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Breast tenderness with Mirena.

I'll spare you the whole background again, but basically, I have PCOS and have never had regular periods (at one point they went away entirely for 3yrs while I was on the cross country team). I was regular on Yasmin, but wanted longer term pregnancy protection, so I switched to the Paragard thinking that my cycles would go away entirely again. Instead I ended up bleeding for 8 months straight. Finally I got on Metformin and it regulated my cycle.

Well since switching to the Mirena in August I have had one period, without breast tenderness (actually, the only thing I got for PMS was a migraine). In fact, I've never really experienced breast tenderness before in my life! I don't know if it's because I never really had ovulatory cycles or because my hormones are irregular from PCOS, but this is an entirely new feeling for me. I don't anticipate a period because it's been way over a month since my last one and my periods are unlikely to be regular now as my reproductive endocrinologist took me off the Metformin. She said with my low levels of estrogen/progesterone I'm likely to just skip my periods alltogether with the Mirena.

Despite this, for the past 2 weeks, my breasts have been REALLY sore. They feel like they are bruised, but there is no visible bruising and no reason they should be. I'm a large A/small B and typically I can take or leave a bra when I'm around the house, but lately I have to wear one all the time, or just walking hurts. I can't sleep on my stomach comfortably and even on my side is a bit dicey. I DEFINITELY can't have my partner touch them during sexytimes!

Overall, I've had such bad problems with other forms of birth control that if breast tenderness is the only nasty side effect, I'm willing to suck it up. So....

-If you have had a Mirena, did you experience breast tenderness? If so, when did it start and how long did it last?
-If you've ever had breast tenderness, what did you do to help it?



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
I got breast tenderness on the Mirena after a few months. It was HORRIBLE in the beginning but has gotten a lot better. For me it starts at ovulation and last for 3-17 days. I lost my period for 6 months and all other pms symptoms went away, including the nipple pain. It did come back but when my cycle and periods calmed down it did as well. These days (Mirena is 3 years old) it rarely happens as my periods are almost non-existent, at worst I just have to remind hubby not to squeeze them for a few days. I have tried evening primrose oil for it but I am horrible at taking it consistently so I can't tell you if it works (it is suppose to calm down hormones).
Dec. 17th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
I had a Mirena for five years and switched. One of the big reasons was breast issues.

They started in the third year - periods of tenderness that became near constant in the last year and a half, so much so I no longer wanted my fiance to touch them. My nipples were extremely oversensitive and I went up half a cup size from swelling and had to buy new bras. At times, I had to tape down my nipples because they would be constantly erect - that sensitive to touch - and hurt so bad. I also developed benign lumps that I went through a hell of mammograms with from the Mirena.

I switched to Paragard August 2nd, and my breasts no longer ache all the time, my nipples are less touchy about contact, and the lumps have shrunk.

Cool cloths, anti-inflammatories (Advil, Naproxen) sometimes worked for bad day. A good padded bra provides a little insulation and support. You can try taking potassium and magnesium for a week; the Mirena, from my research, depletes natural progesterone, which creates a rebound of estrogen dominance; those two minerals are suggested by many coming off Mirena to counteract that dominance. I'd check with your doctor though first, or a pharmacist, since I don't know your health history. I did it for two weeks after my switch of IUDs and found it helped a lot with the rebound mood swings I got removing Mirena (aka "Mirena crash").

In theory, I love Mirena, and for the women it works out for, I encourage others to try it out. But it does do bad things to a percentage of women, and I personally would never use it again.
Dec. 17th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh: I lost my periods entirely for almost the entire time I was on Mirena, so there was no ovulation link for me.
Dec. 17th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
You can still ovulate even if you don't bleed, it's just a lot harder to track. The Mirena doesn't usually stop ovulation, but it's a lot better at decreasing your endometrium, so even when your body goes "bleed time!" there's nothing to spit out. ...As it were.

I'm going to look into the estrogen dominance thing more. I can't find anything in Western medicine, but I'm not totally opposed to naturopathy. If I could find evidence in peer-reviewed Western journals about PoPs decreasing progesterone, I would feel more confidence in the estrogen dominance theory. Of course, I don't have access to a naturopath I trust (except through my mom), so I guess most of this is moot for me.
Dec. 17th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
By theory I mean hypothesis. Argh.
Dec. 17th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
I usually cramp after ovulation slightly, just a few days before a period - not serious cramps, mind you; twingey. On Mirena, I had those maybe a handful of times. I genuinely feel my body went wonkers, just due to the number of side effects I had that usually trace to hormones (unusual hair growth; weight gain (70 pounds?!); breast swelling and pain; libido changes; loss of natural lubrication and painful orgasm issues recurring; obviously, the loss of periods that is normal). I also know I'm not the norm, so I would never tell people on the whole, "Mirena sucks! Never use it!" I'm sensitive to hormones and thought that Mirena would work better than the pill, but in the end, it wasn't worth the negatives to enjoy the lost periods and reliable BC. Bummed me out.

I know the estrogen dominance is debatable; I just know that in reviewing all the material on it, it made so much sense to me. For example, I initially lost weight on Mirena, and kept a slender weight for years; at around year three, I started to balloon, just as I did on HBC. I also can only go by what I did after removal (trying magnesium and potassium) and it did help tremendously in that the mood crash that began a few days later dissipated quickly, and I just felt more "myself" again. Almost all of the effects aside from the weight gain (due to amount of course) have dissipated/vastly improved. I'm so much happier overall with Paragard, but I also had an ablation for heavy periods, which can sterilize you, so it's not viable for every woman. I'm childfree, so it didn't faze me, luckily.

I did say a doctor should be consulted because of lacking research, but my experience went well, and as long as there's no health reason not to take them, why not, right? Magnesium is good for the bones anyway (and, with calcium, migraines too, according to my GP).

(Aside: I always debate how reliable peer review research is when the peers are involved with pharma companies, because it's in their bosses' interest for the IUS to come back harmless and for supplements to be ineffective.... Ugh, I'm so skeptical.)
Dec. 17th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the additional info about Mg and K! I'll use it to guide my own research.

As for the aside, I agree that peer review isn't infallible, but many journals at least are requiring disclosure about potential conflicts of interest. My hesitation about naturopathy mostly stems from my inability to find the equivalent of PubMed.
Dec. 17th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
Could it be a cyst? Ovarian cysts are somewhat common among Mirena users, and they can create PMS-like symptoms.

I'm experiencing something similar; my breasts were sore in the beginning of December, and then I bled for a few days, so I thought the soreness was due to PMS or period. But they've never quite gone away, and removing my bra in the evening hurts. I chalked it up to something related to ill-fitting bras, combined with diet--I'm a 28G and have been drinking lots of caffeine and not eating well due to stress. But maybe it's more hormone related.

Do you think your breasts are getting bigger?
Dec. 17th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
Well I had my mirena fitted at the end of march, 2 weeks before my depo was due. The last 3 months I've had the breast pain. First month caused complete freak out as my cousin had mentioned she knew she was pregnant when she had breast pain as she had never had it before (she had antibiotics and the pill and a few too many hangovers last xmas and now has a beautiful 10 week old baby girl)

but babies are not on my wish list. this month I've had it again but i'm used to it now and some little bleeding makes me feel better. I'm however very concerned about estrogen dominance, might be best to make my own post rather than go into in on here.
Dec. 17th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
I've had a Mirena for three years now (for the second time) and my breasts have been so sore the past two weeks that I thought I was pregnant. I've had pain before, but not this bad for this long.

I have DDs, too. The pain is making me miserable. I have a Gyn appt this week.

Cherie Collins
Feb. 15th, 2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
I recently had the mirena inserted about 2 weeks ago. The insertion pain was horrible and almost made me faint and I have a high tolerance for pain. One of my friends told me her experience was painless and so this just proves how bodies are distinct. I had horrible cramping for a couple of days and spotting for 2 weeks.
Before the iud, I was on every type of bc imaginable but ended with Yaz. I felt like I was becoming an evil version of myself...always moody and bitchy. I also had horrible migraines that I had to be prescribed a separate migraine pill because they were so painful. I am hoping my switch will help my mood and migraines. Unfortunately, I have started feeling breast pain and my nipples are extremely sensitive...(there is no possibility of pregnancy unless it is immaculate conception). Hopefully, it is my body adjusting to the new hormone levels. So far I haven't had a migraine...knock on wood! I am hoping that this works out. Any suggestions?
Sena Sebuabeh
Apr. 16th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
Hi thanks everyone for their comments it help me alot.. I have mirena inserted for the 2nd time 11/2013 I like it very much but the breast tenderness are horrible... very sore for bout a couple of weeks..I havent had a reg cycle in a while either so it has good and bad but I love this better than taking pills because you can forget to take a pill and double up that sucks so I like the mirena better no taking pills everyday ....But I sometimes wonder if I am pregnant with I dnt have a reg cyle. I THINK MIRENA ROCKS...its not for evryone but its good for me thank...
Jul. 2nd, 2015 11:16 pm (UTC)
Me too
I had Mirena inserted for the second time. I was getting a lot of breast pain toward the end of the first one, and I asked my doctor, who said that it can deliver a bigger blast toward the end. I hoped that everything would be fine with the new one. I don't have any periods on it, which is nice! The only other issue was severe cramps from time to time, but not regularly, and wouldn't last long.

I'm about a year into the new one, and the breast pain has got worse and worse. Just putting on a shirt hurts like crazy. Over the last month, I have been having an electric feeling in my breasts just like let down when you are breast feeding. It's incredibly worrying, and driving me absolutely crazy as it happens a lot. I'm suspecting that Mirena is behind this one, and as much as I have liked it otherwise, I think it might be time to switch to something else.
Nikki Balentine
Jul. 6th, 2016 02:14 am (UTC)
I have this same problem! I've been on mirena a little over 3 years now.. And I've just started getting more of a period every few months... It's serious pain too.
Alanna Krill
Sep. 9th, 2016 02:50 am (UTC)
I had my Mirena replaced 8/8. The original one was a breeze. I winced and took some deep breaths but was perfectly fine afterwards. I had light spotty periods for the next 3 months, then it stopped all together. 2 years before I was due to have it replaced my cycles returned sporadically. My OB said that it was still releasing the same amount of hormones, and may have been my body just adjusting to it. I was told to wait the whole 5 years before replacing it. I did.

Removing it caused severe cramping, the local anesthetic caused more cramping. Inserting the Mirena caused more cramping. I continued to have ridiculous cramps for over a week almost continuously and told that there really isn't any "normal or average" when it comes to what to expect. The cramping has decreased a good deal and has only happened a couple times a week recently.

However the breast tenderness which had been non-existent previously has become insane. I thought my bra was causing some pain. After putting on my comfy one and still having just as much pain my OB said at my follow up today that the hormones being released within the 1st - 3rd months may be at a slightly elevated dispersal rate. I am hoping that the tenderness goes away sooner rather than later since I have larger breasts and have a hard enough time getting comfortable to sleep and do most movement related activities.
Chari Marie
Feb. 12th, 2017 08:21 am (UTC)
This is my 2nd term with the iud the first one i had it for 5 years and i had the one with out hormones . in december i replaced it with another 5 year one but i dont remember my gyn telling me she inserted the one with or with out hormine i believe i have the one with hormone now because my nipples are sore but after reading several stories i see its commen i go back to my gyn this week and im gonna run sore nipple problem pass her cause it just feels weird other then that i love not really getting a period im gonna try to stick this one out because the switch over to insert the new one and take out the old one hurted like hell
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )