It’s a question I’m frequently asked...
At least 25 percent of women who are perimenopausal get heavy periods. Your monthly flow may get so heavy that you soak through a pad or tampon every couple of hours. Mirena should lighten your periods and put you into a more normal flow pattern. Perhaps you have a Mirena Coil fitted and have reached your early 50s and you have no idea whether you’re in menopause or not as you haven’t had a period for years? How do you know if you have reached this stage in life? Testing FSH levels is the only reliable way of checking1.
Facts about the Mirena Coil – what happens in your body when you have one fitted.
Mirena Coil is an IUD which partially suppresses ovulation — the release of an egg from its follicle — to stop you from getting pregnant. However, this doesn’t delay menopause as many women think. It appears that the Mirena or any other type of hormonal contraceptive — doesn’t seem to affect the time it takes to get to menopause2.
As you approach the age of perimenopause, generally in mid to late 40s, you may or may not experience the commons symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, brain fog and more, as the Mirena Coil only secretes progesterone. The symptoms of menopause are caused by falling levels of oestrogen3.
The Mirena Coil is often fitted in women not just as a method of contraception, but also to overcome very painful and heavy periods, and it can bring much-needed relief. Has it helped you?
In the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), your oestrogen and progesterone levels bounce up and down. These shifting hormone levels can make your periods lighter or heavier than usual.
The Mirena Coil is clearly an effective method of contraception but is also prescribed for women with heavy bleeding. This certainly helps to stem the flow but it can cause side effects4.
These symptoms can be due to the hormone progesterone in Mirena and include:
- tender breasts
- spotting or irregular bleeding
- cramps or pelvic pain
Plus, it doesn’t help menopausal symptoms caused by falling oestrogen levels.
You’re officially post-menopausal when you’ve not had a period for 12 months so you do not need to be worried about contraception. But how do you know that when you’ve had the Mirena Coil? And symptoms of menopause may continue for 10 years or more!
You need a backup plan. Your doctor can do a blood test to check levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and oestrogen. FSH helps regulate your menstrual cycle and egg production.
During menopause, FSH levels rise while oestrogen levels drop. A blood test can look for these level changes.
Your FSH levels can rise and fall throughout your cycle, so your doctor might need to take a couple of blood tests over time. They’ll also look for symptoms like hot flushes/flashes to determine whether you’re in menopause.
This will help you make decisions about finding ways to overcome the other symptoms. You can decide to go down the hormone replacement route or take the natural approach.
The natural approach
Get your body into good nutritional shape
We know from research that women often have low levels of important nutrients which can make menopausal symptoms worse, including magnesium, iron, iodine, chromium and essential fatty acids. It’s important that our brain chemistry and hormones receive those vital nutrients to help us function normally. so it’s vital to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.
Increase levels of natural oestrogen
In the lead up to the menopause and during,your ovaries no longer produce oestrogen, which results in your oestrogen receptor sites within the cells hunting for more. You need to take in naturally occurring oestrogen into your diet, so that you safely satisfy the needs of the receptor sites. Naturally-occurring oestrogens, known as phytoestrogens, are chemically similar to the oestrogen you had before, so you fool the brain into thinking you have got normal circulating oestrogen again. Consuming naturally occurring oestrogen can also prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and dementia – future proofing your health.
Take supplements that are safe
There are also lots of supplements you can take but be careful to check that your supplements are safe, so make sure they have been through properly conducted clinical trials. We would also recommend making sure you’re doing exercises and taking time to relax, as this will help with the symptoms of menopause.
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