Week 3 – There have been a few days of spotting but no cramps. My breasts are swollen and my nipples are extremely sensitive. Showering is excruciating and even wearing a bra hurts. My stomach is swollen and hard; I have acne and my hair is falling out. It feels like I’m reliving my horrible, hormonal teenage years all over again! As if this isn’t enough, my emotions are all over the place! I cry for no reason and go from being happy to sad, irritated or depressed in a heartbeat. It’s like PMS but worse! If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was pregnant. It would be nice if these Mirena side-effects were mentioned as part of the consultation before getting it inserted (I was told that there are no side-effects. Ha ha!). It looks like there are many women out there who have experienced the same thing or worse.
Week 4 – This week began with one day of severe cramping, no bleeding and the feeling of being pregnant with the emotional roller coaster continues. The next day I noticed a thick, stringy, yellowish-brown discharge. It’s rather disgusting but I’m guessing that it’s the Mirena is doing what it’s supposed to. It is meant to thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. The discharge only lasted for 2 days.
I also experienced my first ovulation pain in 14 years! Low down on the left side, between the pubic bone and hip bone. Ouch! It only lasted a few minutes, but it was really sore! I’d forgotten how painful that can be as I wasn’t ovulating while I was on the Pill.
Week 5 – I’m still feeling ‘pregnant’ and having emotional ups-and-downs and began spotting again. The spotting ended up being the start of my next period: moderate bleeding but no cramping. It feels almost strange having a period without the cramps, but I wouldn’t want them back!
Week 6 – I still have my period, although the bleeding’s now light, and there’s still no bad cramping. The bloating doesn’t seem as bad, I don’t look 3 months pregnant anymore, although there’s still a little “pooch”. I fully understand why some women have the Mirena removed before they even hit the 3 month mark. 21 days of spotting and bleeding is enough to drive anyone mad. When is this going to end? It’s so frustrating having to carry pads around everywhere. The GP says it can take 3 to 6 months to settle into a routine again. It’s very frustrating and it feels like I’m either bleeding or spotting continuously, even though there have been a few “days off”. My husband says he still feels the strings during sex (he says that they poke him), but he’s been very understanding and says that it’s not too bad, just like a sharp pin-prick every now and then. The strings are supposed to soften and curve around the cervix with time and won’t be felt as much.
Week 7 – A couple of days of spotting and once this ended, I did my first manual check of the Mirena. My Gynae said nothing about having to check that the Mirena is still in, but the pamphlet mentions it and my GP suggested checking every month after a period. All you do is insert your finger and feel for the strings at the base of your cervix. If you feel them, then everything’s fine. If you feel more than just the strings (a bit of the plastic barrel) or don’t feel the strings at all, then get it checked out, as the Mirena could have dislodged and is or has already fallen out. I’m still feeling slightly bloated, but most of the horrible “pregnancy” feeling has gone, the acne seems to be clearing up too.
Week 8 – I had ovulation pains on the left side again, they lasted about 15 minutes this time. After only 6 days since my last period, I began spotting and the next one has begun. Sigh!
Week 9 – This period was only 11 days (after the last 21 day stint), with light to moderate bleeding and only one day of really mild cramping and two days spotting before it ended.
Week 10 – No spotting between periods, no acne, no bloating, but my hair is still falling out. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning with loose hair stuck to your face and your pillowcase and sheets are covered in it! I’m surprised I don’t have bald spots yet. Other than that, I’m starting to feel a little more normal, like my hormones are beginning to balance themselves out a bit. It’s not so much of an emotional roller coaster anymore and the extended, lighter periods wouldn’t be so bad if there was a longer gap in between. I went to see my GP, as I’m concerned about the hair loss and the long periods with short gaps in between and she says that things will start to settle down around the 6-month mark. For some lucky few, this apparently happens sooner, around the 3-month mark, so there’s still hope. The hair loss is due to my hormones being unbalanced, after being on the Pill for so long she says it’ll take at least 3 months for them to settle and could be a while before my body finds its own natural equilibrium. It would be nice for them to tell you about the hair loss, mood swings, pregnancy-like symptoms and completely screwed up cycles before you have the thing inserted, just so that you know you’re not losing your mind and going absolutely crazy!
Week 11 – I had two separate days of short, sharp cramping, possibly ovulation? It wasn’t as defined as the last two ovulation pains I had, but there was a bit of slight spotting on the second day.
Week 12 – No bleeding, no cramping, although I did have little bit of mild PMS (mild acne, water retention and swollen breasts. Cutting out salt and increasing my water intake seems to help with that). Almost at the three month mark and I wait to see what happens with the next period.