I’m 43 and have been peri-menopausal for 2-3 years now. I have had a variety of hormonal problems over the years, one of which was a hyperactive thyroid and another was infertility due to hormonal imbalance, suspected but never definitively confirmed as having progesterone-deficiency as a major contributor.
I haven’t taken any hormone replacement therapy and I haven’t taken the contraceptive pill for over 10 years.
Over the last couple of years, my periods have intermittently been extremely heavy and prolonged. I have tried to control these occasions with natural solutions (internet research came up with a variety of herbal and vitamin supplements, plus natural progesterone cream) which have helped tremendously. Now however, nothing is working, I am having extremely heavy bleeding for weeks at a time with large clots and my GP has recommended I have a Mirena coil fitted. Looking up side effects on the internet is a scary process as very few people have anything good to say about either the IUD (no hormones) or the IUS (with the progesterone-type hormone) so I was hoping for a more balanced viewpoint.
I know pain is a very individual thing, but what kind of pain are we talking about? I had a dye test done on my ovaries which was uncomfortable but not horrific, I don’t have any problems with smear tests, I’ve had tattoos done without any form of local anaesthetic so my pain threshold is reasonable.
Looking up the manufacturer’s data sheets indicates that a lot of the bad side effects reported frequently on internet forums are uncommon (less than 1%) though there are plenty of side-effects that are more common (headaches, acne etc are 1-10%).
Does anyone have any positive stories? I’m running out of options other than endometrial ablation (which is non-reversible, though far less drastic than a hysterectomy). The bleeding is quite literally wrecking my life – I cannot drive for extended lengths of time without planning toilet stops so I can change my pads/empty my mooncup, I have to plan toilet breaks into my exercise programme (I’m very active and do aerobics / indoor rock-climbing etc 5-6 times a week), I have to carry spare clothes in case of accidents (I occasionally haemorrage which just floods everywhere).
Obviously I would rather not use synthetic hormones but I can’t carry on as I am, and it’s far better than surgery.