Mirena is the real reason behind me starting this website, and the reason behind my renewed healthy, natural lifestyle quest. After going through the Mirena crash (that no one warns you about) I felt like I needed to add my story to the internet in case there were more women out there going through what I went through. Yes, Mirena is GREAT for so many women; but there are just as many of us out there who did not have good experiences. Because of that I wanted to make a post to let anyone know who’s going through hormone problems after Mirena, you’re not alone. Lots of us have gone through this and there are ways to minimize side effects of the crash.
So you got your Mirena in. It’s supposed to be the most amazing thing ever! The idea of it is awesome, and for SO many women it works wonderfully, but then there are us with not so hot experiences.
For me, Mirena was great at first, after the initial torrential blood fest that lasted roughly 55 days wore off (to be fair, we were all warned). After that it was smooth sailing, right? No periods, no pregnancy. A win-win. Well here’s my story with the lovely Mirena. Nothing catastrophic happened, I just began presenting symptoms that were odd and I didn’t want to deal with.
Before I dive in, here’s a little side information about my health: I’d consider myself a fairly healthy person after having 2 kids in 2.5 years. I’m 5’4″, 130 lb., I exercise regularly, I eat healthy, and I get a normal “mom” amount of sleep (lets be real, we could all use more sleep).
So roughly 9 months into my “5 years” with Mirena I began to increasingly feel funny and fairly unwell. I no longer considered myself in excellent health which was super bizarre for me, I’ve always been healthy! My symptoms were not all at once but more gradual. I became extremely exhausted, had mood swings, anxiety, excessive thirst, ZERO sex drive, odd cramps, spotting and the semi- return of my period. Many more months passed and these symptoms did not go away. I hit the 1 year mark and I decided to have the Mirena removed. The idea of having a foreign object semi-permanently lodged in my nether regions no longer sat well with me and I KNEW my symptoms were being brought on by something involving my reproductive health. I made my removal appointment, which wasn’t easy but I was in no mood for crap. Apparently Military doctors *at my location* hate removing Mirena early, for whatever reason… (They literally told me and other women that Mirena is expensive and they don’t want to remove it and waste money.)
Finally Mirena removed. They did a few routine cultures at the same time and called me back THAT DAY (another rarity with mil health care!) Come to find out I had a pretty gnarly bacterial infection down there (thanks Mirena) and was prescribed Flagyl (the holy mother of all evil antibiotics, pretty darn potent for someone who never takes antibiotics) and then a following dose of Diflucan. Come to find out later, this drug cocktail basically obliterated all of my healthy gut microbes, only intensifying my Mirena crash symtoms.
The Mirena Crash
Mirena removed. Maybe one year in, maybe 5 years in. Many women have zero problems or side effects from Mirena removal. Others have a whole slew of issues that no one ever warned them about when they considered Mirena.
So, what exactly “crashes” when the Mirena is removed? The IUD Mirena provides the body with a synthetic flow of hormone, levonorgestrel. When you remove that flow of fake progesterone the body is then required to make it’s own which could take days, weeks or longer to restart because it has become “lazy”, relying on the synthetic provision from your IUD instead of producing its own. This restart gap causes your body to essentially go into withdrawal if progresterone levels aren’t sustained. This causes hormone imbalance or estrogen dominance.
The symptoms of a Mirena crash vary widely between individuals, but here are some of the most common:
- Runaway emotions such as anxiety, sadness, anger and depression. Severe cases have produced suicidal thoughts.
- Frequent mood swings
- Physical symptoms such as muscle fatigue, cough, sore throat and even fever which are often misdiagnosed
- Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain
- Breast tenderness
- Decreased sex drive and painful sex
- Consistent sadness, hopelessness, and/or anxiety
- Mood swings and irritability
- Feeling of always being tired
- Trouble concentrating
- Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
- Excessive sleeping or insomnia
- Changes in appetite
- Thoughts of suicide
My personal symptoms included many of the things listed about but I could feel my issues were absolutely hormonal and a clear sign of an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. I visited my Physician for the symptoms and he told me what I already knew. My symptoms were likely caused by the Mirena removal and I’ll just need to let my body reset. “Come back if you have more problems”. My Mirena crash lasted four months and revolved around my monthly cycle. My worst days were the week before my period and 3-4 days into my Period. My best days were days 1-7 of my cycle. My symptoms included:
- Extreme mood Swings
- Severe Anxiety
- Depression/Feelings of despair
- Brain Fog
- Eye itchiness/dryness
- Post nasal drip
- Trouble Concentrating
- Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
The Mirena Crash is very real and more and more women are coming forward to report their symptoms and tell their story. Many physicians will not acknowledge the side effects you experience as being attributed to the Mirena crash after your device has been removed. Even fewer who do acknowledge your symptoms will offer little to no remedies or solutions to ease your symptoms. They solely rely on the information provided by the manufacturer and because the Mirena crash causes such a wide array of symptoms, you’d be really lucky to get any help from a doctor at all.
Mirena removal has the potential to cause some very serious symptoms in women. These symptoms should not go unheard. If you feel like you cannot cope or are scared by these symptoms you’re experiencing after Mirena removal, please be persistent and honest with your doctor. There are many natural supplements that you can take to help get your body back on track and back into balance. Here are the amazing products that helped me get back on track and ease my symptoms.
Olive Leaf Extract
Fermented Cod Liver Oil