I’m back, and I am so sorry for such a long absence in writing – it’s been a WILD couple of months since I finished uni. Although it’s been almost half a year, I still feel a bit higgledy-piggledy and like I’m adjusting, and I think a huge part of that feeling has been down to my new mortal enemy – the Mirena coil.
I’m going to do a blog post about pain relief and periods, so I’ll be talking a little bit more about my hateful journey with my evil little womb but long story short: I have horrible periods, my lovely new gynaecologist Claire recommended the coil – here’s my experience so far.
SO as far as I understand, the Mirena (or hormonal) coil works by releasing hormones into your womb that thicken the mucus lining from the cervix – this stops sperm creeping in, but also can stop your eggs from being released as much, reduction in ovulation should then stop pain. (Do your own research though because I’m no doctor I’m afraid, I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track kinda)
In my mind, I was absolutely raring to go for this coil – I had multiple examinations and sonograms at this point, so what was a bit of metal up my hoohah? I was already a seasoned pro of gynaecology. The premise of 5 years of more pleasant periods was the DREAM.
So coil day arrives, I’m a bit nervous but generally just happy to be doing something that was going to improve my quality of life. Claire’s told me it might be a little bit uncomfortable because I haven’t had children and she needs to open up my womb to put the coil in – no biggie, I can handle a ‘bit of uncomfortableness’.
Now Claire, I really thank you for all your help so far, but you really sold me a false dream of an easy 5 minute procedure – I have NEVER felt pain like this. I’m not trying to scare anyone: the coil has been a god-send for millions of women, but if you are going for the coil please please please DOSE THE FUCK UP. I was given a bit of numbing cream (did fuck all I swear). I genuinely felt like I was being ripped in half, and I was actually traumatised for a good few weeks after. When I was having the coil put in, I just sat and cried in the little stirrups, then got to my boyfriends car and sat and cried some more – for the next two weeks, if I even thought about how painful it was I cried (even now, I feel so upset when I think about it).
I felt shaken up, anxious, fragile and like I had been through a genuinely scarring event: you might think I’m being a bit dramatic, but I really don’t have that low of a threshold for pain and I just felt like I was in shock and I didn’t even know, the worst was to come.
When Claire and I discussed the coil, she explained that you have to give it a good chance before it gets better – for most women, they recommend 3 months of trial before you decide to have it taken out as some women will have a period for 3 months straight. Firstly, to those women, you are the strongest people and I have so much respect for you!! Absolute warriors.
After the coil was fitted, I had 5 and a half weeks of straight bleeding and the most intense period pains I’ve ever experienced. My pains were bad before, like they were BAD, but these pains felt like I was having the coil put in again, over and over. At least with my previous period pains, I could predict when they would come and prepare myself – these 5 weeks of HELL were so sporadic, it felt like my body was punishing me for putting it through such a horrid experience.
Not only was I in physical pain, it had a huge toll on my mental health – it’s so difficult to remain positive and resilient, and just to deal with the general daily ups and downs when you feel like your womb is being cut in half. I would sit on the sofa and shout and swear and cry, and I was just depressed; it felt like I had been so proactive in trying to improve my quality of life, and instead I was in the lowest place I’ve ever been.
I comfort ate constantly, was completely spaced out, I feel like my relationships and work were suffering and every time I tried to enjoy myself, my womb was just there trying to ruin my life.
I had my 5 week check up with Claire, and as SOON as I got into her office I just started bawling – I had already been in contact with her asking if it was normal to be in such intense pain, and she said she hadn’t really heard of it before. When I saw her in person (I feel bad for legit crying at her with menaces) but she suggested it might be best to have the coil removed, we checked it was still in place (it all looked good) and she sent me for another sonogram just to double check everything was A-okay.
The sonogram all looked good, and I said to Claire I was hellbent to give the coil the full ‘3 month trial’ before having it taken out – mainly because I’m terrified of having it out LOL but I would also kick myself if I didn’t give it a full chance, especially if after those 3 months the next 5 years are a breeze. She told me I was being very brave, and I cried even more (shock).
So that brings us to today, with my final checkup booked in for mid Feb. The last week has been pleasant; I’ve not been in pain (touch wood) and I can feel my mental health improving. If the next month or so are like this, I’m happy to have the coil stay in there.
The aim of this blog post wasn’t to scare anyone away from choosing the Mirena coil; mainly I just needed to vent about the last month or so being absolute dog shite, but also I think it’s important to take into account that sometimes our bodies don’t really react how we expect. Not only is it a fairly invasive procedure, but you’re literally having a foreign object put into your body – of course your body is going to try and attack that or fight it, it’s just trying to help.
Currently, I really don’t know what to make of the coil – it’s definitely nice not having to remember to take birth control, although there may not be ‘direct’ side effects of depression or mental health impacts, the process in itself is a real journey that left me in a bad place. Speaking to other women who have gone through the same experience was so comforting, knowing I wasn’t being dramatic and that in other countries they actually put you to sleep before inserting the coil!!!!
I think overall my experience with the coil has highlighted that A. women are strong as fuck, I would genuinely love to see men being more responsible for contraception (other than condoms) in the near future because we’ve really gone through enough as a gender and B. the coil is not an easy fix to not have period pains/not get periods; it’s actually a bit of a twat.
I’ll definitely make sure to do an updated blog post after 3 months of the coil, and again I really hope I haven’t scared you off the procedure – if you are considering the coil, please go and have a chat with a gynaecologist or make sure you do your research beforehand!
Here are some handy sites to compare contraception and what might be the best option for you:
PSA: I didn’t get the coil for contraceptive reasons, but a lot of different contraceptions can be recommended to help for period pains
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