Many women view modern intrauterine devices, or IUDs, as the holy grail of long-term birth control. No more pills to pop or rings to change, and lighter periods to boot!
The small, T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for several years. When used correctly, IUDs are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. If you’re here, you’re probably wondering what happens once the love affair wears off and you’re planning to remove your hormonal Mirena or Skyla IUD. Before we dive into the Mirena crash, let’s talk briefly about how hormonal IUDs work.
How Mirena Works
Mirena and Skyla work by releasing a small amount of progestin, levonorgestrel, into the uterus. The synthetic hormone thickens the mucous membranes in the cervix and thins the uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to enter.
Mirena, which lasts for five years, releases 20 micrograms (mcg) of progestin daily.
The smaller Skyla IUD, which lasts three years, releases 14 mcg daily. Some of the other benefits of hormonal IUDs include lighter periods and less painful cramps. Sounds awesome, right?
Well, before you make an appointment with your doctor, there’s more to know about Mirena and Skyla … it’s called the “crash.”
The Mirena Crash
You might be wondering what is the Mirena crash? And when does the Mirena crash happen?
The Mirena crash can feel like it came out of nowhere. It can hit in a few days, weeks, or even months after you remove your IUD.
Once it’s gone – boom – your hormone levels drop and the crash occurs.
Normally, your body produces both estrogen and progesterone. While on Mirena, things go a little crazy, your body can get lazy, and it will take some time for your body to kick back into progesterone production. Until then, you will experience a Mirena Crash.
My Crash Experience After Mirena Removal
I was off on vacation soaking up the sun, sand, and having lots of fun telling some jokes and then – WHAMO. it hit me.
Not knowing about the crash, I had the Mirena IUD removed a couple of weeks prior to leaving for our vacation.
I had trouble with my Mirena from the beginning of getting it inserted. After five years, I had it removed. I could have removed it sooner, but I wanted to keep it in for the full 5 years.
The Mirena crash came out of nowhere.
I went to bed feeling relaxed and happy to be on vacation, and then woke up with a crushing, heavy, almost suffocating feeling of blah. Not just any blah, but an “I need to go home now because I cannot stand this feeling anymore” blah.
That was just day one.
For four days, I felt a crushing anxiety. Then I realized I was experiencing the dreaded Mirena crash.
I won’t lie: it sucked. But after four days, I felt pretty much back to normal. Thank you very much, Mirena.
How Long It Lasts and What Side Effects to Expect
The Mirena crash is more uncomfortable than dangerous, but it can leave you feeling low and out-of-whack. The most frequent side effects include:
- Mood swings
- Sadness, anger, anxiety, and/or depression
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Nausea, bloating, or abdominal pain
- Flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, muscle soreness, or cough
- Breast tenderness
The crash generally may last one to two weeks (four days, in my case), but sometimes it lasts longer.
If your symptoms become too severe to manage, or you have suicidal or self-harming thoughts, seek medical attention immediately.
Managing Your Crash
If you think you can manage your crash on your own, give yourself the space and time to recuperate.
Drink plenty of water, get daily exercise, and talk to your health professional about options like herbal remedies, essential oils, or hormone therapy.
We’d love to hear from you if you experienced the Mirena crash. How long did it last and what helped? Share in the comments!
NOTE: This has been imported from our old EverythingMom Blog. We have copied just a few of the 594 comments we received on that post below. Feel free to continue the conversation by adding your comments at the very bottom.
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