“I honestly thought I might die” Copper IUD. Hannah’s Story

Whilst some women seem to get on fine with the IUD- I was aware something wasn’t right from the start. I was prepared for the side effects listed- yet I was falling asleep for a short time and waking with my heart pounding out of my chest. This lasted for 2 weeks. Exhausted I went to the gp. I wanted the coil out. She referred me for counselling saying it was stress. I said nothing else in my life had changed. Only the coil. She said it was anxiety causing sleep issues.

I went back several times for various issues- weight gain, bloating, bled constantly if lightly for a year. I kept being told to give it just another month and the bleeding would stop. Constantly bits were coming out of me. I started to lose my hair after 3 months. Eventually, nearly a year after insertion I said it has to come out “I’ll be bald if I wait another 3 months” as I was on coil clinic list and number 14… this would have been spring. I had it removed and expected heavy bleeding for a couple of weeks. After nearly 3 weeks I bled so much in 24 hours I honestly thought I might die. It was about 5x what constitutes heavy. I was so weak 3 days after this I could not get out of bed. I went for a blood test the following day and got the results 10 days later. They said I’m severely anaemic and have to take extremely high iron for 3 months. Which I’m doing now but has affected my tummy. I’m sticking with it as I felt so weak and have a busy career and children to take care of. The doctor said it was probably all the coil and I should expect the hormones to settle in 3-6 months.

I should add that I’m a yoga teacher and three times that excessive bleeding happened during classes. It was extremely traumatic and I really caution anyone against taking the doctors word for it as being a contraceptive solution. The doctors do not suspect any underlying cause. This just can happen, they said. I wish I had known about these risks as it was more than terrifying and extremely disruptive to life and work.

Submitted on February 25, 2021

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