Mirena IUD Warning: Hair Loss, Brain Injury, Infertility, and Facts Your Dr. Won't Tell You!
First Off...What is the Mirena IUD?
The Mirena IUD (intra-uterine device) is a small device that is inserted into the uterus in order to prevent pregnancy. It is made of silicone, polyethylene, and a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel. This device is said to work in a few different ways to prevent a woman from conceiving.
One way it works is that it makes the lining of your uterus extremely thin, thereby making the uterus wall inhospitable for a fertilized egg to implant itself. It also is thought to work by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent a sperm from reaching an egg to fertilize it. Surprisingly, the manufacturers of Mirena are not quite sure exactly how it works, but they theorize that there are the ways in which it can prevent pregnancy. (If you don't believe me, go to their website. Under "How Does It Work" they say they are not sure!)
The Mirena IUD was at first only recommended for women who have already given birth, but lately it seems that it is being prescribed for women as well as young teenage girls who have "heavy" or "painful" periods. The device can cause a lessening of period flow and pain, and has even been known to stop periods altogether. Seems like an amazing little device, doesn't it?
However, this article is not to support the Mirena IUD. In fact, it is my warning to you about the truth of this device and how it can negatively impact your health and life. If you're thinking about getting this device, I urge you to read this article and to do your own research before getting it inserted into your body.
Mirena Placement and Removal: Pain and Discomfort
I am able to write this article because I speak from personal experience with the Mirena IUD. I had it inserted in May of 2008 and recently had it removed in May of 2013.
When the the device is inserted, you will experience pain as the doctor is pushing the device into your vaginal canal, through your cervix, and into your uterus. Your cervix is not something that is just open, so to open it can be quite painful for many women...especially if you haven't had a baby as your cervix canal will be more narrow than a woman who has had a baby.
Many women (including myself) say the insertion of the Mirena IUD causes cramping; your doctor will say that the cramping is very minor and will go away immediately after insertion. This was not true, in my case. The cramps felt more like labor pains upon insertion, and they did not disappear for a few hours after the procedure was done. Immediately following insertion, bleeding begins. Sometimes it stops after a few weeks, but for hundreds of women the bleeding will continue on for months. For me, I had continual spotting for about 9 months after insertion. And yes, at that point your iron levels are depleted and iron supplements may be needed.
The removal of the IUD is supposed to be a bit less painful than insertion. That is, if the device has not shifted/moved in your uterus to somewhere it shouldn't be! The removal procedure should not take more than a few minutes, once your doctor finds the strings to the device.
Unfortunately for me and many other women, the device had moved from its original spot and the strings were hard to find. It took my doctor 30 minutes to find the strings...a very uncomfortable and painful process. Imagine having your doctor fishing around inside of you with various tools and objects. It is also a scary experience thinking that a medical device has literally gotten lost inside of you! So many women have had this experience and some have had even worse experiences, where the device has literally gotten lost or embedded into their uterus' wall.
Once the device is out, there is a bit of cramping similar to the cramping that you experience upon insertion, but it tends to dissipate more quickly.
Side Effects of Mirena Your OB/GYN Will Not Mention!
So now let's get into the side effects of the Mirena IUD that your OB/GYN will probably never mention to you beforehand or throughout:
Bleeding/Spotting after insertion: This is a side effect that almost every woman will experience. Some will have heavy bleeding after insertion, while some have light spotting. Your doctor will tell you that it should go away within a few weeks; however, hundreds of women claim they bleed for months after insertion.
Hair Loss: Your doctor will never mention that this is a side effect and indeed if you visit Mirena's website you will see it listed as a side effect (though it states that less than 5% of users will experience this.) I have had hair loss from this device, and if you look up "hair loss on Mirena IUD" on the internet you will come across hundreds of women who claim to have had the same problem. This is quite an embarrassing side effect and challenges a woman's self esteem...take it from someone who has experienced it.
Pelvic Pain and Cramping: This is another side effect that your doctor most likely will not mention to you. You may experience intense pelvic pain, sharp shooting pains to be exact. This happens particularly during intercourse and directly following intercourse. Again, these side effects do not happen to everyone but have happened to a significant number of women.
Brown/Yellow patches on skin: This is not a side effect that is listed on the Mirena IUD website; however, it is another one of those pesky side effects that your doctor will never mention. I had brown patches of skin show up on my knees and above my ankles directly after having the device inserted. I couldn't figure out where these had come from, and went to numerous dermatologists. They all told me it was "dermatitis" of an unknown cause. Come to find out it was hormonal and attributed to the Mirena IUD. Now that I am off the Mirena IUD hormones, the brown patches are disappearing! Other women claim to have had the same issues with their skin.
Abnormal pap smears: This is a side effect that I feel very strongly about. I had never had an abnormal pap smear until last year (the fourth year I had Mirena IUD). My doctor chalked it up to "HPV" on my charts, without telling me her conclusions on the subject. I had to go in for a colposcopy (which is a biopsy of the cervix. Let's not forget that they don't numb you up before they rip off your cervical tissue). The doctor concluded that my cells are not cancerous but that they need to be checked more often. I found this odd that I might have "HPV", as I've been with the same partner for seven years and have never had the problem before. We are both faithful to one another, so how would HPB stay dormant for seven years? Two years at most. I even flat-out asked the doctor if she thought my cells were changing due to the Mirena IUD and she said "no." Look it up online and you will find that abnormal pap smears are another side effect of this device.
The list could go on and on, but be warned and know what side effects go hand-in-hand with this device before you get it inserted. That's not to say that all of these side effects would happen to you, but there is a good chance you might experience one or some of them. To date, there has been over 40,000 negative reports filed against the Mirena IUD.
- Common and Rare Side Effects for Mirena Intrauterine Device
Find information about common, infrequent and rare side effects of Mirena Intrauterine Device.
Class Action Lawsuits: Serious Adverse Reactions to Mirena
In addition to the long and disturbing list of side effects, there are a few that are actually considered adverse reactions (which means that they are very serious side effects). In fact, there are class-action lawsuits being drawn up against the manufacturer of the Mirena IUD now by various firms. These class action lawsuits are due to the following reasons:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Embedding of the device into the uterus wall
- Perforation of the uterus wall or elsewhere
- Pseudotumor Cerebri (Brain Injury)
The newer lawsuits against Mirena are for pseudotumor cerebri, which is basically high blood pressure in your brain. Apparently, and according to lawyers, Bayer knew about this side effect back in 2014 and did not put it on their drug labels to warn anyone of the possibility. You can do a google search on this, but otherwise check out the sources below.
Lawsuits against Mirena:
- Mirena Class Action Lawsuit | Lawyers for IUD Injury Victims
If you were injured using Mirena, click to learn more about lawsuits filed against the device's maker. You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
- Mirena Lawsuits - Allegations Against Bayer & MDL Cases
Women who used Mirena IUD and suffered organ perforation and psuedotumor cerebri filed lawsuits against Bayer.
- Mirena Pseudotumor Cerebri Lawsuit | Mirena IUD Lawyer
Lawsuit Information regarding pseudotumor cerebri from Mirena birth control. Contact a lawyer to see if you have a Mirena Pseudotumor Cerebri Lawsuit.
My Advice: Do Not Get Mirena
"Keep Life Simple" is the motto on the Mirena IUD website. I beg to differ with this motto. In fact, it is quite the opposite. This little device seems to be quite harmless and is portrayed as the perfect birth control for mothers and young women with menstrual problems. But it is not the perfect device, as you can see.
Interestingly, while doing research on the the Mirena IUD, I found that the synthetic hormone Levonorgestrel that is contained in this device was the same hormone that was used in the Norplant. The Norplant is a device that was pulled from the market in the 1990s due to all of the adverse reactions and side effects it was causing. Then what happens? The same hormone is put into a different device and expected to give different results? Or is it that the pharma companies just do not care about women and only care about making money at the expense of others' suffering?
I urge you to please do your research before putting any type of medication into your body, particularly any type of medication that contains a synthetic hormone. The Mirena IUD is not a perfect form of birth control and does not provide for a simple life. In fact, it has caused the suffering of thousands of women. Do your research. Be informed before you start a regimen of birth control. There are other methods out there that are less dangerous.
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© 2013 Nicole Canfield