I've been lurking in these forums for weeks now, first when I started researching Mirena and more after I actually had it put in and I know that when I was searching for answers, what I wanted more than anything was to know that I wasn't alone. So maybe some of you can relate to my story.
I had Mirena in for a grand total of 5 days and ended up with a 14 day prescription for Antibiotics and an ER visit to show for it.
Insertion wasn't great but I've had a child (C-section but I clocked 5 hours of labor so I am familiar with THAT sort of pain) and suffered a miscarriage a month before insertion so was pretty prepared for how bad it would be and told because I'd just lost a pregnancy (no D&C, though it was diagnosed "incomplete" it seemed to resolve on its own) insertion wouldn't be too bad as my cervix was still "loose". Insertion was nothing compared to what would come days later.
The first day was just adjusting, I guess, and though I was always aware of "something" there it wasn't too annoying and I figured I just had to break it in. No big deal.
By the 3rd day, it definitely was not comfortable.
By the 5th, I was doubled over and in tears. I'm not the best when it comes to pain but I can handle it, this I could NOT handle. I tried to get the doctor to call in a prescription for me so I could get through the day (I was stuck at work and the ibuprofen were not working) but she refused and said I needed to get to the hospital. I could not just walk out of work. I suffered through the next 13 hours needing to sit still (I was filming and broadcasting educational classes so I was behind the camera - awful, right?), drove home in tons of pain but finally fell asleep. I didn't want to sit through 13 hours at the emergency room (county hospital, that's pretty much the deal over there) and thought maybe it would get better the following day as that's what I was told by the doctor when I complained about the pain the day before. "Hang in there, it gets better," she told me.
I kept getting this signal from my body that it wanted it out but I chose to ignore it and thought I would adjust. Any day now. Just hang in there.
I woke up the day after that crying from the moment I opened my eyes. I called the doc and said I'd be coming in to the ER as long as they promised to take it out.
They gave me a shot of dilaudid for the excruciating pain, pulled it out and diagnosed me with PID. The ER doc actually said "well technically it's PID because your pelvic region IS inflamed." What?! I am in a long-distance relationship so sex wasn't the culprit (even though they kept badgering me asking if I was SURE I hadn't had any recently... trust me, I am SURE) and apparently the risk of infection from insertion is almost nothing but somehow I am the "almost nothing" even though I am careful about taking good care of my girl bits and haven't had a penis near me in weeks.
My uterus feels like it has just been in a swordfight and lost but I did feel some relief once it was out. I was still in a lot of pain when I left the ER but knowing in my head that the worst was over was some relief and by the next day it was much better. Removal was not painful at all but A) nothing could be more painful than the knives stabbing my lower back and uterus at that point and B) the dilaudid was still working so if it would have been painful, I certainly didn't notice. The ER doc expressed some concern that it had been "placed low" which is entirely possible I guess. My uterus does stick straight up which makes it unique but if you think about it, shouldn't it be easier to place if the doctor has a straight line to the fundus instead of the bent curve (s)he must navigate in most women? Whatever.
I know that some women swear by Mirena and say it's the best thing ever (the ER doc who removed mine had one and she said it took about 3 months for her to "get used to it", no thank you, no woman should have to get used to THAT) but I am most certainly one of the ones for whom it did not go so smoothly. After reading countless "testimonials" in forums like these and others, I see that I am certainly not alone in my experience. Many of you have been through different but very similar experiences and I can tell from reading what you have shared that you too have been traumatized by this horrible device. I don't think it's fair.
When I went in for my 48 hour checkup after the ER incident at my clinic, there was a girl down the hall about to get Mirena inserted who was having second thoughts (according to the doctors talking loudly outside of my room). I almost wanted to burst out there (naked from the waist down, oh well, I'm used to it by now) and tell her that her doubts are real, she should listen to her intuition. We as women forget that WE have known best for thousands of years - if your body tells you something isn't right, it probably isn't. I'm grateful - after reading many of your stories - that I realized that sooner rather than later.
I was still spotting from the miscarriage when I had the Mirena put in but the bleeding returned since I have had it out, very strange bursts of bright red liquid blood. This isn't right but the doctors seem to feel it is; that right there is the problem. My doctor told me it was "Mirena withdrawal" which seems extremely bizarre since I only had it in for 5 days. How much can that little piece of plastic do in 5 days?
A lot, obviously. My uterus can tell you.
My miscarriage was significantly less traumatic than what Mirena put me through for 5 days. Bayer should put that quote in their Mirena marketing materials: "I lost my baby and even THAT was less traumatic than 5 days on Mirena, woo hoo!" Perhaps the infection was a fluke and not at all related to the Mirena itself and could have happened with any IUD but I am convinced that my body refused the device for ITS OWN GOOD and knew as soon as that thing hit me that it did not want anything like it anywhere near our most delicate parts. I trust my body when it comes to things like that, not doctors. That trust is what got me through my miscarriage while the doctors were pushing misoprostol and D&Cs and I feel a huge sense of comfort in having had that experience on my own time in tune with my own body.
I've never had PID in my life but who knows what happens to me now, I'm apparently more susceptible to it after having had it once. My cervix is still traumatized too and the bleeding doesn't seem to be letting up. I feel for some of you who have put up with this for months or years, there is no possible way I could have made it one day longer than I did.
How do we get the FDA to pay attention and pull this God awful thing off the market?