Before Mirena Insertion
Most women have the Mirena inserted at their GP or Gynae’s rooms. My experience starts off a little differently. In July 2012 I had a lesion removed from my right vulva. The lesion looked like a dark mole and my GP was worried that it could be cancerous, so I was referred to a Gynae and he booked me in for surgery, where it was removed. Thankfully the lab test came back clear and there were no signs of cancer.
Six months later, I went for my annual check-up with my GP and she noticed that the lesion was back, in exactly the same place as the old one and that it was growing fast!
During my consultation with her, I mentioned to her that was getting a little concerned about the melasma or brown pigmentation marks that were developing on my face. I’d first noticed them few years ago, but they were pretty light at that stage and were easily covered by make-up, but now they were spreading, getting darker and larger. My GP said that’s a possible side effect from being on the Pill for so long. I’m in my mid-thirties and had been on the Pill for 14 years (the high-strength tri-phase pills). I’d been on Triphasil for 10 years and then began experiencing breakthrough bleeding (spotting between periods), so she had switched me on to Triodene ED. The pigmentation spots had begun while I was on Triphasil and continued to get worse on Triodene. So we discussed other alternative birth control methods. I’m not keen on patches or injections and needed something fairly long-term.
I have always had very heavy periods and bad cramps; periods that last for 7 days, with me having to change a Super Plus (largest) tampon every 3 hours for the first 2 days. I would have to buy four different tampon absorbencies and step down a level every two days, as the flow decreased. This became pretty expensive and seven years ago I bought a MoonCup, it was the best thing ever! No leaking and I only had to empty it 3 times per day. The first time I used the MoonCup I was a little grossed out by it, but after the first period it became quite educational as I was able to see exactly how my flow changed as the days passed (quantity, colour, consistency, etc). It sounds disgusting, but it’s really not that bad. It’s your own body, you should get to know it.
Anyway, my GP suggested the Mirena and said with my heavy flow and cramping, the Mirena should lighten the flow and reduce the cramps, as well as being a long-term contraceptive (it only needs to be replaced every 5 years and can be removed before then, if we ever decide to have children). It was also suggested that I have the new lesion removed and the Mirena inserted at the same time under General Anesthetic (GA), as I have never had children and it would be a lot less painful that way.
Note for those who want to know why: If you have already had children, the opening to your cervix is a lot more ‘elastic’ as it has already dilated during labour or childbirth and it is less painful to have the Mirena inserted. If you haven’t had children, the opening to your cervix can be really tight and Mirena insertion can sometimes be rather painful.
So it was off to the Gynae for a second opinion and he agreed with the GP that the lesion needed to be removed as soon as possible. Plus, he said he felt more comfortable about doing the Mirena insertion while I was under GA, as he didn’t want to hurt me.
Day 1 (22 January 2013) – Day of Insertion
6am and early morning admission to hospital. I have this phobia about having anesthetic done and absolutely hate going under. I was fine while I was waiting in the day ward, but once they wheeled me into Recovery to wait to go into Surgery, the nerves began! Finally they wheeled me down the corridor into Theatre and my Gynae explained that since I was mid-cycle, that they would have to perform a D&C to scrape my uterus clean. The Mirena is usually inserted while you have your period or towards the end of your period, to ensure that the uterine lining is really thin or that there’s nothing there.
The op went well and I woke up afterwards feeling a little disorientated, but not too sore. Shortly after they’d wheeled me back to the Day Ward, I started experiencing horrible dizziness and really bad cramps (the room was spinning and it felt like I had really bad period pain that came and went in contractions) and there was also a little spotting but I’m not sure if the spotting is normal after Mirena insertion. It could have been because I had just had a D&C. When the Gynae came to check on me, he said that the dizziness and cramping is normal and that it will pass, but no intercourse for 2 weeks (due to the 6 stitches on my vulva from the lesion removal). The dizziness only lasted about an hour and the cramping came and went. I felt very tired from the early morning and the anaesthetic, but was allowed to go home later that afternoon.