My Mirena: An Update and Reflection on 5 Years With An IUD

Five years ago, I took a little journey down Too Much Information Lane and led this blog on a wonderful adventure, once in real time, of my choice to have a Mirena IUD installed as a form of birth control and as a method to regulate my hormones.

Well, this wouldn't be much of a story if it were exactly 5 years ago, as that is the standard maximum life of a Mirena in the U.S. Five years and 6 months would be a more accurate statement. And that 6 months apparently really counts.

I can't believe I once live blogged from my gynecologist's office... including a photo.

I can't believe I once live blogged from my gynecologist's office... including a photo.

I feel an obligation to come full circle about my experience with the Mirena intrauterine device (or IUD) not because my experience would have ended pleasantly, but also to let you know that yours might not. I'm not trying to scare or add to the legions of online stories told by the women whose Mirena did them some form of injustice, but rather, to tell my story. 

My Mirena, MINE, worked great. It went in, caused some cramping, and then left me period-free for 5 years and 5 months. I remained entirely pregnancy-free (which isn't guaranteed with ANY form of birth control, ladies!) and otherwise hormonally stable the duration of its stay.

Until it moved. Until my body decided that a foreign object intended to be a foreign object was no longer kosher and so it threw one bloody, messy, crampy fit. And to be totally honest, I'm not even mad. I'm happy my body is capable of reminding me that something isn't right. Kudos in there!

But yes, your Mirena can move, and mine did. It's currently, as I type this, sitting just past where it would normally sit near the opening of my cervix and to get it out, my now ex-ob/gyn attempted something he called "fishing".

Fishing. Y'all, I've never been so inclined to promote the notion that all OB/GYNs need to be female, but if there's a petition for this, please send me a link. I'm willing to commit my email address to a lifetime of spam from every major SoapBox Hero for this cause.

Post-fishing, as my doctor didn't catch anything...

... I mean come on. Don't come near my vagina with a hook and tell me you are "going fishing"...

... well, former Dr. dude told me I needed surgery. And when his company called for payment before bothering to schedule said "emergency surgery", I went for a second opinion. 

Second opinion OB/GYN is now Dr. Current Uterine Fairy, and has scheduled me for a procedure tomorrow morning. 

At 9PM tonight, I will take 100mg of Cytotec, a prescription medication that softens the cervix and causes contractions. That's right - the plan is to give birth to a healthy, 5 year, 6 month old dried up, y-shaped IUD. 

I will be driven to St. Vincent's - Birmingham in the morning after taking 2 more medications for pain and anxiety. I will be given a shot of tramadol before my procedure, and then Dr. Current Uterine Fairy will "deliver" my old IUD.

So ladies, let's have a summary. I want you to know these things. I want you to know that there are risks for not having an IUD (like pregnancy) and a ton more for having an IUD. There are risks when it is installed, for carrying it around for any length of time, and there's a risk that something bad could happen when it MUST come out at 5 years and 0 months.

The Mirena or any other IUD can implant itself into the wall of your uterus or cervix. It could puncture an organ. You could get pregnant. IN YOUR 40S. (Let's all breathe!)

Or you can end up with one anxiety-filled week and an outpatient procedure. It's a roll of the dice and totally your call - after, of course, you consult with your doctor