I’ve had two Mirena coils fitted since my first one back in 2014. I have PCOS, so I’ve suffered from extremely irregular, very heavy periods throughout my teens – along with steady weight gain, increased body hair and acne year on year since my menarche.
I first started taking contraceptives when I started seeing my boyfriend at 18. After 2 years of nightmares on Pill-based methods (my BMI was too high for Microgynon, and the Mini Pill gave me a year long period) – I was desperate for a longer term alternative, and my only other option was the Mirena coil.
I’ve been extremely lucky that since insertion, both coils have been a lifesaver. I’ve barely had periods through the time i’ve had it in – I have 1-2 weeks of PMS symptoms here and there (when my body would probably usually have a period) and will get cramping with it, but otherwise its been super plain sailing. Since my second coil fitting, i’ve developed significant hair growth and cystic acne on my chin, but I think this is more as a result of my age, obesity and PCOS than a result of the coil directly.
Much like other reviewers, I will say that my first coil fitting was definitely traumatic. I was fitted by a trainee (assisted by a seasoned coil vet), who struggled with the fitting. My cervix was clamped a lot longer than it usually would be, which was an extremely painful experience. Post fitting I was in extreme amounts of pain for the first day or so as it settled – but was fortunate that after this, I didn’t have any other significant pain at all, and was fine for the entirety of it’s function.
Due to my unique physique (AKA – being fat, having short limbs / fingers and a long vagina) I can’t check my own coil strings. A checkup towards the end of my first coil’s life cycle discovered that the strings had disappeared (which is either a sign that the coil has migrated, or that the strings have dissolved over time which can also happen).
Luckily, a scan showed that it was in the right place – but the lack of visible coil strings made the removal of it more complicated, so I had to have my coil replaced at the hospital’s OB/GYN department.
While it’s a pain in the arse to get the appointment sorted – the upside of having your coil sorted at the hospital is that they usually have more pain-relief options available. I was given a local anaesthetic, to allow the doctor to clamp and remove the coil better. Given my traumatic first experience, I was also prescribed Gas & Air. Whilst still unpleasant, the gas and air made the procedure much more bearable! I didn’t really feel any of it.
Post-fitting I was in pain with cramping, and the nurses let me settle in on the ward for an hour to make sure I’d come round from it enough. Once the hour was up I was actually pretty alright – the second-time cramps were fairly bearable, much more in line with what my regular periods are like, and i’ve been fine with my second coil ever since. I will probably push to get mine swapped out again in this way in another 4/5 years time.
If you’re considering the coil: my advice would be to be extremely firm with the doctor upfront with regards to pain relief. If you are anxious or nervous about the pain pre-fitting, please make sure you put pressure on your doctor to see if there are other options for you to receive pain relief.
It’s a pretty invasive procedure – especially if you’ve never had kids before, and in my opinion it’s extremely unfair to dismiss requests for it given how invasive it is. I’ve heard that it’s generally easier if you have had kids, as your cervix tends to be a little softer and easier to clamp – but don’t be fobbed off! Know your options going in. You can get coils done with local anaesthetics and gas and air. Don’t be left with paracetamol and ibuprofen if you feel like you need something more!
Impact whilst taking
Neutral - no change
I don’t know / can’t tell
I don’t know / can’t tell
Side effects whilst taking
Dark body hair
Increased body hair
Spots or acne
Nausea or vomiting
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