I find myself feeling anxious and nervous that tomorrow I will be put under anesthesia just to have a birth control removed. Having to use the same medication used to induce women into labor (nope not pregnant at all!) to help with the procedure, It all began when…
2 years ago I had my daughter Addi and like most couples, Hubby and I decided we didn’t want to add to our family again right away. I decided I would get the Mirena IUD put in so I didn’t have to worry if I forgot a pill and a few others didn’t sit right with me anyways.
I went through the public health care which took months for them to stop rescheduling my appointment to only find out when they tried to put it in, my cervix was too closed and if they pushed any harder they could possibly puncture my uterus or hurt my cervix. So they booked me in for a ‘day procedure’ to be put under while they put it in. A couple months later (few cancellations thanks to going public again) they finally got me in. It was a weird feeling that I was planning to go to such extremes to have a birth control put in but the doctors made it seem like it happens often, you’ll be fine. And, I was fine in the end and only in the hospital for a couple hours then hubby and bubs came and took me home. (I do remember my boobs were killing me and beyond engorged since I was still breastfeeding!)
After the procedure I had bleeding/spotting for an additional 6 months which was quite frustrating especially cause there isn’t anything you can do. Finally that stopped and life continued on with a birth control in place and not worrying I might be pregnant at all! I must admit that part of it was great and was of the least hassled birth controls I had used.
Unfortunately as with anything, there were side effects. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago (Almost 1.5 years after having it put in) that I put it all together and how this birth control was affecting my life. I was the person that the side of the box warning of possible side effects even the less than 5% happened to me! I went through this list and literally had over 11 of these symptoms:
Between 5% and 10% of Mirena users may experience:
- Depressed mood
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Cyst on the ovary. These cysts may develop as long Mirena is in place. They are generally harmless and usually disappear in a month or two. However, cysts can cause pain and may sometimes require surgery.
Less than 5% of Mirena users may experience:
- Vaginal discharge
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Inflammation of cervix, vulva or vagina
- Pelvic pain during your period
- Back pain
- Weight increase
- Decreased sex drive
- High blood pressure
- Pain during intercourse
- Unusual hair growth or loss
- Skin irritations (such as hives, rash, eczema or itching)
- Feeling bloated
- Swelling of hands and feet
I started to look into what the symptoms might be when I had such sever back pain that I often couldn’t move or do anything to relieve the pain. I thought, perhaps the only ‘foreign’ thing I am doing is the Mirena so maybe I will look at the side effects. As I ran through the list I had my ‘ah-ha’ moment which explained so many things I was feeling, doing and effected by. Now perhaps some of them aren’t related to the Mirena at all but some I do believe are. Such as the statement that 10% or more of women could get ovarian cysts, that’s the understatement of the year! I had cysts that were literally 3 times the size of my ovaries , SEVERE back pain, my eczema was awful, among many other symptoms and side effects I hadn’t had prior to this birth control!
I was convinced after reading these possible side effects and acknowledging that I had been feeling like a different person but really couldn’t pin point what the heck was going on and why, that I had to have this thing removed! Hubby and I had also talked about adding to our family in the new year which also meant this had to come out. So off to the GP I went for what was supposed to be a ‘easy procedure in one visit!” Not the case yet again for me!
I went to a woman GP whom I had seen before and was comfortable with. She said she could take it out no worries as long as she could see the strings and grab them without any trouble. Of course, there was trouble! Since I had been put under for the procedure they had cut the string too short which made them move up the cervix and unable to be taken out by the GP. She referred me onto a gynecologist and sent me home feeling nauseous and unable to function the rest of the day!
I went to the gyno last week and to walk into his very nice building it cost me $180! But he was a lovely older gentlemen who had been delivering babies longer then Ive been alive so I felt like he knew what he was doing. I laid on his table and he too tried to remove the strings. He said after a bit “I just cant get to them.” I knew what would come next if he didn’t get them said “are you sure, try some more!” which he looked at me strangely and tried for a bit more. He finally concluded he was not able to reach them and in fact they had gone further up my cervix. The only way to have the Mirena removed was to be put back under anesthetic again.
So I signed up to go in for a day procedure again for tomorrow. The Doc tells me in order to soften my cervix to make the procedure easier, I will have to basically be induced as if I were a woman needing to go in labor with the same type of gel used in labor wards. How this possibly happening is all I could think. I am simply hoping I don’t also have the contractions of the uterus and the severe pain that can also come from this type of medication. Especially if I don’t get a baby at the end of it!!!
The moral of the story is that although we as women want life with birth control to be easy, make sure you look into what exactly the side effects, procedure and possible trouble may be. I think hind sight is 20/20 and the first sign I shouldn’t have gotten this birth control should have been when my cervix was too closed and before I went under the first time. I will look more closely at options for medications in general and will stick to those which I can control and chose to stop when I desire, not when a surgical theatre is available to make it stop!
Wish me luck… ~Janell~
Feel free to share with your friends/family as another mum may be struggling or have unexplained troubles and thos could help answer a lot of questions!