(Question is bolded toward the end of this post, if you don't feel like reading the rest, lol.)

A while back, a gal I consider to be my little sister was telling me about her awful periods—weeks of bleeding, lots of cramps, general awfulness (enough so to send her to the ER on more than one occassion). Upon hearing about all her misery, I recommended she get a hormonal IUD like Mirena, as it can shorten/lighten/stop periods. She told me that the problems she's having are probably because of endometriosis (I don't know if they've done the procedure to confirm the diagnosis, but they're pretty sure that's what it is). After a bit of research, I told her that a number of doctors have been using hormonal IUDs to treat/manage endometriosis! From WebMD:

Also, the hormonal IUD:

  • Reduces heavy menstrual bleeding by an average of 90% after the first few months of use.1
  • Reduces menstrual bleeding and cramps and, in many women, eventually causes menstrual periods to stop altogether. In this case, not menstruating is not harmful.
  • May prevent endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial cancer.
  • May effectively relieve endometriosis and is less likely to cause side effects than high-dose progestin.3
  • Reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  • Does not cause weight gain.

(emphasis mine)

I told her to go to her doc with the research I sent her, along with the info I passed along to her about Skyla, the hormonal IUD created by the makers of Mirena and released in January of 2013, specifically made for women who haven't given birth. (The differences between Skyla, Mirena, and ParaGard, for those who are curious, can be found here.) She's relatively young (20) and childless, which I'm guessing is one of the reasons that her doctor did indeed decide to go with Skyla.

(Sidenote, though, from that excellent comparative article—"Skyla isn't as effective as Mirena at stopping periods altogether. "For most women using Skyla, their period won't stop altogether. Only one in 17 Skyla users stop having a period after a year, and about one in eight have no period if they use it for longer. Compare that to Mirena: about one in five Mirena users stop having a period after a year, and one in three if they use it for longer." Also, Skyla only lasts for 3 years, rather than the 5 years you get with Mirena.)

She texted me quite excitedly yesterday to let me know that her Skyla was being shipped, and soon that precious piece of plastic will hopefully be resting comfortably in her uterus. She has a question or two, though!

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She asked, "Of all the things you've seen about Skyla, have you seen anything about an 'adjustment period' to it or anything like that...?" I'm going to open that question up to all of you, and extend it to Mirena as well.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of "adjustment period" she's talking about, but as soon as she clarifies, I'll let y'all know.

Anyway, any input, stories, or advice you have about hormonal IUDs you share would be GREATLY appreciated. I'd love to be able to tell my awesome "little sister" everything she needs to know, what she should be expecting, and all that jazz. =D

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(I would include a gif, but I don't feel like doing any citations, so. =P)