Worse Symptoms under Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system)

by Inga
(Augsburg, Germany)

Hello,
I am from Germany, 46 years old, 2 daughters (9 and 12). I was off chemical BC since I was 25 years old (did it the Knaus Ogino way and it worked out perfectly). After the birth of my second daughter in 2003 I suffered a lot: no weight loss after the birth, no energy, constantly tired, terrible mood swings - I felt like a monster. After some research of my own I was diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyreoditis and the thyroid hormones somewhat made everything better for a long while: I regained my energy, went out running again, lost a lot of kilos (and honestly, I think it was HT with anovulatory cycles!). In 2006 my husband went off with another woman, I was in deep despair. But strangely with all the hassle and strain I lost a lot of my previously stuck kilos and everyone kept on telling me how great I looked - though I felt as miserable as never before. At the beginning of 2011 I met my new partner and as I didn't want to take the risk of getting pregnant (though I think I was already on anovulatory cycles which hat not manifested their whole effet yet then), I went for the intrauterine contraceptive Mirena working on chemical progestins - to me as a non-medical person it seemed no risk. How wrong I was!! After 1.5 years of putting on weight constantly, fighting with blurred vision, dizziness, confusion, joint aches, shortness of breath, depressions and finally most terrible migraine attacks I began to see doctors about the symptoms. My general practitioner turned out to know not a thing about hormones or women in general, my gyn denied that the IU contraceptive would cause this kind of trouble. I again consulted the internet and found a lot of documentation on the stuff and decided to have it removed at the beginning of August 2012. In the middle of September I was bleeding terribly, but it stopped after a few days. Not so the symptoms which resembled very much my thyroid problems - but the thyroid levels were fine. So I kept researching and read about progesterone by chance on an American site about Hashimoto Thyreoditis. I had my hormone levels tested, the estrogen-progesterone ration was 1:0,08..., it shoud have been 1:200 (or more, as I read here). I was prescribed 10% progesterone cream by a doctor I found after research on the internet (again) and immediately felt an effect: I could lower the thyroid medication dose, my constipation and bloating vanished, I began to feel much more energetic... I used 200 mg of the creme daily from day 14 (I had all my life had a 28 day cycle), stopped, but my period took 7 days to start and I was somewhat worried I had overdosed the cream. After reading all the posts and Wry's comments I somehow feel relieved that this seems to be normal when beginning to use the cream. I now will start the cream on day 14 again and see, what happens. Hopefully I will get rid of the weight also, I already got rid of quite a lot of symptoms.... You are doing a great job - but what I don't understand is why your cream contains only 3.3% progesterone whereas you mention the benefits of dosing it higher at 10%? Kind reagard, Inga

Comments for Worse Symptoms under Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system)

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Nov 16, 2012
Curious
by: Anonymous

I just purchased NATPRO for the first time and love it. But, like the above comment, I also wonder why it does not contain more progesterone since you say most women need between 100 - 200 mg daily, or more. It seems that if it contained more per dose you would not have to use as much to obtain the desired effect. Is there anyway to increase the amount of progesterone in it without having it become a "prescription". Are there limits to the amount that you can put without it becoming a "prescription"?

Nov 17, 2012
Worse Symptoms under Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system)
by: Wray

Hi Inga I'm delighted the progesterone has helped you. You undoubtedly had post natal depression after the birth. Although in the past now, you might like to see our page on Pregnancy and this page here too. Progesterone drops sharply after birth sending about 25% of women into some sort of depression. But oestrogen doesn't drop and as this is known to slow the thyroid down, I feel your thyroid problems were more due to the imbalance between progesterone and oestrogen, rather than a problem with the thyroid itself. I think this is evidenced by the response you had to the progesterone, and the fact you could reduce the thyroid meds. I would hope in time you can come off them entirely. Vitamin D also benefits the thyroid too, see here, here and here. Please consider having a test and taking it if low. The Mirena has to be one of the worst drugs offered to a woman for continuous use. It does not release progesterone but a progestin called levonorgestrel. This has been shown to lower progesterone levels, plus impeding the blood flow in the uterine arteries, see here and here. Levonorgestrel is derived from testosterone, so has androgenic properties. This is the prescribing information here, and please see here too. You might like to read these comments here from women who've used the Mirena. In spite of your gyn denying your symptoms were caused by it, it does cause many adverse side effects. I'm pleased you had it removed. Your ratio was extremely low! No wonder you felt so awful. You are right, we've found from Saliva Tests we run, that the ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Continued below

Nov 17, 2012
Worse Symptoms under Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Inga It's interesting your constipation and bloating vanished, this doesn't surprise me. Oestrogen causes water retention and therefore bloating. It does this by drawing water from the gut. Whereas progesterone is an excellent diuretic, removing all the excess water, so constipation eases. There's more info about this on our page about Traumatic Brain Injury. We chose the 3.3% as a compromise between the majority of creams which are 1.6% and the higher levels. I don't actually say a 10% cream is better, it's the amount used which is critical. Understandably you would use less cream at a higher %, but in many respects I feel this is a disadvantage. Often women need to be able to spread the cream over their tummy to help with cramps. Or they have various areas which need treating, but can't as they have already applied the daily amount. Ot they need to use it hourly, in which case it would be very difficult to divide the tiny amount of cream needed for the daily requirement. I've found applying the progesterone directly to the problem area it works far quicker. We have thought about making a 10% cream, as others have asked, but it wouldn't reduce the cost by much, as the only gain would be less packaging, water and oil. These are minor costs in the overall production costs. A 10% cream would be an advantage to women who use 1000mg/day or more, so we might make one one day! Thanks for the kind words too. Take care Wray

Nov 17, 2012
Curious
by: Wray

Hi there I'm so pleased you like the cream! I hope my explanation to Inga helps you, it is something we've discussed before. We have experimented by making one, plus a 5% cream too. We've also tried making a progesterone in oil only, but have discounted that in view of this study here. You'll notice the peak level of progesterone for the oil base reaches only 1ng/ml, whereas the emulsion reaches 2.6ng/ml, what a waste of progesterone! As a user myself, I apply it to my face, neck and breasts every morning and night. I don't use any other skin care, this study here convinced me. I apply some in my vagina at night only. It tends to leak out when standing upright, so I don't use it there in the morning. Plus I rub it on other areas that I feel need it. So I go through a lot of cream, about 170mg/day, or 5ml (1tsp), about 2 1/2 tubes a month, sometimes more if stressed. There are so many laws in the various countries it's impossible to know each one. Some allow it as an OTC product without a script, some ban it! Take care Wray

Nov 18, 2012
Thanks!!
by: Inga

Dear Wray, thank you so very much for your comments and the additional information (you seem to me like some kind of progsterone wikipedia!). I will read through the articles - your feedback encourages me to carry on with the high dosage. I will be trying 300 mg right through my entire cycle this time, stop for five days for eventual bleeding and then carry on until I have the impression that things get even better the way they are know! If ever I ovulate (which I think I won't any more), I can lower the dosage. Thanks for giving the information so freely even though I don't buy your cream - I bet it is very good and will help a lot of people. Kind regards from Germany, Inga

Nov 19, 2012
Thanks!!
by: Wray

Hi Inga Your words made me laugh! I have looked into it for over 15 years now, such a fascinating subject. Plus I learn all the time from the women who use it. It matters not to me which brand of cream a person uses, I'm happy to answer all queries. But I would like to know how you get on with the higher amount. Take care Wray

Jan 29, 2013
Update
by: Inga

Dear Wray, I just wanted to give you an update on how I am getting along on a different, higher dosis. The feedback in the other posts encouraged me to try it. I used about 200 - 300 mg each day during the last 2 months, 100 mg in the morning and evening as a standard and 60 - 100 mg during the day. Whenever I felt after midday I was getting a headache or a hot face I put on some cream and everything arranged itself nicely. I am using a cream based on a lipid system which goes right into your capillary blood and it is quite expensive, so when I went to see my gyn last week and told her about the natural progesterone, she prescribed me Utrogest, a natural progesterone in a kind of soluble capsule which you can either swallow (which does not make much sense as I gather from your facts) or insert into your vagina. Each capsule contains 100 mg of progesterone and it seems to work nicely. I have the impression, though, that cream works better.
You were absolutely right about progesterone worsening symptons initially. I had the most terrible sore breasts in December for about 10 days before a tiny little bleeding started - I waited 5 days for more bleeding to start and went off the cream but it stayed very weak. Approaching this months end I don't have the SLIGHTEST symptons. No big breasts, no sore breasts, no back pain, though it feels sometimes like the bleeding was going to start any minute. I will wait on for another two days, then stop progesterone for 5 days and use it again like I did before. My gyn did an ultrasound and she said there was still some follicles in line - I definitely did'nt ovulate and I wonder if I will. I used to bleed very heavily - but the ultrasound does not show any sign of a thickened endometrium. Sorry for this lot of text, I thought you might want to know and the post might be helpful to others. I also use 10.000 IE vitamin D OIL every two days (on a tampon soaked in olive oil and inserted over night into my vagina as I was told it is best absorbed this way). I will have the results of the saliva test I took last week (on day 21 of my non-existing cycle and I am really curious about the results - initially my estrogen-progesterone ratio was 1:0,08...I you are interested, I will keep you posted. Thanks again for this useful site & Kind regards from Germany, Inga

Jan 30, 2013
Update
by: Wray

Hi Inga Many thanks for the feedback, no matter how long, I always find it invaluable. Oral progesterone doesn't work well....."The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. Vaginal capsules do work, but I find it a pity as progesterone is so good for the skin if applied topically, see here. It's the best thing for burns too! I find it works quicker if rubbed directly on any sore or achy patch. What I usually suggest with any oral capsule is to open them up, and empty the contents into a small amount of skin cream and apply that instead. Sorry you had Oestrogen Dominance it's so unpleasant! But very glad it went and now you're feeling so much better. I've not heard vitamin D is absorbed best in the vagina! It is absorbed well in the gut, provided there are oils or fats in the gut too, which there generally is. None of the specialists recommend this route, difficult for a man! Would love to hear the results of your test. And have you had your vitamin D checked too, that of course is a blood test. Take care Wray

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