My Experience With the Mirena IUD
Last updated: November 2022
Mirena is a hormone-releasing IUD that prevents pregnancy for up to 6 years. It is also prescribed for women who have heavy periods up to 5 years.1 The pro, of course, is to prevent pregnancy but there are also plenty of cons. Some cons are weight gain, ovarian cysts, and pelvic and stomach pain. Mirena does not protect against HIV or STDs.2 Mirena does work for some people but I am here to tell you about my experience with the Mirena IUD.
Getting the Mirena IUD with lupus
So I first received the IUD after I had my daughter, and of course, after you have a child, your cervix still has to shrink back into its normal place. Now my OBGYN actually convinced me to get birth control after I had my daughter. He stated that a woman with lupus should not randomly get pregnant. I understand the precautions that I should take but I felt like I was not really given a choice in the matter. After I received the IUD I started to have really bad abdominal pain and really heavy bleeding. I also gained about 50 pounds being on this birth control.
Difficulties after the IUD
My insurance would not cover the ultrasound for my pelvic regularly, so I had to go to the ER and state that I was in pain to even get the attention, and the ultrasound did. Come to find out, the birth control was sitting too low, which caused heavy periods and abdominal pain. It also caused plenty more problems for me. I could not completely bend down. I could not do most of my ab exercises while going to the gym. When I left the ER they put me on Naproxen 500 mg for pain. I made that medication last about a month or so before I could actually get in to see my OBGYN.
When I went back to my OBGYN they ended up taking the IUD out, but they wanted to give me another IUD. They would have to order it, of course but I really did not want it with all of the problems it caused. While in my doctor's appointment, I felt like I had no choice. I felt like they would not give me a choice. They told me that they didn’t think it was the right idea, and I said, "of course, I understand your concern, but I would like not to place something that’s toxic to my body back into my body." I felt like they really did not understand me.
Lupus health challenges and an IUD
The weight gain made it hard for me to be able to breathe and walk. Sometimes it's even harder trying to lose weight being on birth control and steroids at the same time. The challenge we face with health issues, I did not want to place any more problems upon myself. So I had to speak for myself that I am not doing birth control anymore. I realized that no one will know my body better than me and also know what is good for my body.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?