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Mirena IUD (estrogen poisoning?)


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I was wondering if any of you ladies had the Mirena IUD and what your experience has been...


I got Mirena after the birth of my son (this was before I found Whole 30). I really didn't research it much before I got it inserted (if I had I wouldn't have gotten it) however, it sounded like a good idea to me at the time. I had it in for 2.5 years and after discovering a laundry list of nasty stuff I had it taken out.


I have been learning about Estrogen "poisoning" than can happen after you have it removed. (Mirena secrets out fake progesterone and your own body stops making it because of the artificial progesterone faking your body out. When you have it taken out your body has no progesterone and high levels of estrogen) 


It can also cause silicone poisoning since the actual device is made from it.


I've been reading about some cleanses that will detoxify you liver of the built up estrogen and will get rid of the silicone. What is Whole 30's stance on a "Cleanse" or "detox". Are there any recommended ones.


Thoughts? Advice? Random comments? Please talk to me...


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I'm not sure I'm 100% on board with the estrogen poisoning theory.  Here's why:


With Mirena, many women (myself included) continue to ovulate and have periods while on Mirena.  Many that eventually stop bleeding only do so because the T-shaped devise prevents the uterine lining from ever thickening.  But, ovulation is quite common with Mirena, which is why there's a higher risk of ovarian cysts and ectopic pregnancies with Mirena than with the pill/ring/patch.  On other hormonal BC, ovulation is suppressed as the body is tricked into thinking it's already pregnant.  Mirena essentially just provides a low enough dose of progrestin to change your cervial fluid, making it much less likely for sperm to survive. 


Assuming your ovulation was not suppressed with Mirena, that means your body is still relying on it's own hormones - progesterone and estrogen - to prompt ovulation and your period.  Ovulation is triggered by a rise and fall of estrogen, and once that happens, progesterone increases.  Once progesterone drops off, your period starts.  Without those two triggers, you don't have a cycle.  Remember - Mirena is providing a steady but low dose of hormones - it's not rising and falling throughout the day/week/month, so the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone is all your body.  


I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's quite likely for your body to continue to make it's own somewhat normal-ish levels of hormones that ebb and flow as nature intended while on Mirena.  It's much more likely than while on traditional forms of BC.   


So, yeah, once you have Mirena removed, your body might freak out a bit.  It may take a few months for it to figure out a new normal.  Depending on when in your cycle you have it removed, your period might be delayed or it might start right away.  But I don't think the drop in a low dose of progestin would be enough to make your estrogen levels sky high in comparison for extended periods of time.  That may be more likely with a progestin pill as the doses are higher, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me with such a low dose.  


Whatever the case, congrats on having it yanked.  I don't know about you, but I considered that thing a personal torture devise and felt instantly better once it was removed.  No lie, I gained 8 pounds in ONE WEEK after having it fitted.  My body clearly didn't like it...  I had a ton of hormonal issues going on at the time so I can't say how long it took my body to recover, but I know having it removed was one step closer to getting my body back to normalcy.  A clean diet was a huge part of that.  Some others may be able to chime in about some herbs or something to help, but at the end of the day, the best way to get the body to filter out all the crap is to feed it well and not add to the pile of junk to get through.  

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If anyone is considering an IUD, I have the ParaGard, while it is copper, it has zero hormones in it.  Took a little adjusting once I got it inserted (about 4 years ago now), but I'm very happy with my choice. 


My experience:

Pros: Didn't have weight gain, eventually felt my hormones mellow out from the oral contraceptives, and my own body took over, regular periods (though they can fluctuate a bit with women you work with since, alas, no hormones!). 


Cons:  Hurts to have put in (however, I have not given birth, so others may have different experiences), lasts for 12 years, a bit more cramping with periods, and a slightly heavier flow.

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Thanks for all your replies. It helps to hear others thoughts and perspectives. 


Karen, your response was most helpful! Thank you so much for all the information.


I have decided to do a detox in hopes of helping my mood swings and general feeling of blah... ( I felt a whole 30 would help, but would not be enough to clear this stuff out of my system) I am also taking supplements to help regulate my female hormones. I have only been doing the detox for a few days and I feel MUCH better.

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I don't buy the estrogen poisoning either. An estrogen surge would kickstart the cycle. There are times when such a surge is normal. I'm on my second mirena, having had the first one removed after 3 years to TTC. It took about 2 months to do so. I got another when my son was 4 mo. Consequently I haven't had a normal period since before I was last pregnant. It might have made me hold on to weight, but so might my hypothyroidism or lactation (and I was on a progesterone only pill before my first mirena which didn't prevent weight loss after my first baby at all).

I also used to be borderline anemic, not a problem now partly due to not menstruating and partly due to diet. From a paleo health standpoint, women in our culture with delays to older ages for first conception and premature weaning menstruate far more over a lifetime than our Paleolithic ancestors would have. Some artificial suppression of the cycle isn't unhealthy because of this.

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What kind of detox are you doing?  Generally, while on strict Whole30, I wouldn't think a detox would be included (although a mod would need to weigh in).  The idea is to eat whole foods in a specific way so that our bodies reset themselves.  Both what goes in and how it goes in are components of the reset.

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I had mine in for a little over 4 months and had it taken out. It made me crazy, literally crazy. I was mad all the time, all the time, and for no reason. One night my husband and I had a talk and I finally said "I feel like I'm mad at you all of the time and I have no idea why" He agreed but was very sweet about it. 


We did a lot of research after this conversation and realized that a lot of the negative effects of it, were happening to me. I learned my lesson, got it removed and then went back on the pill. 

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I had the paraguard IUD for 2 years. First year was great. Second year developed horrible lower back pain. I thought it was crossfit related but noticed it got much worse during my period. My doctor insisted the IUD was not causing the pain however I decided to have it removed anyway. Back pain disappeared almost immediately. 

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  • 1 month later...

I've had the Mirena for about 3 months. The reason I got mine was to see if balancing the hormones would reduce my migraine headache, which were often cyclical. The first month I had a light period, the second month I had a lot of spotting and then a day or two if light period, and I've had nothing since. I did gain about 5 pounds after having it inserted but I'm also on other meds that can make you gain weight. Headache wise, I still noticed a few days in a row with headaches (probably with ovulation or when I should have been having a period). My doctor hopes that each month it will get better.....

It's my hope that I can wean off all of my meds and have my IUD removed by balancing my hormones naturally. I'm on day 7 of the whole 30 today and I'm feeling pretty good! I had a bit of a nasty headache yesterday but I can tell my body likes the food I'm eating a lot better than what I had been eating!

I wish I had done more research about the Mirena and tried the food first. It was so expensive even with insurance and I think my dr will be pretty frustrated if I ask to have it removed so soon. It really hasn't made me crazy or bothered me in any way but I dislike having the hormones in my system, especially since i don't need them for birth control.

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I had the mirena twice. It made me angry and I lost my zest for life. I didn't put two and two together the first time I had it. I removed it to get pregnant. The second time, I realized what was going on. My health also got worse after my last daughter when I had the iud. I still wonder if it was somewhat due to mirena. I didn't feel the need for a cleanse. I think they can be too much of a shock to the system. I think a paleo diet will heal with a few tweaks to find out what foods you are sensitive to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had a Mirena since June and I absolutely love it. Mind you, I didn't just show up at the doc one day and get it put in - it was a pretty long process.


For years I had been struggling with what feels like a thousand different brands of the pill (I had been sexually active since I was 16, and am now 20). They all made me crazy in some way or another - crazy weight gain, crazy mood swings, crazy long periods (at one point I was literally having a seven-day period every other week. And I'm borderline anemic. So it was obviously a problem.)


Eventually, I was referred to a specialist who made me go off birth control for a while (tracking my period) and she came to the conclusion that the Mirena might be the best option for me. She had blood samples taken (incl. my hormone levels) and an ultrasound of my uterus, as well as an internal ultrasound which was super invasive but she wanted to be thorough.


I'm not going to sugar-coat this for you ladies considering getting one: the beginning was AWFUL. I've never had such awful cramps. And they lasted for days. My boyfriend catered to my every whim for like, a week, because I was suffering so much and he felt so awful for me.


But now? I'm so happy I did it. I feel like myself again, my weight has stabilized, and I don't get all crazy depending on what day it is. I still have slight PMS, but nothing unusual. My periods are light (and I suspect they'll go away) and I rarely get cramps. I think hormones are tricky business, and Mirena isn't right for everyone. But to say that it's going to poison you is not cool. Different people need different forms of birth control, and some people are more sensitive to hormones than others (personally, I needed less hormone than the pills were giving me, but I seem to be doing okay with the amount Mirena releases - it's lower since it's localized).


Additionally, some people NEED hormones - my mom has had Mirena for nine years now because she gets cysts in her uterus and Mirena actually stops them from getting bigger and becoming out of hand. That's the reason she was prescribed Mirena. She's now looking at other alternatives because she's in her forties and her hormone levels are changing again, but don't say that birth control option a or b is the worst because you have your reasons. It might not work for you, but it could save somebody's life. :)

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I'm on my third Mirena (got my first at age 31, second at 36, and third at 41) and words can't express how much I love it. That said, it's not for everyone, as evidenced by all the posts in this thread. The copper IUD made my period heavier than normal for me, so my ob-gyn switched me to the Mirena. My periods stopped completely, but I still go through the hormonal cycle. 


What works for me may not work for you, but to suggest that the Mirena can cause estrogen poisoning sounds like a load of bunk and bad science. 


I also realize that I'm two months late to this party, and the OP has probably made a decision about the right bc method for her. 

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  • 10 months later...


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