice doesn’t it! 6 months on and its all brilliant, no periods at all and just the occasional spot on my chin around the time I would have it. the GP also said ‘oh that’s good, because of your age you won’t have to have one after this!’ which made me sad, relieved and feel very old all at the same time.
I was fitted with the Mirena about 10 years ago due to heavy periods after 2 pregnancies. I was 41 at the time. 10 years and 2 mirenas later and in the clutches of the dreaded menopausal hot sweats and insomnia, I went back to the gp. The joyous news is that the combination of the low dose progesterone from the Mirena with a topical estrogen gel that I simply rub into arms or thighs once a day is considered the Gold Standard of HRt and contains the lowest risk of side effects, risk of cancer and all the other scary things associated with HRT. So no periods, no moods, no hot flushes. The Mirena is, for me, the gift that keeps on giving.
Another ‘yay’ for the Mirena here – I’m on my second now. Had the first one for five years with no problems whatsoever, and liked it so much that I had a second put in even though my husband has had the snip. It’s just so much more convenient not to have periods, and I haven’t had any of the nasty side effects.
(Just realised that the above sounds like I have two Mirenas in at once, because I love them so much. I don’t!)
Not the coil, but I’ve been on the depo contraceptive injection for 18 years now (don’t all gasp at once!) and love it. No periods at all throughout that time and no obvious side effects. My nurse is keen for me to change my contraceptive as I’ve been on it for so long, but it’s something I really don’t want to change.
I had the Mirena fitted 8 weeks ago and am most disappointed that my periods are still fairly heavy, regular, and I have spotting in between.
I used Dianette prior to having my two kids, as I suffered from acne, and that hasn’t returned thank goodness.
Fitting was surprisingly painful and I had a home birth a year ago so I had a fairly good barometer on pain
Hey ho – fingers crossed the bleeding stops or lessens in a few months.
Katy same here. You can wait for up to a YEAR for periods to settle down. Mine took properly 8 months. Hang on.
My coil was MUCH more painful than labour and I did it without any drugs!
Love the Mirena. Had it fitted about four months ago and my periods are much lighter. I didn’t take any pain killers before having it put in and it was fine – like a slightly more involved smear test with some very brief, “oh, THERE’S my uterus” discomfort that was over in seconds.
Had it on the NHS and they were uncharacteristically speedy. I got an appointment within a week of asking and the gynaecologist was excellent.
I LOVED my Mirena. Sadly had to have my second taken out due to boring health issues which mean I can’t ever use hormonal contraception again (sob) but up until that point I was (and am) evangelical about it. I’ve encouraged at least 4 friends to get it, only one had a bad reaction with I think was simply bad luck to be honest. But would add my voice to the chorus of support on this one.
Fitting was bloody painful, for about a day, but my periods stopped pretty quickly and I had barely any spotting. When I had it taken out I had a period about 3 weeks later so it’s definitely more speedy in that respect than the Pill.
Can I put I a shout out for the implant – Implanon. Lasts 3 years and has stopped my periods completely. Totally brilliant. They give you a local anaesthetic in your upper arm and I didn’t feel a thing. Have had no side effects at all (appreciate it might be a different experience for others but I Can highly, highly recommend).
I have the copper one, got it fitted about 4 years ago at the Archway Sexual Health Clinic. Insertion was not “fun” but not the horror show I’d been promised, I got offered 3 choices – numbing gel (topical, nurse said effect wasn’t great), numbing injection (good effect but needle up in your business) or nothing. I selected numbing injection, injection was worse than the insertion.
Aftermath: crampy for a few days, periods got a bit worse but mine were very light anyways. They levelled off after about a year. No issues apart from that, absolutely love it, I’m a bit freaked out by more hormones than necessary in my system so opted for copper over mirena. Never had kids.
Unexpected odd feeling: sometimes if I’m about to have a really big poo you it can cause a cramp when going past.
WHEN GOING PAST actual proper LOL
Also lolled 🙂 not to be a massive horrible sexist, but I’d really like some men to come and read these comments. Just to get a tiny taster of the almighty fucking shit-show (sometimes literal) that women’s gynae stuff can be. We’re all hard as nails man
Ooh! I’ve just realised I have this too! Just thought I had started having…er…tummy problems, didn’t make the connection with the Mirena. Medical knowledge FTW!
Yes it took me a while to make the connection, I just thought it was a period-related cramp…
I had mine under a general anaesthetic 3 months ago after suffering severe endometriosis. All good so far, although I have this weird discharge that freaks me out a bit! It’s sort of clear mixed with blood. *vomits*
I’m really hoping it goes away. But all of it is much better than endometriosis
yes lucy that’s totally normal. I hope
Well Esther, this is fabulously helpful. I am having one fitted in a couple of weeks at the same time as having a bunch of fibroids removed. This has been hugely reassuring and I get the benefit of a general anaesthetic to avoid the insertion experience. I had been worried about joint pain I read about online but no one mentions that here so I am hopeful, Thank you Spikers!
I have a copper coil fitted and am very happy with it. Insertion was ok, my periods are ok but heavier than they used to be on just one day. I chose the copper coil because I’d had a bad experience with the implant which caused endless spotting and terrible moods which I was advised to correct by also taking the pill at the same time. Which rather defeated the point of being on long term contraception. I also like the fact that should I choose to have another child, I can theoretically get pregnant immediately once the copper coil is removed rather than maybe waiting a long time for my hormones to even out again….
Go for it everybody. I had one in my late twenties, had it whipped out to have my third child and was pregnant within the WEEK. Popped one back in afterwards and had them changed every so decade. Think there might still be one rattling about in there and I’m 59 now. (OLD spiker. Spiked)Only thing that doesn’t go away is the axe wielding fury every month. Mind you, am laughing now. Just sweating a lot!
Okay. Not for the faint hearted. When my first Mirena was inserted my doctor actually (yes really!) punctured my uterus with it. Yes. She pushed it through the wall of my uterus into my intestinal cavity. I. Kid. You. Not. I only found out about it 5 years later when I went in to have it replaced. I had it inserted 6 weeks after childbirth so discomfort was all relative to me. Had shocking PND and alll this time I had dreadful bleeding to the point I thought I would have to give up full time work. Had to have the original Mirena removed via laparoscopy during which I had a massive reaction to the drugs they used in the operation. Brilliant. Incredibly I agreed to have a new one replaced (by my NEW gynaecologist) and I haven’t looked back. This time it has worked a wonder and I never get a period.
I had one too, I bled for over a month after it was fitted in, which I didn’t know could happen but is apparently quite common, and then I had pain on a regular basis. I didn’t like it at all and wanted to have it removed. When I went they couldn’t get it out so I had to have it removed under histeroscopia. All in all a bad experience, but only my own of course!
I’ve had a positive experience too. Got the Mirena swiftly after having two babies under two and so far so good no baby number three! But yes agree Esther it’s been great. Actually fitting wasn’t too bad, combined with my smear test so just got it all out of the way…
Love my Mirena. Took a couple of months to settle down but since then no periods. I also had the insertion combined with my smear, got it all out of the way at the same time. Used my hypnobirthing breathing, which I never used for my babies as I ended up with c-sections.
I am a copper coil devotee. I initially had the first one fitted by a gynecologist on Harley Street, whose name I can’t remember but was very nice. It was absolutely agonising during and after the insertion though – like the worst period pains ever, or the early stages of childbirth. But after 24 hours of ibuprofen and hot water bottles I forgot about it and haven’t looked back. I also got pregnant quickly after having it removed for that purpose. After finding myself accidentally pregnant with my second while I was still breasfeeding my first who was only six months old + also I was on the pill (but had a short bout of sickness and diarrhea when it must not have been absorbed) I was pretty desperate to get another coil implanted ASAP. I was actually offered this service on the NHS through my health visitor so I took my tiny baby along to the Archway Sexual Health Clinic, or “the clap clinic”, as my husband called it. I made him wait outside in the car as it had been so painful last time, but actually the second time it didn’t hurt a bit. The clinic itself was a bit grim, but the gynecologist was great and the nurse held my baby when he started crying. Thank you NHS!
My initial decision to get the coil fitted was based on the fact that the doctor changed my pill, which I had been on for almost ten years, to Jasmin and I felt that it was altering my emotions. The end for me and the pill was when I found myself tearing up while reading an article about an Alsatian that had made friends with an owl in the Daily Mail. Most people seem to opt for the Mirena rather than the copper coil though. I wonder why that is?
People who love the Mirena love it as it gets rid of your periods…and good riddance! I love being able to go anywhere with no “surprises”, no downtime.
I think I must be that rare woman who really did not get on with the Mirena, although it took 2 bloody years to realise this. It was inserted badly (one of the arms digging into my uterus), and even though it was adjusted, I think it messed something up in there. 4 or 5 months in, sex started to become very painful and I developed the mother of all bladder infections (camera up my urethra whilst foolishly choosing local anaesthetic? SURE, WHY NOT). The infection cleared up, but the pain didn’t, and, in addition, I think I went a little loopy too (although I’m pretty highly strung generally, so who knows).
The worst part was that my gynaecologist didn’t believe me when I said I thought the coil was affecting me so negatively. But LO AND FUCKING BEHOLD, a week after I finally decided to remove it, I had practically pain-free sex and I was no longer, as mentioned above, a wailing banshee (well, not all the time, anyway).
I had another bad experience after having a child last year with the combined pill (anxiety through the roof), and again, the worst part was convincing the nurse to give me the non-generic brand, even though they say they are all the same (they are NOT).
I feel like we have to put up with so much bullshit with our hormones in general, and contraception just ramps it up, so I have now decided to stop it all and put my faith in condoms and working out when I’m ovulating. I am definitely calmer for it.
Sharis YES I am so with you. I haven’t used hormonal contraception for a decade now – condoms FTW. Only time I’ve got pregnant was the one time I was trying to.
I found the worst thing about all three kinds of combined pill I tried was that I was a different kind of lunatic each time and had no idea who I was anymore. I feel like I know where I am with the whole sorry business now, at least, and it feels like me being occasionally mad rather than being entirely taken over by a new and terrible personality.
But, for what it’s worth, my sister has a Mirena (and no desire to have children), and says it’s the single best decision she’s ever made for her physical and mental health.
Mrslololala – the bit on you tearing up about an owl and Alsatian just made me burst out laughing in the office!
I had a copper coil put in when I was 19 and it was the fucking worst. I wanted a non hormonal form of contraception but looking back I was just on the wrong pill (YASMIN FTW) Getting it in was pure bloody agony (she had to CLAMP my cervix open which is every bit as painful as it sounds) Then I bled for about two weeks after having it in, and not just spotting, full on Day 2 period style gushing. Then two weeks after that I had the first period, which was heralded by the worst menstrual cramps I’d ever had, and they were so heavy I was having to excuse myself from uni lectures every half hour to change my tampon. The final straw was when I got norovirus over Christmas, and every time I heaved I was getting a painful jab in the babybox from the little motherfucker. I had it promply yanked out after that.
I think copper coils do work by essentially irritating the uterus, making it impossible for anything to implant itself, so that probably explains all the bleeding. Also I had a virginal and honeymoon fresh cervix, completely unstretched by childbirth, so it likely hurt more on insertion because of that. The Mirena I have heard is much gentler because of the hormonal aspect, but frankly I am too traumatised by the above experience to contemplate one for at least after childbirth. We’ll see.
It made me depressed, had it taken out after a week. I can’t deal with hormones.
Changed. My. Life.
I had miserably heavy periods, and terrible mood swings after kids and the mirena has seemed almost miraculous. Had about 8 weeks crampy tummy and consent spotting, but oh my god it has been worth it.
In fact have thrown away all sanitary wear and bought a couple of pairs of ‘Thinx’ pants for my now very light periods. I’d recommend them, but if anyone has suggestions for a UK based equivalent – I’d love to hear – they’re v expensive to import from the States.
I like the idea of the Mirena but I am TERRIFIED of making any changes to my contraception that might affect my skin. I’ve had hormonal acne since my teens but since starting the pill again after my second child 2 years ago my skin has been clear. I constantly feel like I’m on borrowed time and that I’m going to be hit with a major breakout any day!
Reading everyone’s experiences with interest, especially those who are acne prone.
Thanks Esther. Will be ruminating on this once the big day has passed.😘
I’m on number 4. Two before children, one in between, one now. Happy with it to the extent that after my husband offered to have a vasectomy (I think he gets worried when I look yearningly into other peoples’ prams at the teeny tiny babies), I told him not to bother as I’m not having my coil taken out even if he does.
Hurts a lot more to have put in before having children than after (unsurprisingly really). I do get a bit of PMT but no periods and it’s wonderful not to have to think about contraception for 5 years at a time.
I think it may have affected my sex drive, but I also have two children under five so expectations really shouldn’t be high as it is.
I’m with you on Mirena – I bloody love it, but agonised over having it having read so many horror stories. The thing that swayed me was 2 close friends who are both doctors & whose opinions I respect massively both have Mirenas & think they’ve great.
Insertion was unpleasant, yes it was painful but definitely nowhere near childbirth! I felt crampy for about 3-4 hours afterwards. I had a bit of spotting around when my period was due for the next 3-4 months & then nothing. I also had sore boobs around the time when my period would have been due for about 6 months, but that has settled now.
I honestly forget that it’s there & wish I’d done it years ago.
The worst bit was when they couldn’t find the strings at my check up & I had two nurses rummaging for ages until they found them curled up round my cervix (as someone else has experienced) so now I rarely check them. I know that everyone is unique in their experience of it, but I think that often more bad experiences are reported as those who are happy are just getting on with their lives.
I’m thinking of getting one but am very squeamish and prone to fainting with anything vaguely medical- is the insertion really horrible?!
Catherine it really isn’t for the squeamish but I don’t want to put you off. Maybe have a good, frank chat with a nurse first…?
I’m sure if you are very highly strung they can give you a wee something beforehand?
I’m kind of the same Catherine but I’m on my second Mirena and I love it. I feel faint whenever I have an injection, blood test and the like. Just warn them so they are aware and can pause if required, or adjust the bed so the blood gets to your head. I did that for both fittings and was fine, and able to cope with the pains (which I thought were bad-ish, but I haven’t had and don’t want kids, so can’t compare against child birth!). I second Esther on the dose of ibuprofen beforehand and then I knocked back a couple of paracetamol as soon as I was out of the clinic. I left my first one in for about 8 years as I just forgot about it, and had no pregnancy scares. The blissful freedom of no bleeding and mood swings, and in my case no migraines. Plus the nurse who fitted it told me all about the HRT benefits, which sound great, albeit it made me feel old when she said it as I’m only (?!) 38.
Catherine it isn’t pleasant I won’t lie, but I’d say it’s bearable. Probably compare it to a particularly “ouchy” smear test or a stretch & sweep if you’ve ever had one of those. But honestly it takes 10-15 minutes & after that hopefully you’ll forget it’s there.
I had a mirena put in. It stopped my periods, which was great, but I was exhausted at all times and fully one third of my hair fell out. I had exhaustive tests including loads of blood tests, a biopsy and an MRI and nobody could find anything else that could be the cause. Then my GP said she knew of other cases of hair loss/fatigue. I’m sure I’m a rare case though.
Putting it in wasn’t too grim but a short while after it was awful. Real bad period type pains – we were at a football match (!!!) and I had to lie down in the car and concentrate on my breathing. I felt sick with pain. That over, it has been brilliant! No periods! None! Zilch! Nada! Wonderful! I wish I’d have used it sooner. I’m now over the time where its hormones secrete but I’m not getting it removed unless someone forces me to in case it is a painful process! (Menopause means I’m past needing it for contraception)
It’s a “go for it” from me.
I have a copper IUD. Insertion was horrid and it’s made my previously light periods quite heavy for a day or two. But – no hormones! Hurray.
GP had a huge waiting list so I had it put in at an NHS sexual health clinic in central London. Appointment made online and the doctors there do tons of them so v experienced.
Overall – totally recommend.
I’m on my 3rd. I think it’s great but then I’m lucky, no periods or spotting and don’t seem to get any mood swings, at least no more than before. Just went to my local GP who was brilliant. No problem putting it in first couple of times, no worse than a smear test. But the last time my cervix clamped up so I had to go on the pill for a month before trying again. Being on the pill made me feel nauseous & killed my sex drive so very happy when it went in no problem the next attempt.
I’m late the party on this one but it’s a thumbs up from me too. I have had various experiences of fitting though (I’m on my 4th mirena). First one was fitted partly for contraception but mainly to manage horrifically heavy periods. The insertion was done by a student (why on earth I agreed to that I have no idea!) and she obvs caught the side of my uterus going in…cue agonizing pain and labour-like cramps all evening…serious pain (and I’ve had 2 kids naturally so I know pain!). It settled down over the next week or so and I bled quite a lot. Then two weeks later my foof spat it out (I was in the middle of a meeting at work and something felt a bit scratchy in the undercracker department. Went to the loo and there was my coil, sat in my knickers! After I’d gone “WTF?” I actually laughed!).
Went back a couple of weeks later and had a lovely experienced doctor fit the replacement and it was uncomfortable but not painful. 4 years later, my periods came back so I had a replacement put in. Again, not pain free but not unbearable (same lovely doctor).
Four and a half years later and I’ve just had another replacement by a different GP. Really painful having the old one removed (normally that bit is fine). Then unbelievable pain having the new on put in (she said I may have had a cervical spasm!). Anyway, after half an hour of lying down and when they could finally find a BP again (it was so low they couldn’t get a reading!) I spent the rest of the day on the sofa full of paracetamol, ibuprofen and a hot water bottle. Minor spotting and all is good now.
However….I have checked for the strings and with my previous ones, it always took a bit of (ahem) rooting around to find them because they sort of tucked them up around my cervix. This one, I found them straight away because they’ve been cut very short and they are sort of…erm….spiky! I’m not currently with anyone but should I be lucky enough to find a new partner, I am now panicking in case he might get stabbed in the cock! Need to go back and get it checked out I think. And now terrified they’ll say I need yet another replacement. Aaargh!
But aside from all that, I would still give it a big thumbs up. It helps with heavy periods and is also helping with some peri-menopause symptoms (I’m 48…and still feel I’m far too young for all that nonsense yet!).
better late than never! xxx
Elisabeth Basford (@ejaleigh) says
The Mirena saved my life really. I had all sorts of issues which it resolved. However, it is really difficult these days to find someone who can fit it. It is now the responsibility of the sexual health clinic. I refuse to go there in case I bump into one of my students! My experience is that men are much better when it comes to fitting it. Women tend to be less gentle. Sorry to stereotye. I am now well into menopause and it was a fantastic male doctor who realised that unlike most women, I have oestrogen dominance. I now take artificial progesterone and it has equally changed my life. I think the later has leased my husband more as I am no longer a raging hormonal , angry woman who cries all the time.
Ok late to the party but I have really bad endometriosis so bad the gynaecologist said he was surprised I had had a baby, the Mirena coil was amazing for me, no periods (instead of the really, really heavy ones), the Mirena is amazing and now I have to have it removed and I’m worried (in Canada end of its time and have to find either private medical insurance or $400 for a new one). I am 51 so hoping menopause has kicked in and hardly any periods.