Sep 17, 2010

Mirena IUD & Depression - Follow Up

Last year I posted about my unfortunate experience with the Mirena IUD triggering depression. I recently looked at the traffic report for this site and realized that 90% of people who visit my blog get here by searching for "Mirena +IUD +Depression".

I still don't think there is enough information in the public domain about the risks of Mirena re-triggering depression in women with a history of depression.

Of course, if you want more information about a medication, you can always look it up on the internet, right? Not so fast... if you live in Canada, the Canadian Mirena website takes you to a secure location where you need to register along with the DIN (Drug Information Number) of the product "you have been prescribed".

That means that unless you have been prescribed the Mirena IUD and have the package sitting in your hand, you cannot log on to the Mirena Canadian website. How's that for transparency?

If you are fortunate enough to be able to download the product monograph you will find the following:

Patients with a history of emotional disturbances, especially the depressive type, may be more prone to have a recurrence of depression while using MIRENA. In cases of a serious recurrence, consideration should be given to removing MIRENA, since the depression may be drug-related. (Mirena Product Monograph, p.9)


It is interesting to note that the Mirena US site makes absolutely no mention of depression whatsoever. The US site also does not list depression as a contraindication, or as important medical history to tell your doctor about. On the other hand, the Mirena UK site lists depression as the third bullet point under "most common reactions".

So, if you are concerned that your depression might be a result of your Mirena IUD - you are not alone!

Tell me your story - please talk about your experience with Mirena and depression in comments section below.


26 comments:

  1. I am still really stunned about this whole thing, and I did talk to my GP about this recently because of some "issues" I was having...He had never heard AT ALL of the Mirena/depression connection. I suspect docs here are not getting all the info, either.

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  2. My wife is not the same person anymore since October 2008 when she had the Mirena IUD inserted.

    Our son was born June 2008 and the doctor suggested she use the Mirena IUD as she already experienced problems with the pill; 2 different types, for which I have no names.

    Both pills date back some 20 years. Both affected her biology in negative ways so we decided not use chemical contraception.

    She was already somewhat of a passive agreesive person prior to getting the Mirena IUD but since that time, it has become increasingly clear that there is a bigger problem now.

    She has had and still experiences many of the symptoms or side effects related to the Mirena IUD and these may show up at different times, for inconsistent periods of time. Some times more apparent; others less. Some times for longer periods; some times less.

    Sex and intimacy of any kind are basically nonexistant. So, in a way, the Mirena IUD is achieving one objective.

    I had a vesectomy back in Mar 2010 so my wife could remove the Mirena IUD but she is still in complete disagreement as to its removal.

    I gave her product information and various web links to read but she did not spend any time reviewing the info.

    I spoke to our family doctor about our problems and she (the doctor) agreed that the Mirena IUD should be removed. It took my wife months to actually go see our doctor; she cancelled appointments twice. When she finally did see our doctor, she managed to convince the doctor that everything was okay and kept the Mirena IUD in.

    We also went to couples theropy and the theropist noted that my wife was depressed and suggest speaking to our family doctor to get medication; anti-depressants.

    I suggested that before going that route, the Mirena IUD should come out. That didn't happen.

    It's been almost 2 years now and I continue to doubt that there is any positive benefit to the Mirena IUD with regard to my wife and our relationship.

    There should be much more transparency about this product and negative affects. The public debate needs to get louder and more visible; like on TV, and doctors need to be much more clear with patience - followup should be impporved as well.

    Anyway, here I am and I wish you lived next door so you could talk to my wife over a glass of wine and share your stories.

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  3. I received a card when I got mirena that has my DIN on it...

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  4. WC - If you are still concerned, perhaps drawing your GP's attention to the product monograph in the link will help. I really think (based on the traffic to this site) that this side effect is under reported.

    Alisha - Yes, mine came with a DIN too. My concern is that I didn't have the DIN before I was prescribed the Mirena - just makes it harder to research when you are making decisions about birth control. Hope your experience with the Mirena has been a good one.

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  5. I have had a pretty good experience with it. Ive had it since March 2010. The big things I disliked were insertion (very painful, Ive never had children) and now...I have tons of acne in my mid 20s. I was on the pill (ortho 777) for years, but lost my insurance so I went with the mirena. Overall, been very happy...just hate the acne and glad the insertion is far behind me. And oh yeah, no more periods.

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  6. Thank you for this and your previous post. I am one of the people who came to your blog via those exact search terms.
    I suffered from depression and anxiety for years prior to getting the Mirena in Nov 2007. I was going through a divorce, dealing with a very abusive spouse and small children. I thought my increased anxiety and depression were from that.
    Now 3 years later, I am no longer a functioning member of society. There are VERY few places I can go in public w/o extreme anxiety. I spend most of my days on the couch & cry all the time. I am unable to work and barely able to take care of my children.
    I've been in therapy and tried more depression/anxiety medications than I can name. My mother, who lives in another state, has been seeing commercials for law firms representing women who have suffered severe anxiety & depression due to Mirena.
    After speaking to my therapist today, he agrees that my depression and anxiety have definitely been increasing as the years have passed. Now I have to try to get my OB to take it out.
    Thanks again for your posts.

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  7. Hi Polly,
    I'm sorry to hear that you have been through so much since 2007. While many factors contribute to depression (abusive spouse, small children, divorce), my experience with Mirena showed me that I am extremely sensitive to hormone fluctuations. I hope you are able to get it out ASAP (perhaps try the copper coil IUD?)
    Also, expect that it will take some time for your body to adjust after you remove it. It took me months to feel better, and I only had the Mirena in for a long weekend.
    Best wishes to you.

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  8. Thank you for this post. I've had Mirena in since August 2008. After baby (born October 2006), I suffered PPD. Honestly, I don't think I ever fully recovered from it. Now, I think Mirena keep me teetering on the verge of full blown depression. I was never an anxious, jealous, sad person. Now, I can't find a happiness, I never want to interact with my son (like playing with him), and I'm so high strung. I find myself with a VERY SHORT fuse - always yelling at my son (who is 4!) and constantly irritated with every little thing my husband does. So, thank you. I'm calling the OB tomorrow. Get Mirena out and maybe welcome back my old friend Zoloft for a while??

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  9. I am someone who found your site by googling mirena + depression. I had the Mirena IUD inserted 7 months ago, 6 weeks after the birth of my 3rd child. Since then I have noticed a spike in anxiety and depression. I don't know if I have PPD, seasonal depression, or if this really is being triggered by the Mirena -- maybe it's a combination of the three. Anyway, I finally broke down today and made an appointment with a counselor to get my depression under control, but I'm also seriously considering having the Mirena removed and just getting something hormone free and permanent. Thank you for this post.

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  10. Thanks so much for your posting. I got to your site by the mirena + depression combo also. After years of complications with the pill and no doctor that would take me seriously I finally found out that I had extreme endometriosis last year and had to have an ovary removed along with a few other surgical procedures a few months ago to deal with the cysts, tumors and scarring.
    The IUD was suggested to me as a contraceptive and a treatment for endometriosis. I trusted my doctor's advice although I was sceptical about having anymore "hormone" therapies.
    The recovery from surgery was much longer and harder than was communicated to me before the procedures. I struggled to get off of presciption pain killers after 2 months of being on them. I still had severe pain but I was starting to get crazy and depressed so I cut them out. Although they were out of my system, my depression got worst.
    In a few months I went from being energetic, dedicated and loving a full plate at work and at play to not being able to get out of bed for 5 days, not answering my phone and having to force myself to shower. I have become a person I don't even recognize.
    After doing some internet research I decided to have the IUD removed. It was the only thing left that could be causing such an extreme shift in my...well, everything.
    My doctor tried to tell me that the IUD had nothing to do with it and that if I just wait for the sun to come out and get some excersize I would be fine. I demanded that the thing come out right at that moment, which was early last week.
    I was expecting to feel better right away and was crushed when I realized that I don't feel much better at all. Thank you for sharing your experience that it took you some time to straighten out after the IUD was removed. I finally got out of bed today but trying to go through the motions of the life I used to love has become almost unbearable. I'm not even 30 and started to think I might just be this way for the rest of forever.
    Knowing that there is likely a light at the end of the tunnel, I can take a deep breath and tough it out. Not only should depression as a side-effect be more openly stated as a precaution, so should the fact that the depression can last after removal.
    Thank you so much again for sharing your story!

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  11. I dealt with my depression and was well over it. I have had problems with the pill before making me depressed and ever since I have had my IUD it is happening again. I am seriously going crazy. The slightest comment or gesture can set me off either crying or furious. I hate my life and start resenting my boyfriend for everything. My relationship is pretty much over because I cant control my moods or emotion any longer and blame him. He can't understand what I'm going through or figure out if I am going to be sad or mad so he ends up arguing with me which makes it ten times worse. I never felt this way till 3 months after I had it inserted. No one ever told me about this kind of side effect, but I have to mention this: I did inform many doctors and obgyn about my problem with the pill and concerns about it happening again and all said it wouldn't happen. Never 100% guarantee but they dismissed my concerns easily. Many times I trusted myself and still turned them down (which then they treated me very rudely)but I loved my last doctor and trusted my boyfriend that they had what was best for me in mind, not to mention my pregnancy wasn't easy so I didn't want another baby. I was wrong and now paying the price. All anyone tells me is give it time, you are still adjusting to it, maybe it isn't the IUD and its just you. I have no money and in the processes of moving to another state so no doctor and no insurance because no job. Soon no boyfriend and by the time I give the doctors their satisfactory time length I am afraid the depression will be so bad I wont care and just give up. If you battle with depression or have bad effects to hormonal contraception than DON'T get this.

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  12. I suffered from PPD and mood disorders and recently had an IUD inserted for heavy menstrual cycles. Immediately, I knew I was having PPD symptoms again. I'm angry and want it out now!

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  13. i have had the Morena for about 4 months now and i have never been a woman to suffer from pms, but since i got the Morena, i am experiencing bouts of depression and always during that time of the month. everything is making me cry and i feel very alone at times. i searched for morena depression and found that i am not the only one this is happening to. it helps al little to pinpoint the problem but i am not sure if i should have it removed.

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  14. I have found your website very helpful. I have had mirena in since September 2008, 2 months after my son was born. I have been on anti-depressants since March 2011. It took me a long time to come to the fact that I was depressed. I dont remember exactly when my symptoms started. But I can tell you is that my sex life is non existent. My husband has to practically beg me to get intimate. As of now, I dont care if I dont have sex for the rest of my life and I dont like feeling that way. I, like previous posters, find myself getting very angry very easily, yelling at my son(3 yrs old)for everything and sending him to his room alot. I feel bad for the way I treat him and my husband, but I honestly cant help it. I work at a day care with babies, so that helps my mood during the day, but as soon as I get home, I just want to sit on my computer all night and not do anything. I had made an appointment to change my anti depressants, but cancelled that appt and made one to get mirena removed and figure out another birth control. Thanks for everyones input!

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  15. Thank you for this post and your honesty. My son is 13 months now and I have had the mirena in for 10 months. I never realized it could have been the mirena contributing to my depressed mood until a friend mentioned it to me. I almost stopped breast feeding in order to go on an antidepressant (which I have never done). I wish I had known earlier, I am having it taken out and calling my doctor on Monday. I am thankful I searched the Internet and read about others experiences.

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  16. I am 43 and I had the Mirena in March 2010 due to terrible periods. After about a month l started to get boil type pimples on my face, which l thought was strange as l have never suffered with pimples before in my life. These pimples were so painful that my whole face as sore. They were huge, green and ugly. So l went to my GP and he prescribed antibiotics for the next 3 months. These meds did absolutely nothing. Every day l had a new visitor on my face. Then l started to experience other strange things happening to my body, which turned my life upside down. Things like:
    Heart palpitations
    Unable to sleep
    Boils on my shoulders
    Walking in a slow pace with no energy
    Sweats – Day and night
    Not wanting to leave the house
    Anxiety
    Depression
    Constant thrush
    No appetite
    Panic attacks – One really bad attack driving home from work, had to call an ambulance

    So I went back to the GP as my life was going downhill rapidly and didn’t know why. I had a great life and there was no reason for all this to be happening to me. My wonderful GP tells me that l need to go on antidepressants and l need to go talk to someone (skeletons in the closet).....WHAT umm NO l don’t! So l go home and tell my hubby and he says all this started to happen after your Mirena procedure you should look it up. WHAMMO........
    Went to a new GP and demanded to get it out ASAP. This GP told me that she takes the Mirena from women every week due to side effects. REALLY, hmmm not surprised. I decided that when l get the Mirena out to get the ablation procedure as l don’t want a period and l would give that a go. Had the procedure 3 months ago now. Woke up with no bleeding at all and apart from cramps felt great. Still today l have not had a period. Still healing from the acne and l have a little anxiety but nowhere near as severe as what it was. My test results came back saying l had an infected uterus and that the Mirena was imbedded low and cased this. The GP gave me a script of antibiotics but l didn’t have to use it as l felt great.

    I would never advise any women to get the Mirena, it’s just not worth the side effects.

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  17. I got the mirena a little more than a month ago and major depression hit me like a brick wall. I was diagnosed bi-polar II with OCD, panic disorder, anxiety, derealization episodes 7 years ago at 19. My mom, aunt and sister all have related mental health issues- mom has attempted suicide 4x and my aunt 2x. I have battled depression issues in life until about a year ago when I was put on proper medication and my life became so much better (still have no idea if I was hypomanic or actually stable for that period of time). I met a wonderful man, finished my education (finally), and was generally pretty happy, friendly and motivated. I decided to get the mirena because I don't know if I want to have kids, EVER. I am soo afraid that I will turn into my mother, who is absolutely miserable, on disability, and can't even take care of herself because her depression is so severe. Seeing as I have already been through so much at 26, you can see why I'm not exactly gung-ho about passing along my genes. Problem is, I am on Lamictal for my bi-polar II (to me its a miracle drug, but the addition of Mirena reversed all its positive effects) and it affects hormomal birth control, so even with condom usage, there is still that risk of pregnancy. There is no way I could have a child right now, if ever, and put them through what I have been through. I had to nix that possibility of pregnancy, so I did so with Mirena. I have no health insurance and no access to free clinics, so I spent $1,200 of my savings on it. The doctor was aware of my reasons for getting on it, but my experience with her as a doctor has been horrid. I had my first panic attack in about 8 months at the office because I wasn't sure I was making the right decision (money...), she was 1 hr 45 min late, she looked at me like I was being ridiculous for being upset, she didn't listen to what I said, spent about two minutes with me and basically took about 30 seconds to jam it in me and immediately left after writing me a script for antibiotics that have given me derealization episodes in the past. I have been having a lot of pelvic pain, major depression (possibly bipolar swing), return of panic/anxiety/derealization, loss of sex drive, uncontrollable crying, anger(which I have never really had), gross vaginal odor, thrush, constantly feeling starving to the point where it hurts- even after a big meal, major increase in appetite (everything sounds delicious ALL the time and my will power is non existent), major weight gain at least 12 pounds in a month! (see aforementioned statement), and ZERO motivation. On top of all that, I think it is coming out of me because I can feel the hard part sticking out, whereas before I barely felt the strings. I was supposed to have an appointment last week, then they had to move me to tomorrow, then today they called to find out if I could reschedule because my doc has to leave the office early. I hate to have to remove it so quickly because I spent soooo much money on it and I don't have a job, or very much money to begin with. I told myself I was making an investment in not having a child for 5 years. Not a month long investment! I am sorry this is so long, if you have made it through my sob story!!!!-- but I am obviously really frustrated that despite the fact that I provided all of this info to my doc, she didn't think twice about taking 30 seconds to shove it in me and charge me $500-ish just for insertion. I can't stand feeling this way, its been sooo long and I didn't miss it!! I think I'll bite the bullet, get it out, and start saving for a hysterectomy. Might as well, no one deserves to have these genes passed along. Thanks, mom. Anyway, please think twice before you waste money on something that will change your life for the worse!!--especially if you have any sort of mood disorder!!! Also, make sure you have a good doctor. Thank you for this site, thank you for reading my long-winded complaint, and best of luck to all you ladies!

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  18. Wow. Just Wow!! WHY WHY WHY didn't anyone tell me about this YEARS ago??? I remember asking both my mental health providers, and women's health providers, about interactions with the Mirena and my medications for depression/bipolar.

    When I look at the timeline of when my symptoms were the worst, it all started with postpartum depression after a lifelong battle with mild/moderate depression. I had my first Mirena IUD put in a few months after my daughter was born, and very soon after that, I fell off the deep end mentally.

    Two years later, my husband (now ex) and I were thinking about getting pregnant. I had my Mirena taken out, and almost immediately afterwards, I spiraled out of control mentally.

    I had another Mirena put in a few weeks later because we weren't going to have a baby, because of my mental problems!!!

    Now I'm divorced, and I just had my Mirena taken out since it has almost been 5 years. My medications aren't working the same for my depression/bipolar anymore!!

    I wish they would understand that it really is an issue.

    I do still have probably Bipolar, but I think the Mirena causes some of the depression or at least messes with the medications working correctly.

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  19. I had my Mirena inserted in February 2011, and right away noticed I was having anxiety attacks, couldn't sleep, heart palpitations and cold sweats. I didn't think much of it because I was told it could take up to 3 months for my body to adjust. Well now, 14 months later the depression and the anxiety is driving me crazy......i feel so weird, angry, alone, my mind races with stupid thoughts.... I blamed it on the fact that I have 3 small children but I after searching mirena+depression, I am convinced, I have to get it out, ASAP.

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  20. I also found this site by googling Mirena IUD and depression. I had my Mirena inserted 6 weeks ago due to severe painful periods. I specifically asked my gynecologist about emotional side effects b/c I have struggled with depression most of my life and worsening PMS over the last 4-5 years. He assured me that the amount of progesterone was so small that it most likely would have no real effect on my moods. He couldn't have been more wrong! Mine wasn't like a lot of others who's posts I've read though. My sink into depression was gradual since having the IUD placed. First I was more concerned about the severe cramping and bleeding every day since the insertion. That has aleviated some and I've come to realize that the depression has slowly crept back in. I have no desire to do anything, no sex drive at all, weight gain, no ambition to do anything other than get from the bed to the couch. It's already taking its toll on my relationship which is already challenged in that my partner is 18yrs older than me so he is already insecure about things. So with my own issues, my depression and now taking on his insecurities I'm feeling slowly crushed one day at a time. I've been debating waiting the full 3 months that so many have suggested I do or getting it taken out as soon as possible. The more of these posts I read, the more I'm leaning towards getting this thing out of me before I disappear altogether! Any feedback for me is welcome and thank you Penelope for blogging about this!

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  21. I'm here too from same search results. I had Mirena fitted three weeks ago and boy have I spiralled downhill ever since. I just wish i'd googled it before hand but then you hope a doctor with your medical history might honestly point out the side efects! So now for the battle to get it removed and hopefully bounce back asap! Thanks for publishing this!

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  22. This may result in the need for risky surgery to remove the Mirena IUD, and may leave women with painful and devastating side effects from internal scarring, infection or damage to other organs.
    mirena iud side effects

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  23. Some women have had to undergo multiple surgeries to find and remove the device. Studies also found that the risk of uterine perforation is increased in women who use an mirena lawsuit like Mirena up to 6 months after delivering a child.

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  24. Mirena WILL trigger Depression!!
    Why?
    Here is the science behind that
    Seratonine is Destroyed by Projesterone.
    Our happy chemicals are literally broken down by the hormone Projesterone.
    Ever wonder why you may have felt horribly depressed while pregnant?
    This is why... The hormone released to help you carry your baby also destroys our bodies ability to have peace, happiness, energy and joy.
    Take it from me, who has MDD, it will undue all the progress you made climbing out of postpartum depression.
    I had mine removed after 1 month and I am still not back to where I was:(

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  25. I just had my 2nd mirena removed after only about 6 months. I had the first one in first 5 years and didn't realize it was the culprit behind my depression/anxiety. I got it removed and had my tubes tied (we don't want anymore children) 3 days ago and I feel like I have PPD again! I am so depressed and confused. It was so clear that I didn't want anymore kids and now I am so jumbled on the inside that I thought I was depressed because I got my tubes tied but now I see it is the mirena. I am glad to see that it gets better. I will keep praying for myself and all of you going through this. I believe God can do all things and honestly my faith is the only thing that keeps me going some days. Hang in there and God bless!

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  26. Just 1 month after I had my last son, the fourth and final addition to our family, I had the mirena I'd placed. I am a nurse so I understand the risks benefits quite well associated with all medications. It stayed for almost five years until 1 month ago when I had it removed and nothing put in its place. During the 5 years that it was in my body I gained nearly 80 pounds, stopped having my periods altogether and had the "terrible 2's", what I like to call it. Every month when I would have normally ovulated I still had terrible cramps and mood swings but I just felt that it was a part of the risks associated and I should take the bad with the good and just suck it up...and so I did. Like I said before one month ago I had it removed. Quite literally the very next day after removal I began on a downward spiral of anxiety and severe depression and tomorrow it will be 30 days since. I should have gone with my organic instincts and never had it placed. I do not recommend this product.

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