I had the Mirena IUD inserted in December of 2006 at a Planned Parenthood. I had not planned on getting anything as drastic as an IUD, since I had used the Pill on and off since I was 17 and was perfectly comfortable with it. However, the doctor there insisted that my blood pressure was too high for me to be on the Pill, Patch, Ring, or anything which contained hormones. One of my main concerns was that I would gain weight, since the Pill had always made me gain 10-15 pounds. The doctor assured me that since the Mirena didn't have the "bad" hormones, then I wouldn't gain weight. After discussing it with my husband (fiance at the time), I decided to go ahead and get the Mirena IUD.
I was fairly happy with the IUD at first. The insertion part of it wasn't exactly fun, but I didn't have any cramping or bleeding after. I was actually up and about my normal life within a couple of days. I enjoyed the freedom that the IUD gave my husband and I, and was satisfied with my investment thus far. My period even stopped coming, which I thought was great.
However, after a couple of months, I noticed that I had gained weight. I attributed this to the fact that I wasn't exercising. Since I didn't want to be fat for my wedding, my husband and I decided to take walks after work. We started walking a mile or more every day, and also started eating better. I cut red meat out of my diet, tried to limit salt and sweets, and ate vegetarian as much as I could. In the past, I would have easily dropped weight just doing these. However, instead, I gained more weight. My stomach appeared swollen, and my breasts were getting bigger, as if I were pregnant. I was understandably freaked out and bought a pregnancy test, which came out negative.
As my wedding approached I started dress shopping. What should have been a fun time reduced me to tears, since the size I normally wore didn't fit, and I had to go 2 sizes up. Even so, I looked pregnant in my dress. I decided to get more serious about my fitness. I walked/ran more, I completely cut out salt and desserts, and basically ate only vegetables, fruit, and grilled meat. My weight and breast size continued to climb. This is when I began to suspect that the Mirena was the reason I was gaining weight.
After my wedding, I decided to see an OBGYN, and see if she could shed some light. In short, not only was my blood pressure astronomically higher than pre-IUD, I had gained almost 40 pounds. I discussed my experience, and told the doctor that not only had I gained weight, I had also lost my libido. I was rewarded by being told that there was no way that the IUD had made me gain weight. She decided to test my thyroid to see if it was the cause of the weight gain. The test came back as normal, but she decided that the was a "false normal", and that she was going to put me on thyroid medicine anyway. This sounded incredibly stupid, and I felt angry and depressed. I felt like it was my fault, that I wasn't trying hard enough to lose weight. I cried because I felt so ugly and fat. My instinct told me that the Mirena was causing my weight gain, but I wanted to trust the doctor.
The thyroid medicine, as predicted, didn't help me, so I stopped taking it. My husband and I finally joined a gym in November, and I resolved to work much harder at my fitness. I began lifting weights, running, and riding the stability bike for at least 8-11 miles 3-4 times a week. I tried to stay positive and remember that weight loss wouldn't happen right away.
In my case, it hasn't happened at all. As of February, and all my hard work at the gym, I have GAINED 10 pounds. I took yet another pregnancy test (the 3rd or 4th one in a year), which was negative. I unloaded on my general practicioner, and told her every detail of my experience. I was finally told "I believe you. I believe it's the IUD." After a heart to heart with her, and some soul searching, I am having the Mirena removed on Monday.
This has been a hard year and some change. I have had to witness my strong, althletic body go to hell, and have been helpless to stop or reverse the changes. I have stretch marks like a pregnant woman. My breasts are freakishly huge, and my stomach is swollen and hard. I am so ashamed of my body now, I don't want my husband to see me naked, and I have never felt that way before. My once overly healthy libido has been squelched, and it takes me much longer to get aroused. I am depressed, and cry easily, which is unlike me. I have noticed myself lashing out at my husband over stupid matters, and he is a kind, wonderful person who does nothing but make me happy.
I have read story after story like this on the internet, and I only pray that I can return to normal in a timely manner.