No More Migraines? (or “The Mirena is Evil”)

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 27, 2009

As most of you may recall I had been having pretty severe neck pain, and recurring headaches, for quite some time. Then back in May I began experiencing horrendous migraines; about one every week. Boy, were they awful. I was quite shaken by the debilitating pain accompanying each episode. There were days I clearly felt like I was dying.

Then came my pinched nerve and all of the drama surrounding that crisis… Doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and test after test. My personal physician concluded that it was not only a pinched nerve ailing me, but also a severe migraine. A migraine that lasted for four days. Four days that left me unable to take care of my kiddos. Four days I will never get back. Even after the four days there were days – weeks, even – that I couldn’t move without a sharp pain shooting up my neck and through my head.

Seeing my chiropractor and a physical therapist helped a bit, but I had this voice in the back of my mind telling that there was something causing these migraines. Something I could easily get rid of, but I wasn’t quite willing.

You see, after my third or fourth migraine in as many weeks, I vaguely remembered reading that one of the side effects of the Mirena IUD, which I had inserted shortly after Noah was born, can be severe headaches and migraines. So, I looked it up, just to be sure I recalled correctly. Sure enough, users are cautioned to call a practitioner if severe or migraine headaches develop.

I know it sounds weird, but I knew the Mirena was the cause of my migraines. Sure, stress triggered them each week, but the IUD was most definitely the cause. I have no doubt.

Other side effects of the Mirena include back and pelvic pain, high blood pressure, pain during intercourse, and a myriad of other ailments. None of which I experienced, thank God. But, I do believe that, in addition to the headaches and migraines, the Mirena was also effecting my libido (decreased sex drive) and my mood… I just always felt so down.

So, Ray and I made a huge leap of faith and I had the Mirena removed 3 weeks ago today. I say it was a huge leap of faith, because Ray quite literally breathes on me and I’m pregnant. We truly had to be okay with whatever God has in store for us in that department.

But, guess what? It’s been almost 4 weeks since I succumbed to a migraine!

Will I never have to suffer from another migraine again? I can’t say that, as time will only tell. I strongly suspect, however, that I won’t be visited by another horrible alien any time soon.

Oh, and just a side note :: I’m not such a horrible person to be around any more. My husband can attest to that!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy August 27, 2009 at 2:26 am

Wow, Christine! I’m glad you found the source of your migraines!

Hmmmm…. now that makes me wonder if the Mirena is causing MY migraines. They are not as bad as it sounds like you have had them, but bad enough I cannot take care of the girls when I have them.

Thanks for sharing with us :)

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Lori August 27, 2009 at 5:02 am

Soooo happy that it has helped! Now you be careful on your cruise;) hehehehehe

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brandy w August 27, 2009 at 7:15 am

wierd.i have had mirena for almost two years now, and have never had any problems. well except the first 3 months.

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Heather @ Not a DIY Life August 27, 2009 at 10:58 am

Wow. So glad you found the source of the problem. I understanding the debilitating effect of migraines. Mine are triggered usually by stress or dehydration. I do have a few food triggers, but I know to stay away from them.

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GIna August 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

Hi Christine. I’m so sorry to hear that you had been experiencing such horrible pain. I’ve never had a migraine but I’ve witnessed my husband with them many times and it’s not something I’d wish upon my worst enemy.

That said…I also had a horrible experience with Mirena. Come to find out, it’s really common to have one of many side effects. Even though we paid over $600 out of pocket for mine since it wasn’t covered on insurance (but we figured it was equivalent to BC pills over the 3 year period (ha)), I had my dr remove it about 9 mos later and never experienced the pain and illness that I did with it. I know of a handful of friends in similar situations – one with the same migraines you described!

I think it’s great for the women who don’t experience the side effects and I’m happy for them. It’s just not for everyone. You might want to ask about Seasonique (sp?) – it’s a 3-mos cycle and has been good for me at least the last 12 mos. Best of luck!

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Sugar Jones August 27, 2009 at 11:00 am

OMG, dear… how awful! Glad to hear you figured it out.

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Melissa Multitasking Mama August 27, 2009 at 11:25 am

So glad you figured out what was causing your migraines! They can be debilitating- can’t imagine how you managed with a migraine and six kids. Good for you for remembering the potential side effects of meds- too often we take a treatment and forget it can cause problems of it’s own.

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kristin August 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Wow I have one. So glad you found out.

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Julie August 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

hi! I too, am a migraine sufferer. I’ve been getting them for nearly 21 years now…and I have seen an increase in the 4 months I’ve had the Mirena. I was extremely against having the IUD placed, but I was having hormonal imbalance issues, and my husband lost his job, so our insurance was running up so I gave in.
My good friend has had 2 ectopic pregnancies with this device, and she was the only person I’d known that had it.
As soon as my husbands new job lets me have insurance (5 more months!?), I’m going right back to the doc and asking them to take it out. Or at least discuss the options. I know what you mean when you say you can’t get that time back. I now wake up nearly every morning with a migraine and it takes my medication at least 1.5 hours to kick in + my morning caffeine, which everyone advises me against.
I wish you luck with your fight against migraines, and to figure out a way of family planning that works out for you guys!

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Liz August 28, 2009 at 7:00 am

This sounds so familiar! I have had the Mirena for 2 years, (after my 2 year old was born) and I have been dealing with so many side-effects since I’ve had it! I have told others about how I’ve felt since I’ve had my Mirena, and most people blow it off, or act as if they don’t believe it to be possible. But I too have read about all of the awful side-effects that Mirena can cause, and look forward to having mine taken out. Thanks for writing this post, and I am glad you have felt better since having this removed. :-)

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LyndiLou August 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

You you poor thing… I’m SOOO glad you’ve figured it out! It makes me happy to know that you’re feeling more like yourself these days! Phew!!!

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Sabrina September 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for the information, I will definitely be on alert if I have any of these side effects. I also have a Mirena, I’ve had it for 3 years. The main side effect for me is decreased libido and have also noticed more mood swings. I know you aren’t a doctor, but have you heard if the copper IUD causes the same side effects?

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Kayty September 12, 2009 at 11:01 am

Sabrina -

I had the Paragard copper IUD for 2 years before getting the Mirena this past April. I just had the Mirena removed 2 days ago due to severe headaches every day lasting pretty much from lunchtime until bedtime. (And also weight gain after being very stable in that department for months) Anyway, the only side effects I experienced with the copper IUD were local: increased cramping and bleeding during/around the time of my period. These side effects were tolerable, but unfortunately I was already anemic and prone to heavy periods, and the increased bleeding made the anemia even worse, which results in fatigue. That was the nice thing about the Mirena, hardly any bleeding! Oh well, now I’m just using condoms. So sick of birth control. Thinking about maybe getting my husband to get a vasectomy.

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Andee June 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I also had the copper IUD for almost 10 years and NEVER had these symptoms that I have experienced with the Mirena.

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Lucy September 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm

My whole life changed at the same time as starting a new birth control. I had horrific migraines for 20 days straight. Im telling the story over at my blog. The doctors say that it was not the birth control but I disagree.

Im glad that you figured this out. Congrats on the anniversry too. Where does the time go?

Lucy

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Summer October 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

I have had the mirena for about a year and a half and I am having very bad neck and back pain. I have done PT, Chiroprator, facet blocker shots. They say I have a herniated disc in my neck but they could hav been there for years. I am thinking about having it taking out but wanted to know if anyone had this awful neck pain? It feels like my necka nd shoulders just ache, feel warm….I don’t know what to do and the next step is surgery for the hernaited disc but a friend told me to check out a website talking about the Mirena and it got me thinking! Please let me know, any info can help me make this decision!

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Andrea October 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I have had mirena for the past six months, although I’ve suffered neck and back pain from a car accident a few years ago my pains have definitely seemed to be worse since mirena. Moreso I’ve suffered from severe headaches, I never suffered migraine prior to having mirena inserted and have had 6 in the past 6 months.

I have also put on a few kgs which no amount of diet or exercise will move and have absolutely no sex drive!
I’m pleased to say that i’m having Mirena taken out tomorrow …. bring on getting my body back to normal!

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Christina December 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Shortly after I had the Mirena implanted I began experiencing migraines, severe neck pain (like someone took a baseball bat too me), dizziness, nausea, moodiness, and my personal and professional lives went downhill. Almost daily things would get so bad that I could not drive, or barely walk for that matter. Then, after numerous doctor visits (7 doctors/specialists total) I decided to take things into my own hands. Against the advice of my family doctor I had the Mirena removed. She had claimed she NEVER heard of the Mirena giving someone migraines and that having the Mirena removed would not fix my problem. Guess what? Six months have now passed. I have not had a migraine since I had the Mirena removed and my life has returned to normal!!

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Christine April 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I’am so shocked to hear all these stories regarding Mirena. I have had Mirena for 3 months and also have been having horrible neck pain and headachs! I went to see my doctor and she said there is no way the Mirena was causing it! she wants me to go to physical therepy, I dont know what to do:(

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Christine - From Dates to Diapers April 21, 2012 at 1:48 am

It never fails to amaze me how many women experience the same symptoms while on the Mirena. I was certain that the Mirena was the problem for me. My doctor retracted her original statement about the Mirena in no way being the cause of my neck problems and headaches… She cautions all of her patients who desire this particular IUD that there is a possibility.

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kathy December 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

i too have been having horrible migranes, in the back on my neck, and into the lower portion of back of my head.i started googling reasons i could get these migranes. i am not under too much stress, i eat fine, im only 22 years old! its not normal for me to have these headaches, and on top of that i have lumps on/near my ovaries, and the doctors dont know what they are! i love mirena, i have had it for 2 years now, i never get periods, and its great for me because i forget to take the pill, and the patch falls off.i already have two babygirls! but i have all of these health problems now? lumps and headaches? before i got the mirena i was perfectly healthy! never an issue! now i have to sleep alllll day because it hurts to hold my head up, and when i do have to get up i have to hold my head to the left, or im in excrusiating pain.i am going to talk to my doc. about taking mirena out-im thinking it could be the cause of my health issues.

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Andee June 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm

OMG! A friend of mine just sent me this blog post. I am going to my OBGYN tomorrow and insisting he takes this out. Not only have I been having horrific debilitating migraines, but a constant headache regardless and every other symptom you mention. I do think it is evil. The worst decision I have ever made .

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Melissa Stokes September 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I have the debilitating migraines as well… I see a neurologist and he’s not even sure whats going on with me. I had an MRI and nothing showed up. He wants to try Botox on me and I’m skeptical, but want relief. My husband is a U.S. Marine and is rarely home, but when he is I get pregnant… So I had the mirena put in after my second son and didn’t have many problems other than my headaches.. now we have a 2 yr old little princess.. so I’ve had this mirena in for 2 years now, it seems that as time goes on I’m not happy anymore especially with my hubby being in Japan and missing everything. I’m always stressed, but on top of that I feel like I’m a horrible mother to my 3 wonderful kids because mommy is always in pain and can’t move from having migraines that my mom has to take care of my kids a lot. I’m wondering if I should just go ahead and take out the mirena and if I get pregnant when he comes home, so be it.

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Christine - From Dates to Diapers September 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Hi Melissa! I would venture to guess that the Mirena could be the cause of your migraines, but I would recommend you see your doctor and discuss your symptoms with him. Giving up control over planning your family is a huge leap of faith and one that should be met with much prayer. I’ll be praying for you!

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Loralee Perkins October 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I have had Mirena in for almost three months now and have I am experiencing the same symptoms as you Christine. I am scheduled to have it removed on Monday so hopefully this will help me. I have been to the er twice and 5 shots later still experiencing pain in my neck shpooting to my head. with the worst headache in my life. They did a ct and everything came back ok so they just ruled it a severe migraine. This has been going on for a week and a half straight!!!! Can not wait to get it out.

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Christine - From Dates to Diapers October 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Wow, I am so sorry Loralee! Please let me know if removing the Mirena helps.

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

This website inspired me to have my IUD removed…..I have been hospitalized 6 times with multiple ER visits all for migraines this year. I had my Mirena placed in April 2011 and almost immediately had a migraine that ended me up in the hospital. I do have a history of migraines, but these are different. I pressure and tightness in the head/face/neck/shoulders. I’m also moody and do not want to do much of anything. I feel like a terrible mother because i have been in pain this last go round for almost 2 months straight. I recalled reading this blog back in April and found it again and said that’s it the mirena is coming out! Not only did I have headaches that kept me in bed or in the hospital, but I had ovarian cysts and well low libido. I want “me” back. The mirena came out yesterday and I only had a slight headache today! I already see an improvement. Thank you!!

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Christine - From Dates to Diapers December 15, 2011 at 3:55 am

I am so glad you are already seeing an improvement in your health, Kim! Removing the Mirena was the best decision I made for my body!

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Amanda January 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I have a question for some of the other Mirena users out there. Have any of you had a feeling in you stomach like you have a baby there. Every day I have the movement feeling, I have taken multiple preg. test and they have all came up negative, even the blood test still neg. I am lost I have talked to my doctor and he has stated that is probably my intestinal track. Also I was a migraine suffer before I got this thing placed and now after two years they have gotten 10 time worse. I get sick to my stomach and no on will do anything. Mine get so bad i have to go to the ER so they can give me pain meds. That is wrong right. but I have other options for I am a disabled vet out of the Army and I only have the VA for medical.

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Stephanie September 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

I have experienced this “fluttering” feeling quite a bit and thought I was crazy! I’ve also been having a crazy amount of migraines AND neck and upper back pain. I am so glad I came upon this site! Thank you!

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Marlie March 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I have had the mirena for a little of a month. For the past 8 days I have had the WORSE Migraine in my life and I have never had one before. I went to a doctor 3 days ago she told me it was a virus, so I went to another one today in the ER and he said it was just a bad migraine and gave me asprin. I am living in the UK and got the mirena for free which is why I opted to get it now. I had the implanon for 3 years and on the 3rd year started with horrible side effects. I had hoped with the mirena I would be free, but I am going to the doctor that inserted the mirena tomorrow to get it taken out. I will try anything to get rid of this migraine!! Nothing is working..

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Karrina March 30, 2012 at 12:54 am

Wow this was helpful and somewhat scary. I got the mirena put in two days ago and have had really bad headaches and dizzy spells all day today. This is definatly not good considering im a full time mommy with my 1month old baby at home all day alone. Is two days too early to call the dr?

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Michelle August 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I just came upon this site recently, after hours of searching the web! All these people have been so helpful. I got my Mirena put in 2 weeks ago, and for the past 3 days i have had the worst, most severe headaches i’ve ever experienced in my life, also severe neck pain, which is stiff and i can barely move my head, and fevers. My highest fever was at 103.9!!! My husband had to give me a cold shower and put me to bed. When i woke up i sweated the fever out! (all 3 days i’ve been just sweating the fever out)
I’m also a full time mommy with a 9 year old, 2 1/2 year old and a 2 1/2 month old, all girls <3 I went to my OBGYN as a call in, i told them it was an emergency. Like all the other ladies have been saying, that their OB's say it's couldn't be the Mirena. Well I called BS and nicely asked for them to just take it out and i'll find other means of birth control.
That was yesterday and as of today, i still have some neck pain, but my head does not hurt as severely as it has been, and the fever has not come back since~( i had fevers 3 days straight, highest being 103.9, lowest being 101.2)
If your experiencing it now only 2 days, i would have it removed! After i had it put in, i just immediately didn't feel my self, especially having something foreign in my lady parts!
Please let me know the out come???

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harmony April 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Mirena is the most evil thing I had done. I had weird symptoms like I was being mind controlled, extreme fatigue, moodiness, nausea, migraines, hair was acting weird like it was moving and alive.. It was almost like it was an antena to something and it was controlling me. you name it I had it. I had it removed. Six months later I feel back to myself. So for any doctor who tells you it’s not the mirena, they are lying to you. Go with your intuition because doctors are in with the pharmaceutical companies and don’t care because it’s all about profit.

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Beth July 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’m so glad I came across this blog and all of the comments. I’m commenting to add my story to the chain for other women out there like me who are looking for answers. I took birth control pills for 5 years with no problems, and then started to get headaches. They started slow – one or two a week – just an annoyance. Then the headache didn’t go away. I had a headache behind my eyes and the bridge of my nose day in and day out, no matter what I did, for weeks. I felt like I was crazy. The doctor said “stress”, and I said “no”, and after a very long process of elimination we realized that it was the birth control. I stopped taking the pills, and the headache went away immediately. My doc said that my body changed over time and became sensitive to the hormones. Later that year, I had Mirena put in, and it has been great for nearly 2 years. But in the past few weeks I’ve had quite a few headaches (even a co-worker and my husband both commented “you’ve been complaining about headaches a lot lately”). Yesterday, the headache set in around noon, and it’s been with me for 26 hours straight. I called my OB-GYN and asked if it could be Mirena. She said “No, women don’t usually get headaches from Mirena because there’s no estrogen. Also, it doesn’t make sense that it would cause headaches after 2 years.” She told me to follow up with my GP. I think she’s wrong, I think it is Mirena, but we’ll see.

All of these stories just go to show: you have to be your own health advocate! We know our bodies and what is right and what is wrong – don’t take the doctor’s words as gospel. Doctors can only tell you what is statistically most likely to be the case. But the problem with statistics is that they only tell you about the group, not the individual.

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Stefanie July 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I have had Mirena for about 3 months when one day during sex I got the most horrible migraine that came on suddenly. It was so bad that I went to the ER because I thought I was having an aneurysm. I had a CT scan that showed nothing. They concluded it was a migraine and gave me pain meds that dulled the pain but never got rid of it. 2 days later I was woken from a sound sleep with the same pain…it came on suddenly and severely and since they said it was “just” a migraine I stayed home and took what migraine meds I had left. I had a history of migraines but they had gone away almost completely after several years of treatment. Then when I got pregnant I went off all the meds and they didn’t come back. My baby is 5 months old now and not only are they back, they are 10 times more painful than they ever were and they come on so suddenly after I have fallen asleep mostly. So after the second one took about 24 hours to let up with multiple doses of vicodin and maxalt and whatever OTC drug I could think to take, I saw a chiropractor the next morning. For a few blissful hours the pain was gone. It returned that night a few hours of sleep and landed me back in the ER. Both times they gave me benadryl, reglan and dilaudid. I believe this second time I also got Torridal. Again it diminished the pain and I went home. Well I had to travel that monday for work so I begged the ER doctors for a new script for maxalt and vicodin. I was terrified it would happen while I was away. I flew there on Monday. I was exhausted when I got to the hotel and went to bed early. Two hours after I fell asleep I was again awoken by the pain, this time so bad I could not keep from yelling. I can’t believe no one in the hotel called the police. I took my meds…like 4 doses of Maxalt and vicodin along with benadryl and ibuprofen. It didn’t subside until 11:30 the next day. The next two nights were repeats of the same nightmare. I had to call my boss and ask to go home early. That was a nightmare in and of itself because my connecting flight got cancelled and I had to fly into a different city and get my boss to pick me up and take me to the airport I parked my car at. Surprisingly I didn’t get a migraine that night. But I sure did the next night, after I’d been home about 24 hours and feeling so much better that I decided to try having sex again. That one landed me back in the ER because I had pretty much used up all my meds while I was out of town. And they treated me like an addict looking for drugs since it was my third visit in less than two weeks. They gave me the same meds but they were less affective this time…it was the next night before I really felt somewhat better. All this time, my boyfriend had jokingly said a couple times maybe it was the IUD. I ignored him because I know he wants another baby. But I got to thinking about it and googled it. I came across all these horror stories and saw that Mirena could be causing them. So I called my OBs on call service. It was a Saturday. She told me to see a neurologist and that if I really wanted it out I could call the office on Monday. She didn’t seem convinced it was the cause and said I needed to see someone to manage the migraines. Well my anxiety this whole time was so awful and now upon finding out it could be the Mirena, I didnt feel I could wait any longer. I talked to some friends and researched and decided to pull it out myself. It came out really easy and didn’t cost a thing. I’m not advising anyone to do this, but I was desparate. As long as there is no pain, it doesn’t hurt you to remove it yourself because that is all the dr does is pull, unless its embedded or something that is isn’t supposed to do. So that night i felt relieved and didn’t have a migraine that night. But I did the next night. It was somewhat less severe and responded better to the meds so I didn’t go to ER. The following night it came back and was probably one of the most severe I’d had yet. I went to ER. They treated me like an addict again and so I didn’t ask for the dilaudid. I told them I didn’t want narcs, just the other stuff. They ended up offering me vicodin, which I took that night and the next morning because it didn’t go away. I started researching home remedies. Last night I took melatonin and benedryl every couple hours and drank tons of water. I didn’t get one but I’m exhausted and starting to get really depressed. I just hope it doesn’t take months to resolve. I’m seeing a neuro next week just to make sure its not something else, but I really think it was the Mirena that triggered this whole nightmare. But I don’t ever think I’ll ever really know for sure. I’m at the point where I’m afraid to go to sleep. And I’m going to have to give up breastfeeding in order to go on meds for the headaches. I had to start working from home this week because I’m afraid to go out by myself. Thank god my boss is letting me do that, but its only temporary and I can’t stay home forever. The anxiety as it approaches bedtime is debilitating. Idk what else to do.

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Jasmine Easter August 16, 2012 at 5:57 am

Strangely enough I had an amount opposite experience. I developed migraines when I was around 20 years old that were triggered by hormone changes specifically right before my periods. I ended up having a Mirena put in because I was no longer allowed to use birth control pills because of the type of migraines I had. After getting the Mirena put in I stopped having periods and actually stopped having major migraines and even though I would still get occasional mild migraines I stopped having such a complete fear of migraine attacks. That was 4 years ago and recently I decided to have my Mirena removed since I wasn’t in a serious relationship and my sister convinced me I would be more natural and healthy if I did. A few weeks ago I had my 3rd period since having the Mirena removed and with it came a horrendous migraine. I was camping and since I hadn’t had a major migraine in four years I didn’t have my medication with me. I spent over 18 hours vomiting and going in and out of consciousnesses the pain was so bad. After the first 9 hours my boyfriend was able to get me to medical help I ended up vomiting blood and was put on an IV and finally recovered. I had forgotten how horrible my migraines were and how much Mirena actually had saved me. Needless to say I’m discussing my options with my doctor and probably going to get a new Mirena or some other form of hormone that will keep me from experiencing such a drop off in hormones each month that triggers my migraines.
Anyways Mirena isn’t evil it just is something that changes our hormones and for some that can be a really bad things, but for others it can be beneficial.

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Christine - From Dates to Diapers August 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience, Jasmine. I am so glad that the Mirena has helped you combat your migraines!

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