The Hormone Diaries Part Three: Getting The Mirena Coil

The thought of the coil was always something that scared me a little. Whilst I’m used to going to the doctors and being poked and prodded in my lady areas, the thought of an object being inserted up there permanently kind of freaked me out. However, after years of battling with the pill, conversations about the Mirena coil began to sound more and more promising.

Mirena Coil Patient Info

Why I Wanted The Mirena Coil

As you may have read in my previous Hormone Diaries posts, I’ve always struggled with heavy and irregular periods, as well as a variety of side effects from taking the contraceptive pill. After university, I began seeing a new gynaecologist who was really keen to find me a solution to my ongoing issues. I’ve had numerous tests in the past but nothing ever suggested that there was any medical cause for my constant bleeding.

We talked through the different types of coil (hormonal and copper) and it seemed the best option for me would be the hormone coil, also known as the Mirena. The coil usually reduces bleeding by up to 90% or can stop your periods completely, and research suggests it can also have an impact on your chances of getting cervical cancer. There’s also the added bonus of not having to take a pill every day and being protected against pregnancy for 3 or 5 years – depending on which coil you are fitted with.

After many discussions and being shown the Mirena coil, I made the decision that it would be a good option to try.

Having The Mirena Coil Fitted

After speaking with friends who had also had the Mirena coil, I was really nervous about having it fitted. I’d been told it was basically the same as childbirth and to expect the worst cramping and period pain of my life.

The process of inserting the coil is quite similar to an STI or smear test. First, the doctor will have a feel of your stomach and have a little feel around inside to see where your cervix is. I know that I have a tilted cervix, which basically means my cervix doesn’t sit facing outwards, it sits facing slightly upwards or towards my stomach. This can make insertion more difficult, so my doctor took a little longer checking me over than normal.

Next, they will insert something called a speculum. This is a plastic or metal tube like device which they use to open your cervix. Now, I’m aware this sounds like some sort of medieval torture but I promise, it’s not that bad. To be totally transparent and blunt, it is no bigger or wider than a penis, so chances are you’ll be absolutely fine.

Once your cervix is opened, they will begin the process of inserting the coil. This is when people’s stories of the coil really start to differ. Obviously, the coil has to be inserted into your uterus, so a little tube is popped up your cervix and into your uterus. The best way I can think to describe this is intense period pain. I found that as soon as the doctor was moving the tube up there, I had instant cramps. It was completely tolerable, and no worse than I would normally have on my period, but it was a bit odd as it wasn’t a gradual pain.

The actual insertion after this I didn’t really feel at all. The cramps continued, but I wouldn’t say they got any worse. I didn’t feel any tugging, pulling or contracting like I had been told I would and I didn’t feel sick or faint either.

Overall, I personally didn’t think having the Mirena coil fitted was that bad at all. When you think about it, obviously you can expect some discomfort as a foreign object is being inserted into you, but considering the stories I had been told and what I had previously read, I really was expecting the worst.

One thing I will say is you will need to be as comfortable as possible after the procedure. I’d recommend booking the rest of the day off after your coil insertion, if you can. Be prepared to feel like you’re having a really bad period – stock up on pain killers, hot water bottles and relax as much as you can. Eat your body weight in chocolate, watch a chick flick and have some real me time cause you probably won’t want to move at all. You’ll probably also experience some bleeding so make sure you have sanitary pads or a moon cup at home as you won’t be able to wear a tampon for this bleed. My doctor advised not using tampons or having sex for 7 days after having my coil fitted – but I’m not sure if this will vary depending on the type of coil you have so definitely double check with your doctor.

My Initial Reaction

For me, the coil has been an absolute dream. After years of constant heavy bleeding, I’m so happy that I haven’t had a period in around 8 weeks. I’ve experienced some spotting, which is totally normal, but I haven’t had to worry about tampons or pads since 2018. It’s a miracle!

I do also think it’s really important to remember that the Mirena Coil is a long term contraceptive solution and although the start of the process can be rough for some, in the long run it is worth the initial pain. It’s also important to remember the reason why it’s painful or uncomfortable – your body is getting used to having a foreign object inside of it. It’s the same as when you start a new pill and you might gain loads of weight or have irregular bleeding – your body needs time to adjust and figure out how to deal with the new hormones and things you are putting into it.

I also just want to point out that only you know your body and your limits. You may have a completely different experience to me, and that may be normal. But if you are worried at all at any time, see your doctor. I am not a medical expert and I’m only sharing my personal experience here in the hope of educating and breaking down the stigma and barriers of talking about our vaginas.

You will not be wasting anyone’s time, your feelings are valid and it is better to be seen and have nothing wrong with you than to leave it and potentially cause yourself more harm.

Have you had the Mirena coil fitted or are you considering it? How was your experience?

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Comments

  1. Hebe Young says

    This was a really great post! Loads of the time people just leave out details so you won’t know about the pain or the full process x

  2. Rachel says

    I have a coil too and love it! When I asked if it would hurt, my doc said “not as much as childbirth” and I was convinced, haha! I did have extreme cramping when it was inserted and needed a rest for an hour after but have had no complications since. About a year into getting it inserted, my periods became extremely light with almost no cramping. My partners have never felt the strings and it’s a great long-term method of birth control.

    Rachel || http://anotherstationanothermile.com

    • whatabigailsays says

      Yeah my pain wasn’t too bad and I haven’t had a proper period since which is the dream for me! I can feel the strings, as can my boyfriend, but it’s no big deal and they don’t get in the way of anything ☺️

  3. Coralle says

    I loved reading this, it’s so interesting to hear your thoughts as it’s something I have considered in the past. I have suspected endometriosis, was put on the pill and the hormones did not agree with me at all so I had to come off it after 3 months. It scares me thinking about ever putting hormones in my body again but it’s still nice hearing something positive and knowing that it works well for you! Might be something for me to consider again at some point.

    Coralle x

  4. The Amy Tales says

    Great post. I’ve been twice to have the copper coil fitted and its failed and I couldn’t have it fitted. So i’ve been through the pains twice for nothing. I completely agree it does feel like an intense period cramp mine was pretty bad due to all my cervical surgery but for most it wont be too bad. I wish i could have had mine fitted but no such luck. I’m actually writing a post about coil failure another side to the coin. Thanks for sharing very honest and informative

  5. emahwriter says

    Never even heard of a Mirena coil. Your post was both informative and interesting. But I must admit that I’m a little apprehensive about all activities related to my nether regions so it might not be something I will jump into feet first. But I could try it someday, who knows.

  6. Ruth says

    Absolutely fantastic information to have!
    I find that I get similar discomfort and cramps having a smear test done (it actually really confuses me because my body feels like it’s menstruating but then I’m not….? Weird).

    I hope that it continues having the desired effect for you 🤗

  7. Jenny in Neverland says

    I’m really glad the coil works so well for you. The thought of having one personally makes me wanna faint. The speculum I wouldn’t be bothered about as I’ve had that a few times with various tests after my cervical screening but it’s the thought of pushing the thing up into your uterus.. ugh I can’t. I’m on the mini pill which works great for me at the moment 🙂

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

  8. Chloe Chats says

    I’m glad it has worked out well for you and that you’re not having to deal with heavy periods. I’ve been thinking recently about options because I also suffer with really heavy periods and it’s got to the point where it’s doing my head in! I’ve tried a few different pills and it was weird, they actually really helped to begin with but then after a while it just kinda went back to the way it used to be. Thanks for sharing your story though, it’s good to know what it’s like having the coil put in too!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  9. Morgan says

    Nice post! I had the Mirena for about a year after my last daughter was born. I ultimately had it taken out because I had ridiculous side effects – crazy sweating, weight gain, headaches, and pain. Since having it out I haven’t had any issues. I think everyone’s experience is differ t but I am glad so far yours has been positive.
    Cheers!
    Morgan @ http://www.mommyaboveall.com

  10. TheGroundedTree says

    When I first began to read I was very screamish of the idea of the coil as I’ve heard many scary responses from it but you explain it beautifully and was really honest.

  11. Karalee says

    I haven’t considered getting the coil, but it’s insightful to read about your experience. I’m glad it’s being going well for you & you only pain in the beginning.

  12. Dax_Loves_Fiction (@DaxLovesFiction) says

    Great post hun. 🙂

    I’ve had the copper IUD before and the first lady I saw had a difficult time inserting it. As women in my family also tend to have tilted cervixes, there’s a good chance I do too.

    Here’s hoping you continue to have a pleasant experience. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Dax. xoxo

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