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I am ten months post-removal and I feel amazing. I can't quite believe how different I feel now than I did a year ago!
meadowlark86 Views: 2,172
Published: 4 years ago
This is a reply to # 2,385,217

I am ten months post-removal and I feel amazing. I can't quite believe how different I feel now than I did a year ago!

Hello! I am ten months post-removal and I feel amazing. I can't quite believe how different I feel now than I did a year ago! I had the Mirena for three years and had it removed because of bad headaches, pins and needles in my hands and feet, lack of appetite, heart palpitations/racing heartbeat, insomnia, mood swings, and other symptoms of "anxiety" (I don't think it's useful to call it anxiety as it was related to literally nothing going on in my life and I'd never had anxiety before, but whatever! "Anxiety" is supposedly a confirmed side-effect of levonorgestrel, the progestin in Mirena and other hormonal IUDs). After I was referred to a neurologist I was also told I was "hyperreflexive." I was very afraid that I had some kind of serious neurological disease because I felt SO AWFUL. But all of those things have gone away! Most of the really bad things went away in about two weeks. I had one relapse or "crash" about six weeks post-removal, which was very bad, about a week before my second post-Mirena period; but when my period started, it all disappeared! And since then, none of the bad stuff--though some of them, in a much milder form, did persist for several months. Now, after ten months, I pretty much feel wonderful and healthy and normal again--better than I have in years!! I still have occasional headaches in the first part of my menstrual cycle and I think they must be hormonal (and I never had issues with headaches before Mirena), but I'm hoping that will go away in time.

My guess is that what you're feeling now is the "crash" that many people experience between 6-8 weeks post removal (myself included). People say that this is because it takes at least six weeks for the levonorgestrel to fully get out of your system, and your body hasn't started producing enough of its own hormones yet at that point. A lot of women have this experience after Mirena, but it gets better!! Your body just needs time to adjust.

My advice is:

1) Get off of all forms of hormonal birth control if you possibly can. There are other ways of preventing pregnancy--I'm using the fertility awareness method, and it's less convenient than popping a pill but is supposedly very effective if you do it right. I'm convinced at this point that all forms of hormonal contraception, especially if they are used long-term, have really serious health effects for a lot of women (maybe not all women, but those of us with adverse reactions to the Mirena are probably in this group). Pills might be less bad for many of us than the IUD in terms of the effects, but if you want to let your body heal, it needs to start making its own hormones again. Personally, I will never be on any form of hormonal contraception, ever again. Hormones are powerful!! And sex hormones do A LOT OF THINGS in your body apart from regulating your reproductive system. Turning off sex hormones has serious systemic effects.

2) Even if you don't want to do fertility awareness as a method of birth control, I have found that tracking my fertility signs (basically, taking your temperature every morning and monitoring cervical fluid) to be an amazing and kind of life-changing thing. It gives me so much insight into my body and my hormones and my emotional states. It's also helped me track how my body has been adjusting post-Mirena (like, I was definitely way low on progesterone for the first several months—short luteal phase, lots of spotting before my period—and now my cycles are approaching something much more normal!). It's amazing how little women are taught about our bodies, and also how little modern medicine understands about women's bodies and how they are different from men's bodies. Not to go all Earth mother or whatever, but I have found that charting my menstrual cycle is a pretty powerful self-awareness tool, physically and emotionally.

3) Be really conscientious about your diet, sleep habits, exercise, etc. I had very bad periods before I was on birth control, and I was concerned about that coming back after I had the Mirena removed. But after cutting out vegetable oils I don't have those issues at all anymore. When you're trying to get back on track with hormonal health it's generally a good idea to try to eat a diet with a lot of healthy fats (fish, pasture butter, grass-fed meats, and whole-fat dairy if you are not sensitive to dairy) and try to avoid bad fats (trans fats, processed vegetable oils). And eat lots of veggies! Also, I used to be vegetarian and I kind of feel like a horrible person saying this, but I've gone back to eating (grass-fed) meat and fish and I think that I, personally, do much better with some animal protein in my diet (though different people are different in this respect I think). A lot of women undereat generally (as in, not getting enough calories) and especially undereat protein, and paying attention to that can make a big difference to your overall health. And, there are fat-soluble vitamins that are really important for hormonal health that are hard to get from vegetarian and especially vegan diets.

4) Consider taking some high-quality vitamin supplements. Some of the common deficiencies women have post-hormonal birth control are zinc, magnesium, B6, B12, and D. (I was low on zinc and D post-Mirena, and I had issues with B12 while on the pill.) If you can get some of these things tested by a doctor, that's a very good idea! You might also want to get your thyroid levels tested, as this is a very common problem with Mirena.

There's definitely light at the end of the tunnel!!


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