My Missing Mirena

March 14, 2013

in about us,facts about me,pregnancy,raising kidlets

missing mirenaWARNING: I am going to talk a TON about my lady parts and such. If you care not to read this, you can jump over and read about the time Landon got worms because that shit is gross too BUT funny.

We want 2 kids. Let’s just start with that. Playing zone defense isn’t something we are specifically interested in. We are already out of our comfort zone with being only children with 2 kids, so no need to make it more awkward. All that being said, we also feel like permanent birth control at 30 seems a bit much. So for the next little bit, we wanted as close to permanent as we could get. I chose the Mirena IUD.

Back in January, I inquired on the Twitters about people’s experience with their IUDs. Pain on insertion, side effects, etc. People asked for me to blog my experience/responses. I have been putting it on hold because I wanted to play it out for a bit and see my reaction. So let’s break it down from the beginning.

Insertion & After Placement

You can read about the insertion process here. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Others’ experiences: This was a big spectrum. Some people said they had horrible pain on insertion and for a few days after. Major cramping. Bleeding. Some claimed worse than labor contractions. I had none of this. One correlation I did see was folks who said this seemed to have rougher periods than me. I have hardly any cramping and pretty mild periods my whole life on and off birth control. While there were exceptions, this seemed to be related to me. Another data point is when I had a D&C (WAY more invasive obviously) it still didn’t even compare to labor. It sucked but it was manageable. I wasn’t even put under for that and did fine. Other folks said it was just a few cramps and twinges at initial insertion but nothing a little ibuprofen didn’t solve in the next few hours. Lots of range here.

My experience: Mildly painful. Maybe a little cramping when they “sounded” my uterus and a little cramping from insertion but I had barely anything after that. No real spotting. No lasting pain. I took Motrin before I went. I was back in the office in 20 minutes. Nada problem.

Side Effects

Most any literature you read about the Mirena IUD will explain common side effects. I am not going to list them out for you….do your research and your doctor SHOULD tell you about them.

Others’ experiences: I had quite a few answers here. People had mild side effects like breakthrough spotting occasionally and some other common hormonal issues (night sweats, boob pain, etc). Another one wasn’t really a “side effect” but something to note. Some husbands said they could feel the strings. But here are the couple of odd ball ones:

  • Depression
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Rage
  • A constant period in some form

My experience: I had no real side effects right off the bat. None of the usual stuff at least. Around the 1 month mark, I did have some itching and I went in to find a bacterial infection. Once again, it is a common thing. Basically your good vs bacteria war gets out of whack because of something new in the environment. This would be true for anything foreign. I went on some medication for a few days and it cleared right up. But this is all where the real journey began…

The Rest of the Story

While having my exam, my doctor said she couldn’t find my strings. Because of this, I would need to just go get an ultrasound to make sure it was there. Theory was the strings just pushed up into my uterus and she couldn’t find them. Fair enough. A week later (last Friday), I went up to Rex radiology to get an ultrasound. The tech looked…and looked…then asked me to depants for an vaginal ultrasound (oh goodie)…and looked. I could tell this wasn’t going well. I kept optimistic.

A few hours later, as I was grocery shopping, my doctor called me to let me know that they couldn’t find it. It wasn’t in my uterus…at all. So 2 things had either happened. 1) It fell out {desirable} 2) It had gone through my uterus and was now in my pelvis somewhere. I would need an xray to determine that.

Cue panic.

Luckily the Cary branch of Rex’s radiology department was open until 8 pm. I ran home, made pizza for my family, my mom and friend who were visiting and flew out the door before the boys barely finished their dinner. I flew so fast that when I pulled into the parking lot (30 minutes away) I realized i forgot my purse. Wallet, insurance card, credit card, license….you get the picture. I started to tear up. What a shit hole day. I walked in with my biggest sad sack look on my face and asked what they could do. Long story short, because I had been to the hospital earlier in the day, they could use everything on file. The nice ladies even printed out my license copy for me in case I got pulled over on the way home. I need to write them a thank you letter.

So I sat there…alone in the urgent care while texting Laura about what a cunt 2013 is turning out to be {yeah, I said it. I never said I was proper} and talking to Poe about, what else, my vagina {she is a vagenious, you know}. I finally go back for my 30 second xray. The tech knows nothing about IUDs or what I am even really there for. She says I can wait for the radiologist to look at it and then talk to my Dr. after they call her (she was going to call me whenever she knew…because she is awesome). The tech couldn’t tell me anything…but I could tell she knew I was anxious…so she let something slip. I am sure she thought it would ease my anxiety. She was wrong. She said “well good news it’s still in there!”. FUCK. “In there” was the bad option. She just didn’t know that. Bless her heart. I waited for the phone call.

Sure enough. It wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Behold…an IUD NOT in a uterus. Upside down even!

xrayps

So there is a IUD living like a transient hobo in my body. After my initial pity party, I am just rolling with the jokes. Call it a defense mechanism or whatever. All I can do it laugh at this point. Moping gets me no where. Hell I was already thinking up ways to photoshop this post on Sunday. I DO ALL THIS FOR YOU, INTERNET.

So What Happened

Short answer: we don’t know. This happens. 1 in 1000 women. It isn’t unheard of. You sign a waiver when you get it acknowledging it.

A lot of cases are upon insertion. I know this wasn’t the case. 2 weeks after I got it, I had some bleeding. I went in to have it checked and it was there. My bleeding was my first post partum period. Perfect, fucking timing. But point there was the strings were there. So it didn’t go through at insertion.

Our new theory had a couple of pieces. I have a “tilted uterus“. I can remember hearing that from OB exams for years. This puts you at a higher risk for insertion complications. Basically when inserted, since the top of my uterus is off center, the IUD has a higher chance of embedding into the muscle wall. So we THINK it did that and then worked it’s way through. The cramps from the period PLUS breastfeeding could have massaged that sucker right on it’s way. Hooray.

To answer the question in your head, no, it didn’t hurt. I had no idea. There aren’t many nerve endings in there and this is a tiny piece of plastic. Just slips through the fibers. Womp.

Is the Hobo Staying?

No. He is getting evicted. I met with a laproscopic gynecologist yesterday and I am scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. If it is nice to me and just sitting there, it should be super quick and easy but there is always the unknown. It could be wrapped up in something in there. We don’t know until they are in there. I don’t have any pain, so we are hopeful it isn’t lodged in my intestines or other major organs. YAY. So if it goes well, I will be home in time for Kevin to get the boys from daycare and take a nap. A few days to recover and back to relatively normal life. I don’t want to go into the “but ifs” here. Let’s just think happy thoughts, shall we?

Silver Lining

We found it this way. Most people find out in WAY worse ways. Like getting pregnant or getting an infection. While I don’t wish a bacterial infection on anyone, it was a Godsend. For real. I can’t imagine the panic of a pregnancy at this point…especially since MANY end up ectopic.

I also happy I am not in pain. That would suck…obviously.

It hasn’t been that long since it was inserted. This means less likelihood it has built up a lot of scar tissue or worked it’s self up into other organs. Being near the ute makes me feel a lot better than if that xray showed it in my colon or migrating more north. FYI: Don’t google image search this shit. Just don’t.

Moral of the Story

Pay attention to your body and do your research. This manifests itself in many ways. If you don’t feel right, talk to your doctor. I used to label myself as a hypochonriac but fuck that, I am just very aware of my body. It’s how I knew I was pregnant so fast with Ollie. It’s how I know I am starting to get a cold, a yeast infection {what…we aren’t past EW at this point?}, a tendonitis flare up in the works. I know I have healthcare that allows me to check on this stuff but don’t let stuff go too long that it’s a hospital stay instead of a $25 co pay.

If you have an IUD, check your strings often. I never even got to the one month mark to even check but after reading other women’s stories, it is CRUCIAL.

Don’t let me scare you from an IUD. I have had a lot of people tell me they would never get one now…and I kinda hate that. This was a risk I took. I know that {contrary to the 4000 law websites that jumped up at me on my google journey}. My experience is my experience. When I asked around, people were very quick to be like DON’T DO IT. IT HURT SO BAD. but that isn’t everyone. Not a fair statement. As I showed above, I was a higher risk. IUDs are still the most effective temporary birth control. I am just bummed it didn’t work for me and I will have to come up with something else. But please do your research when finding a method for you and your family. I am not here to bash my doctor {she is just awesome. I can’t say it enough. She has called me at night multiple times and I have her cell.}. I am not her to bash IUDs. I am just here to share what happened so it hopefully helps someone else.

I will recap my journey after surgery. Feel free to ask questions…I clearly will tell you anything.

 

UPDATE: I posted all about the surgery in another post: My Found Mirena

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