English: Mirena IntraUterine System Deutsch: Mirena Hormonspirale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Okay, apology disclaimer right off the bat for any reader — but especially to any males who may have stumbled across this post innocently. Unless you really want to read about the horrors that I have endured because of an intrauterine contraceptive device that was eh, installed for medicinal purposes, then you may prefer to read something more benign from a happier time in my blogging days.
There is currently a class action lawsuit because the Mirena is a defective and extremely dangerous product. The company that developed and marketed it allegedly did so knowing that the device would likely cause numerous side effects, many of which that would be detrimental, some that could be fatal. If you are using or have used a Mirena, then you very likely have experienced the same ‘illness’ that I am going through.
Now like most women, I trusted my healthcare professional, who probably had every good intentions. My reason for getting the Mirena was not to prevent pregnancy but to “control my hormones” so that my migraines would be kept in check for up to five years (since the IUD had to be taken out after five years’ time). And like most women, for five years I really didn’t think about my IUD because it didn’t seem to be doing anything. I wasn’t having very many periods, and when I did, they were lighter, less annoying, and more convenient. Who wouldn’t want that?
Me during one of my MANY visits to the doctor during my hellish Mirena Crash. It’s blurry, but that’s how I feel. Taken By Annie
I started to feel like something was wrong about six months ago, and although I wasn’t sure, I suspected that my hormones were to blame. We women usually know, right? I could feel that something was wrong and started to wonder if the Mirena was causing hormonal fluctuations. Four months from my five-year removal date, I was climbing the walls with uncontrollable migraines and excruciating hormonal mood swings. By that time I was certain that the Mirena had something to do with my very severe decline in health. The VA clinic didn’t take me seriously when I called and requested an appointment to have the device removed, which destroyed my already shaky trust in the staff. Luckily, my physician on the Army base saw me immediately and removed the device as an in-house procedure without giving me any grief. You see why I left these details out of my previous posts about my migraines? Too much information, and very traumatic!
I thought my problems were over and that I would start to feel much better in no time. But I became more sick than I had ever felt in my entire life. Oh yes, the Mirena Crash! It is well documented and even has its own special name. I started doing research online, and the more I discovered about the negative side effects of the device, the more betrayed and I felt. My Mirena had caused much more damage than initially realized! The list of possible offenses to my body went on and on, everything from pseudo-hemorrhaging during periods, to anemia from blood loss, to early menopause, to depression, to liver failure, to various types of cancer. The list went on, and if that wasn’t bad enough, apparently the Mirena had also leached silicone into my body, essentially poisoning me slowly over time. SILICONE POISONING. Are you fucking kidding me?
Angry doesn’t begin to describe my feelings. At the time I made this unsettling discovery, I didn’t have anyone to talk to because my healthcare providers either weren’t educated or just plain weren’t sympathetic to what was happening. My husband has been out of town for several weeks — the worst part of this living hell — and in retrospect that may have been a blessing in disguise — for his safety. With out of control hormones, I was definitely in a vulnerable state, just hanging on from day-to-day. I would cry myself to sleep, begging God to make the headaches stop, just for one day, so that I could have some relief. Then in the morning I would wake up with a worse headache, and cry again while making tea. I could feel my body shutting down more each day, and it was terrifying.
I still don’t know if this story has a happy ending. Luckily, through what I can only call Divine Providence combined with my Web surfing abilities (Divine Surfidence?), I found out that there is a nutritionist specializing in treating survivors of the Mirena Crash (the official name given to the specific yet numerous symptoms associated with use of the device) in Great Bend, Kansas, which is really just a two-hour drive from where I live. I almost couldn’t believe it — maybe this is the real reason we have lived in Kansas all along! I had been begging God to stop the pain for weeks now, so I took this as an omen that I MUST get in touch with the doctor, who is by happenstance a nutritionist and chiropractor.
Okay, so to wrap up this story, I will skip over our long phone conversation because it turns out I didn’t have to even drive the Great Bend. He does phone consultations with women from all over the country who are suffering from the side effects of their Mirena IUDs, and are not getting adequate support from healthcare providers. Hmmm. Long story short, he recommended a whole foods based detox diet selected by him, and tweaked over the years to heal the body as much as possible. The detox is designed to flush five years of toxins out of my body and liver, and hopefully get the liver functioning at full capacity again. The silicone may or may not flush out. I am also going to be using a bio identical progesterone oil to ‘reactivate’ my natural progesterone since the Mirena stopped production of my natural hormone. This should halt the pre-menopausal symptoms I am experiencing (hello, hot flashes!) and hopefully turn back the aging process (I already have a lot of gray hairs!).
It could take months or even years to undo the damage caused by the Mirena. Right now I am looking at my entire summer as a recovery time, and I may not be able to go back to work at the school. I am immensely saddened by this turn of events. Summer was supposed to be fun time with my family, everyone happy while traveling and having adventures. I am no longer the wife or mother I was six months ago, and it isn’t fair to my family. I am very angry that a tiny device could make me so sick, and that in five years, NO ONE in my medical community raised a red flag about it. It goes to show that you and only you must be diligent about your health, because doctors don’t know everything, and pharmaceutical companies don’t want to make you feel better.
On the bright side, today I started my detox. I took my pills (all food based, no chemicals or toxins) and made my smoothie with the special food powder blend. It tasted disgusting! I like my homemade smoothies better, but it is important to follow the plan. I have to do something, be proactive. This is the way to get it done. I feel optimistic knowing that I am using food to heal my body. And maybe soon I will be who I used to be.
Another blogger whose life was affected substantially by Mirena, and who refers to the same nutritionist from Great Bend in her posts:
Another survivor of the Mirena: