Life with MS & EDS

March 30, 2010

Mirena Replacement

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mseds @ 3:53 pm

Yesterday I had my Mirena IUD replaced.  It was about 4 months shy of the 5 year life of a Mirena, but I wasn’t taking any chances on averages and my GYN agreed to swap it a bit early.  Surprisingly Blue Cross/Shield didn’t fight us on it (yet they refused to cover a hand cream Rx for Little Sister and expected me to pay $97, but that’s another story.)

Removing the old Mirena was really easy.  One pull of the cord and it was in the GYN’s hand.  I thought it was going to be more painful, so that was a nice surprise.  What I had forgotten was how much insertion of a new Mirena hurts.  My first one was not too long after Little Sister was born, so I still remembered the pain of natural childbirth (the natural part wasn’t by choice.)  I guess at the time that was a good reference point to put this into perspective and I didn’t care as much.  But now, almost 6 years have passed since Little Sister’s birth and amnesia about the experience set in long ago.

One step of inserting a Mirena involves measuring the uterus so the doctor knows how wide to set the IUD.  This involves putting something to hold the cervix open so they can get an accurate measurement.  That’s the part that REALLY hurt.  The GYN apologized and gave up, setting the thing for normal.  Works for me!  At least I hope that was a good thing.

While she was trying to do this she mentioned to her nurse (she was in there to hand things to the doctor) that the Mirena kit now costs more and they no longer include everything the doctor needs to insert the IUD.  It was either the thing that holds the cervix open or the measuring device or both, I was too busy saying “ouch” and think I missed a word.  It was interesting to hear the doctor ponder what to do about that cost to the practice since there isn’t a way for them to recover that expense.  Just another minor example of the games played in the health care industry.

After she gave up on measuring, which was actually a quick decisions, she popped the Mirena in, at which point I had cramps.  The doctor and the nurse were really nice the whole time.  They encouraged me to lay down for a bit and came back in about 5 min. to check on me.  She commented that I looked red and should probably rest a little longer.  Laying on my back was making me cough (that’s another story, too), so the nurse elevated the exam table so that I could recline instead.  I rested for another few minutes and then felt well enough to head home.  If only it were quieter I would have loved a mid-day nap, but that wasn’t the case and the faster I could get home, the faster I could get some Aleve!

The cramping passed in just a couple of hours and I feel fine now.  I’m glad to have peace of mind that the chances of me getting pregnant over the next 5 years are less than 0.01%.  In spring of 2015 I’ll be 41 and we can decide what makes sense then.  At worst, I’ll have to do this one more time.  For the assurance of not getting pregnant again, this is worth it.

I’ve never been one with a strong motherly instinct.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and have always wanted kids.  But being an only child and having always wanted a sibling is the only reason we had more than one child.  My husband and I have a rule of “one big body to one little body.”  Our current balance is perfect.  I don’t even get that “urge” that others seem to get when they see babies.  I’m not even one who likes to hold babies.  I’m most likely to ask a new mom if she wants me to hold her baby so that she can have some time empty-handed to do other things.  As long as I’m seated with something under my arm to support the baby, all is good (Note: don’t hand me your baby for more than 5 minutes if I’m standing and you don’t want to risk me dropping the little one!)

So, we’re certainly DONE having kids.  Between rough pregnancies (7+ months of hyperemesis) and rapid deliveries (thanks, Ehlers-Danlos!), not to mention the fear of going off of MS medications for about a year are plenty of reasons in addition to our nice ratio to know that we’re done having kids.  Yet, something about me would much rather have a removable IUD than to have something permanent done to my body or my husband’s.  I’m still not sure why that is.



  1. A decision to have more babies or not is agonizing. It is a decision that is never arrived at in a day’s meditation. I respect you and support you.

    I never thought about EDS figuring into rapid deliveries. I have only one child. My whole pregnancy I had a hyperthyroid and right after the delivery my thyroid went toxic. I was sick for so long. But the delivery was fast, now that I think about it. Water broke. A few hours later, painful, evenly spaced contractions. And then a few mintues of pushing and it was over. Always felt blessed.

    Comment by karen — April 2, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  2. Given how stretchy we are, it made a lot of sense that EDS can cause rapid deliveries. I don’t know about other people with EDS, but I go right from 1 cm straight to 9 cm, completely skipping transition (whatever that’s like!) Big Sister took a few hours, but Little Sister was born 90 minutes after my first sign of labor. She was almost born in the car! Thank goodness it was the middle of the night and my husband ran red lights. After that we knew it was time to stop at two. Either that or he’d have to learn to deliver babies. My MS diagnosis helped finalize that decision.

    Thyroid problems sound scary!

    Comment by mseds — April 2, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  3. Oh yes, I remember going to the hospital standing on the floorboards yelling at my husband, “Go, man go!” My doctor never even made it for the delivery.

    Comment by karen — April 3, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  4. Some poor resident responded to an urgent page just in time to play catch. My doctor arrived in time to do the stitches.

    Comment by mseds — April 3, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  5. You are so lucky and persistent from what I’ve read this morning. I am an MS patient in Canada and frustration and stress pretty much sums up my feelings since last November’s introduction of the LIberation treatment. Congratulations on your procedure. I hope it continues to bring you less symptoms and more REAL life.

    Deb in Canada

    Comment by Deb — August 12, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  6. I am in a dilemma. Am suffering since 2002. Managed 2 bare the pain with med and 2 ops. Now my gyne’s talkin about the merina kit. Costs R2000. Nt covered by medical aid. My pharmacist says there are lot of side effects. Bleeding, worse pains during period. What do i do? Dnt wana take med. Dnt wana blow up. PLEASE HELP ME. Just call me G.

    Comment by G — April 3, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  7. Sorry to hear about your dilemma! I’m not sure what others have experienced, but I must say that I’ve barely had any bleeding at all since the Mirena was inserted. I love it since I have a history of endometriosis. My OBGYN is actually part of a group of doctors trying to get medical insurance companies to have to cover it as treatment for endo and similar problems. I’ve not had any side effects, but maybe I’m just fortunate? While the outlay is steep, if you compare it to the cost of taking the pill monthly, I believe it’s actually much cheaper over 5 years. I can’t find the original calculator I found, but there’s one at Mother Jones ( that can help you compare the costs of various birth control methods. It doesn’t help you evaluate the health risks/benefits. Almost everything I read about the Mirena is that it can cause your periods to be very light or nonexistent. I’ve not needed more than the occasional liner in over 6 years. It’s awesome! (No, I don’t get any perks from the company for plugging their contraption; just really like it!) Good luck with your decision. I hope you find something that helps!

    Comment by mseds — April 3, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

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