Skip Nav

Side Effects of Mirena

The Unexpected, Painful Side Effects I Experienced With My IUD

So many friends raved about their Mirena experience, and even my doctor really encouraged me to give it a try. From those I spoke to and the countless online research I did, the side effects were minimal. And so I took a leap of faith, feeling hopeful that this birth control option would be a positive one for me. Sure, the insertion is not fun, but I had been through it before when I had the copper IUD. "Your pain tolerance is so high!" My doctor applauded me. "Labor will be NBD for you." I walked away from the office feeling confident and self-assured. And I was so, so happy with the choice at first. Everything was awesome! I loved my job, loved my boyfriend, loved life!

Then, without warning, things started to go awry. It started with weight gain. I'm an active person, but just a few months after getting the IUD, I found myself carrying an extra 15 pounds. I couldn't button the top button of even my biggest pair of jeans. At first, I thought, "OK! No sweat." I hired a trainer, started eating healthier, and stopped eating sweets. The weight didn't go away, despite my best efforts. Instead of accepting this new body, I found myself frustrated and obsessed. I went to extremes to try and return to "normal." I gave up sugar and cut way back on drinking. I was getting stronger, but I couldn't seem to celebrate that.

Then, the intense fatigue set in. I'm normally a positive person who jumps out of bed in the morning, but I found myself slowly unable to pick myself back up. I woke up dreading the day, hitting snooze on repeat, and looking forward to only one thing: going back to sleep. I stopped participating in extracurricular activities. I couldn't cope without 10 hours of sleep. I was constantly irritable and upset with myself and others. This person was not me! Sure, my period was lighter, but I started getting migraines and yeast infections regularly. You can get a clear picture of what that did to my love life . . . or should I say complete lack thereof.

I went to my doctor three months in, and she responded, "Oh. There's an adjustment period. Give it time. At least six months." But by six months in, I felt like I was drowning in depression. I couldn't "feel better." At the time, I felt like no one took me seriously — which was a very scary thought to have. Worse, I felt like no one cared or could see that I was spiraling. Everything in my life was so great, so why didn't I feel that way? I was determined to make the IUD work. "It's paid for! It lasts so many years! I'm at fault for feeling the way I do — not my birth control. Get a grip!" I kept telling myself over and over.

I gave it eight months. I was recovering from two infections down below and decided, "Enough!" The one variable that wasn't working in my life was this IUD. I first confided in a few friends (who are licensed therapists) about what I was going through. Having that support and validation gave me the courage to move forward with the removal. I went to a different doctor. I burst into tears the second I entered her office. I couldn't believe I had gone against my intuition for so long. While she recommended that I take an antidepressant so I didn't feel like "the rug was being pulled from under me," I opted not to.

She warned that I may have a "Mirena Crash" as my body's hormones stabilize. While I have had some low days since the removal two months ago, it's nothing like I experienced when I had the IUD. I actually have hope and see the signs that I'm returning to my normal self, slowly but surely.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
What Is the 4-6 Breathing Technique?
Why You Should Give Yourself a Monthly Breast Self Exam
How to Use a Timer to Help With Kids' Bedtime Routine
Wind-Down Routine to Fall Asleep
What It's Like to Date When You Have Anxiety
How to Limit Screen Time at Night
What Exercises Help Get Rid of Lower Back Pain?
Why You Should Know Your Body Fat Percentage
Personal Essay About the Phrase "Summer Bodies"
Barbie Role Model Dolls 2019
Women Who Are Changing the Game in 2019
Why I Detoxed My Social Media
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds