After having my Mirena inserted, I did a whole lot of research and came across numerous blogs and forums with stories of ladies who had given up and had the Mirena removed after a few weeks or who had fallen pregnant while on the Mirena … I hoped and prayed that this would never happen to me, as we don’t want to have children.
But, I ended up having my own pregnancy scare this month! I had another gap of 27 days between periods, but this one was a lot more stressful than the last. On the day that my period was due to arrive (counting a 28-day cycle), I developed extremely sensitive nipples. It was so bad that showering, wearing a bra or any other item of clothing was extremely excruciating and I had to try keep my husband as far away from me as possible, as he’d tend to forget that they were so painfully sore and would brush up against me, bump me by accident or playfully grab at me which would reduce me to tears, because the pain was so bad!
Thankfully the nipple pain only lasted for about 4 days, but that was not the end of my woes … it was followed by very swollen, full, heavy breasts and a very bloated stomach. A few days later I began with really odd, fluttery cramps. To be honest, it just felt like a really, really bad case of PMS, until these weird cramps began. They weren’t like normal ‘period pains’. They felt rather like mild contractions but weren’t too painful and would happen at regular intervals and then stop, only to start up again a little later in the day. These were also accompanied by a strange, fluttery type of cramp, really low down in my pelvis. The only other time I’d felt like this was during the first 6 weeks after having had the Mirena inserted. My Gynae had warned me that my body would “think” it was pregnant due to the foreign object in my uterus, but that those feelings would pass once everything settled down.
In the past (pre-Mirena) I’d only ever cramp the day before my period and during the first 3 days of flow, so when nothing happened the next day or the day after that, I began to get worried. I went back and checked my diary only to realised that my husband and I had had (unprotected) sex the day before and then again on the day that I had ovulated! I have no idea if I’m still ovulating or not. Some women do, some don’t, but I’m guessing I did, as I’d had mittelschmertz (ovulation pain).
I began to have dizzy spells at random times during the day and had to urinate often. Smells that I normally enjoy (like freshly brewed coffee) left me feeling queasy and nauseas and my sense of smell seemed to be heightened; everything I smelled seemed to be really strong or intense.
After a week of these strange cramps, heavy breasts, bloating and other symptoms, there was still no sign of my period. After reading a whole lot on the internet about early signs of pregnancy, all while praying like crazy that I wasn’t, I plucked up the courage to do a HPT (home pregnancy test) and it was negative! Now I started to wonder if it was a false negative. Funny how your mind runs wild when you’re worried (obsessed) about something. Everywhere I went, everything I did (watching TV or listening to the radio) or whoever I spoke to, the conversations or topics of discussion all seemed to be related to pregnancy in some way or another! Was this the universe trying to tell me something? I even ended up in a conversation with a family member about unplanned pregnancy and she asked me if we’d ever thought about what would happen if I fell pregnant while on the Mirena!
Meanwhile , the whole time I was left wondering what if I was actually pregnant and if so, what was I going to do? Please understand that my husband and I do not want to have children. I have never wanted to have children and still don’t want any, for various reasons. Some people may think that this is very selfish or that it’s my purpose as a woman to bear children, but it’s my body and my choice and I just don’t seem to have the “mommy gene” in me. I have never been broody and can’t stand the sound of crying babies and screaming children!
Well, in the 36 hours after I took the HPT, I began spotting … and then it stopped. No! I’d read about implantation bleeding, but I thought that it was far too late for an implantation bleed, although I couldn’t be sure. More panic! Meanwhile, I haven’t mentioned a word about any of this to hubby … no reason to up his stress levels until I was absolutely sure that there was something that we had to discuss.
Two days later my period began. Huge sigh of relief! (I would have been 4 weeks pregnant from date of ovulation). I have never been more utterly relieved in my whole entire life! It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I am still not sure if there was an early pregnancy and the HPT was negative because the Mirena prevented conception (the fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus). The fertilised egg may have been naturally aborted or absorbed back into my body (apparently this can happen with ectopic pregnancies) or if it was what is classed as a “chemical pregnancy”* and the egg was naturally miscarried and expelled with my period. Either way, I’m just grateful that the Mirena did its job and that there was no unplanned, unwanted pregnancy to have to make a decision over.
* Chemical Pregnancy: A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage which takes place before anything can be seen on an ultrasound scan, usually around the fifth week that you are pregnant. It means that a sperm has fertilised your egg, but later on, the egg fails to survive. Even this early on in pregnancy there is a change in hormone levels which allows the pregnancy test to turn positive. The hormone that your test measures is known as hCG, or human chorionic gonadotrophin. In a chemical pregnancy (or very early miscarriage) the test is initially positive but then your period may start, or a further pregnancy test may be negative. The reason it is termed a chemical pregnancy is that it is only the missed period and positive pregnancy test that show that you are pregnant. It would be too early to see anything on an ultrasound scan.