The Mirena is a contraceptive device that is an IUD (inter uterine device) which release contraceptive hormones. Like a cross between an IUD and the contraceptive pill. It has become increasingly popular as many women find that they no longer menstruate. The problem is that any hormones or device that interferes with the natural cycle of ovulation will have a detrimental effect on the rest of the hormonal system. Like countless other women you have found that your body is reacting to this interference. The Mirena should be removed after 5 years and that you should be checked up on at least once a year. Here are some of the side effects and precautions from a registered FDA site.
Warnings and Precautions
Ectopic Pregnancy – Up to half of pregnancies that occur with Mirena in place are ectopic. To women who choose Mirena the risks of ectopic pregnancy, can result in the loss of fertility.
Intrauterine Pregnancy – If pregnancy should occur with Mirena in place, Mirena should be removed. Removal or manipulation of Mirena may result in pregnancy loss. In the event of an intrauterine pregnancy with Mirena, consider the following:
Septic abortion – In patients becoming pregnant with an IUD in place, septic abortion—with septicemia, septic shock, and death—may occur.
Continuation of pregnancy – If a woman becomes pregnant with Mirena in place and if Mirena cannot be removed or the woman chooses not to have it removed, she should be warned that failure to remove Mirena increases the risk of miscarriage, sepsis, premature labor and premature delivery. She should be followed closely and advised to report immediately any flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, cramping, pain, bleeding, vaginal discharge or leakage of fluid.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – Mirena is contraindicated in the presence of known or suspected PID or in women with a history of PID unless there has been a subsequent intrauterine pregnancy. Use of IUDs has been associated with an increased risk of PID. The highest risk of PID occurs shortly after insertion (usually within the first 20 days thereafter) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]. A decision to use Mirena must include consideration of the risks of PID.
PID warning to Mirena users – All women who choose Mirena must be informed prior to insertion about the possibility of PID and that PID can cause tubal damage leading to ectopic pregnancy or infertility, or infrequently can necessitate hysterectomy, or cause death. Patients must be taught to recognize and report to their physician promptly any symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease. These symptoms include development of menstrual disorders (prolonged or heavy bleeding), unusual vaginal discharge, abdominal or pelvic pain or tenderness, dyspareunia, chills, and fever.
Irregular Bleeding and Amenorrhea – Mirena can alter the bleeding pattern and result in spotting, irregular bleeding, heavy bleeding, oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea. During the first three to six months of Mirena use, the number of bleeding and spotting days may be increased and bleeding patterns may be irregular. Thereafter the number of bleeding and spotting days usually decreases but bleeding may remain irregular. If bleeding irregularities develop during prolonged treatment, appropriate diagnostic measures should be taken to rule out endometrial pathology.
Embedment – Embedment of Mirena in the myometrium may occur. Embedment may decrease contraceptive effectiveness and result in pregnancy. An embedded Mirena should be removed. Embedment can result in difficult removal and, in some cases surgical removal may be necessary.
Perforation – Perforation or penetration of the uterine wall or cervix may occur during insertion although the perforation may not be detected until some time later. If perforation occurs, pregnancy may result [see Warnings and Precautions Mirena must be located and removed; surgery may be required. Delayed detection of perforation may result in migration outside the uterine cavity, adhesions, peritonitis, intestinal perforations, intestinal obstruction, abscesses and erosion of adjacent viscera.
Expulsion – Partial or complete expulsion of Mirena may occur. Symptoms of the partial or complete expulsion of any lUD may include bleeding or pain. However, the system can be expelled from the uterine cavity without the woman noticing it, resulting in the loss of contraceptive protection.
Ovarian Cysts – Since the contraceptive effect of Mirena is mainly due to its local effect, ovulatory cycles with follicular rupture usually occur in women of fertile age using Mirena. Sometimes atresia of the follicle is delayed and the follicle may continue to grow. Enlarged follicles have been diagnosed in about 12% of the subjects using Mirena. Most of these follicles are asymptomatic, although some may be accompanied by pelvic pain or dyspareunia.
Breast Cancer – Women who currently have or have had breast cancer, or have a suspicion of breast cancer, should not use hormonal contraception because breast cancer is a hormone-sensitive tumor.
Mirena should be removed for the following medical reasons:
New onset menorrhagia and/or metrorrhagia producing anemia
Sexually transmitted disease
Pelvic infection; endometritis
Symptomatic genital actinomycosis
Intractable pelvic pain
Endometrial or cervical malignancy
Uterine or cervical perforation.
Removal of the system should also be considered if any of the following conditions arise for the first time:
Migraine, focal migraine with asymmetrical visual loss or other symptoms indicating transient cerebral ischemia
Exceptionally severe headache
Marked increase of blood pressure
Severe arterial disease such as stroke or myocardial infarction.
Removal may be associated with some pain and/or bleeding or neurovascular episodes.
Glucose Tolerance – Levonorgestrel may affect glucose tolerance, and the blood glucose concentration should be monitored in diabetic users of Mirena.
Adverse Reactions – The most common adverse reactions (≥5% users) are uterine/vaginal bleeding alterations (51.9%), amenorrhea (23.9%), intermenstrual bleeding and spotting (23.4%), abdominal/pelvic pain (12.8%), ovarian cysts (12%), headache/migraine (7.7%), acne (7.2%), depressed/altered mood (6.4%), menorrhagia (6.3%), breast tenderness/pain (4.9%), vaginal discharge (4.9%) and IUD expulsion (4.9%). Other relevant adverse reactions occurring in <5% of subjects include nausea, nervousness, vulvovaginitis, dysmenorrhea, back pain, weight increase, decreased libido, cervicitis/Papanicolaou smear normal/class II, hypertension, dyspareunia, anemia, alopecia, skin disorders including eczema, pruritus, rash and urticaria, abdominal distention, hirsutism and edema.
Postmarketing Experience – The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of Mirena: device breakage and angioedema. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Drug Interactions – Drugs or herbal products that induce enzymes, including CYP3A4, that metabolize progestins may decrease the serum concentrations of progestins. Some drugs or herbal products that may decrease the serum concentration of levonorgestrel include:
St. John’s wort
Do not despair, scientists and doctors have been hard at work for over 25 years in Germany, to produce a safe device with no side effects which gives the same protection against pregnancy (99.6%) as the contraceptive pill, without the side effect. The Pearly is a small computer, the size of a cell phone that is able to accurately detect fertile and infertile days as well as ovulation. You can find out more at www.naturalway.co.za. But, if you are nervous, you may want to consider a vasectomy… For your male partner obviously!
Menopause – Then many of you have asked how I have managed through menopause and even though I have seen many women on The Natural Way go through menopause with no symptoms whatsoever, it is not the case with everyone. I found that the last 4 years have been particularly stressful, with grown-up children, grand children and a business, things have been somewhat hectic. As a result I found myself getting mild hot flushes, dry skin and waking up at 3 a.m. and unable to get back to sleep. The chronic stress was making me feel pretty switched off about health, helping others and life in general.
So I am adding a list of the products I am using and the reasons I use them. I have tried leaving each product out and the mild symptoms come back. So I have found the specific combination is what works for me. You may want to try a different way.
On top of that I try to exercise at least 45 minutes a day, and find it best to walk or cycle in the mornings and then walk of dig in the garden in the afternoons. I also found I am best on a vegan diet as has Mark, who takes all the same products I do.
Products that we use for a healthy hormonal system
BarleyLife – Barley grass juice in dried form (also available in capsules if you don’t like green stuff)
I drink 2-4 heaped tsp. (daily) BarleyLife for the following reasons:
1.Contains the best source of chlorophyll (green stuff) and has the highest nutrient levels of all the green foods products
2.Improves immune function & is anti cancerous
3. Best calcium to phosphorus ration for, to prevent osteoporosis
4. Ideal nutrient profile to facilitate the conversion of Omega 3 into EPA & DHA and 3 other fatty acid derivatives needed for healthy hormonal function.
5. Contains a Vitamin E succinate, which is needed for the pituitary gland to function optimally – which controls hormonal function
6. Improves healing
7. Slows down ageing
8. Improves skin function
9. Helps maintain blood sugar
10. Improves energy levels
Aimega – Flax oil, Olive, sesame and sunflower oil in a balanced combination for the ideal ratio of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids convert to fatty acid derivatives essential for prostaglandin formation that help the entire hormonal system work
I take 2-6 Aimega daily for the following reasons;
1.Preventing and correcting PMS & now Menopausal symptoms
2. Prevents Hay fever & allergies
3. Keeps my bowels regular
4. Keeps my skin & hair soft
5. Keeps my blood sugar and blood pressure regular
EDITOR: just a warning – AIMEGA CONTAINS GELATINE
Aloe 2 Go – Aloe Vera Barbadensis Gel combined with pomegranate and Mangosteen juice, which contain one of the highest antioxidant levels of all foods.
I drink a pouch daily for the following reasons;
1.Contains over 200 nutrients – for all over wellness and are anti cancerous
2. Anti inflammatory to joints, muscles and digestive tract
3. Stabilizes blood sugar
4. Improves digestion
5. Improves overall skin function
6. Speeds up healing
7. Anti viral
8. Anti bacterial – only bad bacteria
9. It a natural pre-biotic – feeds the friendly bacteria that produce B Vitamins in the digestive tract
10. Slows down ageing internally and externally
Multimaca – combination of Maca root, Pygium Africanum, Muira Puama, Catuaba Bark, Tribulus Terrestris, CoQ10, L Arginine and Saw Palmetto . I chew 2 Multimaca daily and more if I am doing endurance sport for the following reasons:
1. Endurance and strength
2. Improved libido
3. Mental well-being & clarity (is a natural anti-depressant)
4. Immune function
5.Menopausal symptoms and all hormonal function
6. Dry eyes (with Lycium)
8. Thyroid function
9. Improves DHEA levels
10. Balances testosterone and estrogen levels
11. Improve blood flow to heart and brain
12. Improves muscle tone and strength
13. Improves hair growth and loss even restored Mark’s “bald patch”
14. Improves urinary tract function
15. Gum health
16.Regulates blood pressure
17. Helps improves stress management
18. Improves blood sugar management
19. Helps maintain healthy weight
Lycium Plus – Lycium (Gogi berries) & Licorice (ghlyzerin removed). I chew 2 Lycium Plus daily (more if run down) for the following reasons:
1. Improves Immune function very quickly
2. Improves and encourages healthy eyes
3. Increases Human Growth Hormone – managing weight and ageing more effectively
4. Improves mental function due to improved Thyroid function – natural anti depressant
5. Improves Libido
6. Improves lung function
7. Gum health
8. Is anti viral and anti fungal
9. Anti inflammatory
10. Improves hair growth and prevents excessive loss
Ginchia – Ginseng and Chia – I chew 2 Ginchia daily for the following reasons:
1. Regulates bowel function
2. Improves mental well being – Natural anti-depressant
3. Regulates Thyroid function & hormonal function
4. Contains very powerful antioxidants that improve immune function &
5. Slow down ageing
6. Helps muscles relax
7. Improves stress management
8. Improves sexual function
9. Improves blood sugar maintenance
10. Protects against radiation from electronic equipment
Royal Jelly – Royal Jelly food for the queen bee – I chew 2 Royal Jelly daily for the following reasons:
1. It improves sleep
2. Helps with menopausal symptoms
3. Improves overall hormonal function
4. Regulates cholesterol
5. Strengthens bones
6. Improves mental clarity
7. Improves blood sugar maintenance
8. Anti inflammatory
9. Improves skin
10. Sexual function
Aloe Blossom tea – Cinnamon, ginger. All spice, Chamomile, Gymnema Sylvestre. Both cinnamon and Gymnema Sylvestre are known for balancing blood sugar. I have a cup at night and have found it encourages:
1. A Good nights sleep
2. Balances blood sugar
3. Is very calming
4. Reduces sugar cravings
5. The more you drink the better results (builds up)
6. Is anti inflammatory
7. Improves immune function
8. Inhibits bad bacterial and fungal growth – controls e coli
9. Helps with nausea & motion sickness
10. Improves digestion and any discomfort
EDITOR: Please take note that F4L does not encourage supplementation but rather a health diet based on 15% raw fruit, 70% raw vegetables and 15% cooked food which excludes all animal products, white flour, refined salt, refined sugar, and tinned, boxed and bottled foods. The only supplements we promote are a sublingual methylcobalamin vit B12, BarleyLife and Udo’s. Some people need Herbal Fibreblend as well, but when we eat correctly, we will not need additional fibre.