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TL;DR: Successful 5 years with Mirena, got a new one and replacement hurt, I make some lifestyle suggestions, bleeding still heavy four months out, thoughts?

Hi all -- After so much great support from this community, I got my first Mirena almost six years ago.  It helped my heavy, painful periods immensely.  While I still had very regular periods that required super-plus tampons, I could sleep through the night with JUST a tampon...a major, major improvement. Even better, it played nicely with my depression, unlike the oral contraceptives I've taken in the past to control pain and bleeding. As I got closer to the five-year mark with the first Mirena, my periods started getting heavy and painful again. So, I got a new one in March.

The removal and replacement was uncomfortable, but less so than my first placement.  Maybe I knew what to expect this time? I got a bit light-headed, but that's common for me with sudden pain (a fall down the stairs, road rash, etc). Okay, lemme be real, it hurt like hell.  HOWEVER, it was over quickly enough.  I'm 39, nulliparous, and I got it inserted the week after my period, just like my first one.  The logic for that was what my very first IUD, a Paragard, was inserted while I had my period and I expelled it two days later.  I switched to a much more experienced doc for my first Mirena, and she suggested I try the later insertion to reduce the likelihood of a repeat expulsion.

Here's the thing. I have the new Mirena, but my bleeding hasn't slowed down yet. I woke up this morning in a puddle of blood again, and I'm back to the change-the-super-plus-tampon-once-an-hour-for-two-days routine. I'm just wondering if I can expect this to improve in the coming months?  I'm stressed out from work, and I think I just got a little more rattled by this bleeding than I should be. I think I'm just looking for reassurance. I'm also wondering, more abstractly, if someone can explain the endo-heavy bleeding relationship to me.  I've definitely got growths outside of my uterus...you can actually SEE one outside of my body that grows and shrinks each month...I refer to it affectionately as my lady testicle. So -- if these growths are outside of your uterus, why do you bleed so heavily?  Wouldn't the blood in the other cysts just empty into other parts of your body and get reabsorbed, like blood from a bruise?

Here are the things I changed about my lifestyle that helped with my Mirena experience -- for the first year, I pretty much entirely eliminated wheat from my diet.  Wheat seemed to be causing me serious gas, which in turn created these stabby pains and seemed to make my cramps worse. As time went on, I reintroduced it without problems. This might not help everyone (or anyone, tbh.) I now avoid wheat the week before my period.  Thanks to advice here, I also added a 50mg zinc supplement to my daily diet.  It cut way down on my hormonal acne (the cystic things along my jaw).  For the ones that still bust out, I found a sulphur-based remedy helped more than salycilic acid on its own.  There are a wide variety out there, but the cheapo best one I've got is alba's "Quick Fix for Pimples." I started taking 1000mg Vitamin E, as that reportedly helps lighten bleeding...I think it helped a bit. Finally, ensuring I'm getting at least two, but preferably three to four, rounds of relatively intense aerobic exercise a week helped further reduce my cramps...if I don't eat wheat and exercise?  I don't have them.  It feels miraculous. For me, 'relatively intense' means getting my heart rate up to 70% of max for thirty minutes, but it might be different for other folks. I've got an active job that keeps me on my feet and moving 30 hours a week, plus I walk my dog two miles a day in addition to that other stuff, so what it takes to get my heart/hormones going might be more / less than other folks.


I have had the copper IUD for about 2.5 years now. Recently, I have been in and out of the hospital with pains during sex, pains all of the time, etc. Suspected endometriosis, but nothing was found during a laparoscopy; but there is still some speculation that the disease is there and it has been missed. Anyways. Due to this pain and the severe symptoms that I have been having, two doctors have suggested that I switch from the copper IUD to the Mirena.

My dilemma is this: I am taking 125mg of Lamictal for severe bipolar II depression. I have been on birth control in the past, and it definitely exacerbated my episodes (though this was prior to beginning to take mood stabilizers). I am unable to find many studies on the use of Lamictal with a hormonal IUD, and was wondering if anyone has any experience using the two together; or any other mood stabilizer's for that matter.

I have seen conflicting information: That the mirena may affect the efficacy of the lamictal, and vice versa.
I obviously do not want the efficacy of the coil to diminish, as I do not want to be pregnant, and, lamictal is the only medication that I have had success with, so for this to cop out on me...
I have also read that any progesterone can affect the lamictal.

Any advice, or experiences that you may be able to share would be very much appreciated!




I need help and advice!!!

Last year in February (2015) I went off the pill and switched to paragard! I love how easy and low maintenance it is but theres a problem. The first day I got it inserted i had a "weird" feeling where my left ovary is. Kind of like pressure. Over time... the pain in this area has magnified 50x. Randomly anytime during the month with no rhyme or reason I get a pain as if something is ripping, twisting and tearing out my left and only left ovary. It typically comes in waves like on for 10 seconds and off or it can be constant for a couple hours or a couple days. It can happen 5 days out of the month or 20. Sometimes during my period and sometimes not. When i get the pain i know in a couple of minutes i will be spotting as well, not a whole lot of blood but a little bit every time. Its very annoying to keep spotting but it keeps me sane because there is actual proof of my pain - Im not crazy!!!

Of course I have gone to the doctor about this, 2 different times and she told me the first time that it was ovulation and take some advil, her words were "I'm not saying it doesn't hurt, but you will be fine with just a little advil." This is the sharpest pain I have ever felt and advil (which normally will take away my headaches) doesn't even touch in the slightest. So for the few months after I told my self it was ovulation. I knew it wasn't unless i was ovulating every other day but whatever. So the second time i went in she did an ultrasound. This showed that my left ovary is polycystic.... i do NOT have PCOS, just one polycystic ovary. She told me that it probably happened now because I'm not on the pill any more and that as we all know paragard doesn't have any hormones and that other than possibility of a hard time getting pregnant later in life nothing was to be done and she gave me no other information.

Im having trouble finding information online on just a polycysitc ovary vs the actual syndrome. But the info i can find states there should be NO pain associated with it. This pain is SERIOUSLY impacting my life! Im in nursing school and while in the hospital i have to stop what I'm doing and breath through it acting like nothing is wrong. The pain comes when I'm in class or studying and i can't concentrate at all. I can't plan working out because the pain is absolutely excruciating. Im hoping someone can offer advice or maybe they were in a simaler situation and can help me out! :) I NEED relief!!

As a side note - i also get this pain whenever i get stomach cramps like drinking anything with caffeine. So i try to avoid it but sometimes i really need my coffee ha!
So I don't post often anymore, because, frankly, the past 4 years have been the most problem-free of my actively menstruating life! However, I depended greatly on this resource when I was deciding whether to get an IUD, and feel it's important to contribute my experiences back to it.

....especially when they might not be the "traditional" or "normal" experiences.

To summarize: In 2010 I had a Paragard IUD inserted for birth control purposes. I had bleeding or spotting continuously for 13 months, and toward the end of that time I got diagnosed with PCOS. I also developed hemorrhagic cysts and chronic pelvic pain which led to an exploratory laproscopy to look for endometriosis. They didn't find any, but they did find lots of inflammation and adhesions in my pelvic cavity. They removed the Paragard, gave me some prednisone, and inserted a Mirena. I've had the Mirena from 2011 to the present day. I have not had any cycles with the Mirena (no bleeding) which is expected since I didn't menstruate regularly before IUDs. No cramping, minor side effects only - such as thickened cervical mucus and a slightly more friable cervix. Overall a great experience. Nothing like the Paragard, and much fewer side effects than oral contraceptives.

The current situation: After 5 years (the recommended length of use in the US) I decided to have the Mirena removed and replaced. There are new types of birth control I might try, but I've had such a nasty time with all things menstrual/birth control until this IUD that I decided not to tempt fate. I'd like to share that removal/insertion experience so others can learn from it/not feel as alone.

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IUD Insertion Post-Partum

Hi, occasional lurker here and first-time poster.

I had a Paraguard IUD inserted in 2013. I loved it as birth control and only removed it last year to have a baby. I'm scheduled to go in next week (12 weeks post-partum) to have a new one inserted until we decide if/when we want another child.

I feel silly posting this, because I already had one and had a baby in the interim, but I'm nervous about the pain of insertion! Last time I had it done on a Friday morning on 600 mg of ibuprofen and a numbing spray and it still hurt like mad to have it put in, plus I spent most of the weekend cramping even with hot pads and more ibuprofen. Has anyone had them both before and after having children? Is it worse or better the second time around?

I'd appreciate a little bit of a boost to make me not so nervous. Plus, I'm trying to figure out whether I need someone to drive me or not; it turned out to be a good idea to have a chauffeur last time!
Greetings, Divas,

TMI ahead - you've been warned.

I've had my Mirena now for almost 10 months, and was never on any BC beforehand with the exception of the pill a few months before Mirena. Never been pregnant, never had a STI.

Insertion hurt like hell, and I had the typical bleeding/spotting for about 3 months, but about two months ago, I started having a very thick, mucusey discharge. It was relatively clear so I wasn't too concerned because I've been told IUD hormones can change things.

It seems like I've had a very, very minor yeast infection since insertion. No odor or itching but usually I'd have yeast infection type of discharge when I went to check my strings. They still feel the same and I can't feel the tip of the IUD, so it seemed okay, but my regular mucusey discharge is now sort of brown.

I'm concerned it may have shifted or has slightly perforated. No real pain, occasional cramps for an hour or so after orgasm but nothing otherwise, still no odor, and the discharge doesnt really come out on its own. It kinda hangs out up there unless I, ah, scoop it out. (Told you, TMI.)

Since it hasn't been a year yet, should I worry? My doc had a heck of a time getting it in - my body immediately pushed out the first one so we had to turn right around and do it again with a new Mirena. I'm a fairly small woman with a very low cervix, but I don't think it's tilted.

I love my Mirena otherwise. Zero periods for the past ~6 months or so, no cramping, some increased acne (at 35! ugh!), but that's about it. I haven't had sex since I got it - way too busy for social life - so no way I'm pregnant. I don't want to get rid of it!

Anyway, help?

Mirena IUD and BC causing problems

I am 18 years old and female I have been having non stop annoyance with my IUD. I first got it inserted in June of this year and bled for a month straight and once the bleeding stopped I have been getting continuous amounts of dark discharge. I went to my Dr and she prescribed me birth control to try and stop my periods (it is important to know before this my periods were always 7 days no more no less) So point being I am not on birth control and have the mirena IUD and just haven't had a peaceful day sense, I have sensitive breasts, nausea, cramps, very high sex drive but having trouble... getting there *getting wet sorry tmi* and constant dark discharge as well as spotting. Does anyone have a similar experience and can help guide me through some tips or have any recommendations. Please Help.
Hello all,

I wrote a bit about this on VP yesterday but I wanted to write here as well to get advice.

Basically I seem to (after having no periods for a couple of months) be experiencing a small, constant amount of bloodfrom my vagina (probably cervix) which is causing recurrent BV infections. It also seems to get worse just after I've had PIV without barriers (I have one fluid bonded partner).

I also don't seem to be getting the usual discharge that I'm used to from a cycle, including the 'turned on' wetness, which usually rights things. It's making me want to remove the IUD. :(

Had the Mirena for 1.5 years. Used to have massive mood swings relating to hormones but never had cysts or any other problems. No pain at all from the IUD since my periods stopped.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Thank-you...
Hi everyone!

I wonder if anyone knows where is the best clinic in Vancouver Canada to out a new Copper IUD? ( and remove the old one)?

I would need very experienced professional doctor for this and i have no idea where in Vancouver to find it....

Hello everyone!

I hope I don't freak you out too much with my story, but I also think it's important to hear both success and failure stories so that you can make informed decisions.

Quick background story - Had a copper IUD installed at a birth control clinic. Used as sole birth control for 5 years with no surprises and loved it. Had to get it removed to have a LEEP performed. Had my oncologist/gyn install a new one after I healed from the LEEP as he said he had experience. 2 years later - TWIN PREGNANCY! Turns out the IUD had somehow migrated into/close to my cervical canal even though I felt no difference in the strings. We were able to pull out the IUD and I'm now nine months pregnant with identical twin boys.

We will be delivering by this Tuesday at the latest, and I'm already starting to think about my postpartum birth control options as we do not want more children at this point, and possibly ever. I am considering getting another IUD installed at a birth control clinic, following it up with an ultrasound to ensure proper placement, and using a Caya diaphragm as back up. The Caya is said to be very easy to remove and I am experienced with internal devices such as menstrual cups, so I don't think I'm too worried about disruption the strings. What do you think? I'm basically looking to be environmentally, body and wallet friendly with my birth control options, which rules out hormones for me. Would love to hear your thoughts!