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My Daughter's IUD Nightmare

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Health/Safety and Fundraising for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Breast Cancer Awareness.


The Horror of Birth Control gone bad...

Picture this... A delightful and happily married young couple with a 5 year old boy welcomes their brand new baby girl to complete their dreams of their complete family. Mom, 23 years old, chooses to use a IUD 4 months after their daughter's birth. Good for up to 5 years? GREAT! OK, maybe not so great...

This is a storyline of my eldest daughter's short, but negative, experience with a contraceptive IUD. I advise every woman to take care, choose best for their circumstance, and listen to their body's changes and physiological messages with any implanted or pharmacological contraception.

Feeling like the Flu...

Sunday, May 16

Feels like the flu? Nauseated, dizzy enough to pass out, and crampy. Bad enough to go to aftercare. Doctor suggested she go to regular doctor tomorrow.

Monday, May 17

Visited Doctor's office for exam and blood tests... "Go to Emergency". Went, treated for a 'bug" and released.

Tuesday, May 18 - Thursday, May 20

Trying to get over the "bug"...

Not the Flu!

Friday morning, May 21

Call from the Doctor's office revealed that the white blood count is unbelievably high. Go to emergency NOW!

Still not sure what's going on. Appendicitis?


Emergency Room and Surgery...

In the Hospital ~ Day 1

Friday, May 21:(continued) 11:30 pm...

After 13 hours in the emergency area and treated for severe dehydration while waiting for massive amounts of test results, emergency surgery revealed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease! WHAT?!?

The surgeon cleaned out massive infection and removed appendix just in case.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? - PID? Are you kidding?

This term is mostly used in regard to a sexually transmitted disease. Nope! Not this time. Maybe used like a catchall phrase like "virus" and "bug".

WebMD: What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

In the Interim

May 22-26

Found out from testing that her IUD caused the infection. Recovering from surgery, Ouch. IUD will be removed Wednesday...

Scroll to Continue

It's getting hard to breath. Wants to sleep in her own bed, or even on her side, but can't breath that way. Draining and airway tubes, IV's and monitoring wires get in the way, too. Cat naps seem to be the only option.

Her husband is trying to keep up with work, who can help take care of the kids, and trying to visit his wife in the hospital when he can. He sometimes works 10+ hours a day, and they live 30 minutes away from the city, so this is tough.

My daughter does not want to scare her kids by having them visit her yet. She feels horrible and doesn't look her best, either.

She's really not up to visitors at all.

I'm not saying Mirena was the culprit. I'm also not saying it wasn't.

What I will say is that my daughter was a prime candidate for IUD success, her doctor is well known in our area as dedicated and highly respected.

Not Getting Better yet

More Minor surgeries. Although she doesn't think they're minor.

Thursday, May 27

2 drains installed in the pelvic area to reduce the fluids building up. This really hurts since you are not sedated. Just something to take the edge off and a local anesthetic.

Some of the pressure is gone, but still can't breath well, and it's getting even harder. Oxygen level is very low so the telemetry monitor ringing is driving her, the nurse and med techs crazy. Her heart rate rises occasionally, too. Up goes the oxygen. AGAIN. And a bloody nose because of the constant flow of forced air. The nurse added moisture to be directed through her oxygen cannula to help.

Friday, May 28

She has fluid around her lungs. A drain was inserted into the lung lining using the same process as above and removed a liter of fluid, although they didn't leave the drain in place like the pelvic procedure. Should help almost immediately according to the surgeon. We really hope so. It's hard to see her struggle to breathe like an elderly emphysema patient.

Pleurisy?!? How the heck did this happen?

  • Pleurisy: Causes, Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment of Pleurisy
    Is this topic for you?This topic provides information about pleurisy, which usually results in chest pain. If you have chest pain that concerns you and that your doctor does not know about, see the topic Chest Pain.What is pleurisy?Pleurisy is swelli

The Hospital Angels - She Thanks the Nurses and Med Techs she sees on a daily basis

Human Pin Cushion

Human Pin Cushion

Countdown: 15 Days of the Human Pin Cushion...

and countless testing and costly procedues

She's had:

* multiple IV sticks for medicines and fluids including Ringer's Lactate, Saline, Sodium Chloride, Potassium, sedatives, and antibiotics

* blood tests

* blood cultures

* 45+ shots including Heparin (blood anticoagulant) which is given 3 times a day. The Heparin goes in both her upper thighs, so she really does look like a pincushion. She also has veins that are hard to locate, so there might be a few attempts to get it right. The dedicated I.V. team is the BEST at this and gets it right the first time with the least pain. Always! She's since learned from experience to ask for this team for new IV's.

* at least 5 CT (a.k.a CAT) scans

* at a guess, 3 chest x-rays.

Not that she cares yet, but I can't imagine the total cost of all this. I'm hoping her health insurance will not have co-pays beyond the hospital stay.

So homesick...


Misses the hubby, the kids, and her regular bed! Since the hospitalization she hasn't seen her kids. First it might have been too scary to see mom so sick. Then it got to the point that mom would get sad, start crying and scare them, and bring on the ultimate of homesickness.

Feeling Better and Hoping to Go Home...soon!

Friday, May 28

The Doctor was right! She really can breath much better! And surprisingly, this didn't hurt as much as the other drains.

Saturday, May 29

She did have a little setback with her breathing and heart rate and probably has more fluid around her lungs. Her surgeon will make the determination Monday, May 31 if she'll need a draining again or if medication will resolve the problem. She really doesn't want to the procedure again, but it will get her home faster.Hopefully she'll be able to go home soon, She'll need some help from the visiting nurse service for a while in order to heal completely. She also has a lot of family to lend a hand. Some have left their lovely comments below.

Getting better, but THAT HURTS!

Saturday, May 29

Had a chest X-ray to see if there is more fluid buildup because of yesterday's breathing difficulties. The Doctor won't be in on Sunday so the results won't be available until Monday.

Sunday, May 30

She finally felt good, and yup, miserable enough to want to see her kids on day 9. So happy to see them, but sad not to be going home with them, too. Her son left a note on the patient info whiteboard..."I love you Mommy!". I think he may have had help. Did I mention he's 5?

Monday, May 31

OK, the hospital is like any big institution (I didn't say government, did I?) The Radiologist won't be in today, so the chest x-ray results will be available Tuesday. But her husband brought their son in for a visit again. Left the baby with his other loving grandma and grandpa.

Tuesday, June 1

No breakfast beyond one of yummy cocktails (um... not) because she needs a CT scan to check on the progress of her pelvic drains.

The options according to the Doctor are:

1. One or both might be removed since so little is draining now.

2. The reason they aren't draining is because they may need to be redone or repositioned. Oh no!

The end result... the one that hurts and bothers her so much is removed. YES!!! Oh, and she need to have the lining around her lungs drained again because of more fluid build-up... and AIR Pockets!?!

Even though she seems to be breathing better for the most part, regretfully she may be getting used to the lower lung capacity. She didn't mention it but I'm thinking this will mean a couple more days.

Wednesday, June 2

Scheduled for the lung draining... results to be updated when received.

UPDATE: Um, didn't happen. Delayed all day. At 7pm, the new was would happen in 1-2 hours. The response, put in more delicate terms was essentially, screw that! She was starving since she had NOTHING by mouth since midnight the night before.

Thursday, June 3 (DAY 14)

Nothing by mouth again after midnight last night. She was put on the fast track though and was taken to the CT Scan room to have a chest tube inserted. Sedated and very happy.

Went very well with no pain this time during the procedure. Mid afternoon she started to feel sore, then felt like someone punched her in the back. The reason? She hadn't been using the full capacity of her lungs for 2 weeks. Think aching muscles after a really hard work out.

Finally on the Mend?

Her blood white count is now about 15,000. Should be between 4000 and 10,000 to be infection free and able to leave the hospital. Much closer to going home if she can get off the supplemental oxygen and white count is within normal range. My husband is nervous about this, but she can go home with the chest tube drain. She will have a visiting nurse service for a while.

Friday, June 4 (DAY 15 morning)

Her oxygen levels are getting better, and she can breath on her own with less difficulty, although she still still feels really sore doing so. She's been slowly getting better at carrying the lung draining measuring box around when she needs to get UP. Not quite up to talking a walk around without a purpose beyond elimination, though, as she tires easily. The fluids draining from around her lungs are slowing. Good sign?

Friday, June 4 (continuation of DAY 15 late afternoon and evening):Lung checks by stethoscope are showing marked improvement. The lung and the remaining pelvic drains are removed! I forgot to ask her but her white blood count must have been discovered to be within normal range because...she's going HOME!

She is required to take an Oxygen machine and a spare tank system home to use when she sleeps and naps since breathing slows to unacceptable levels during these times. She will also start visiting nurse service starting tomorrow. She will also need to come back to the hospital to have a chest x-rays to make sure her the lining around lungs are not filling again. Does she care? Nope, cuz she's going HOME!

Home Sweet Home!

Friday night, June 4th... and beyond

After an extended release process (may not have been, but just felt like it) and truly, a really long wait for her prescriptions to be filled at a local pharmacy, she's home by 9:30 pm. Aaah, to see her husband all day when not at work and her kids ALL day! And she gets to sleep in her own bed, too. Although she can't leave the nightmare behind entirely at the hospital since she will be reminded with the need of the added oxygen, she is thrilled to be home at last.

She will need other help beyond the visiting nurse service since she's been ordered not pick up her 9 month old baby. That can get a little rough since it's usually a requirement to diaper and feed, so she'll need help when her husband is away for work.

Her husband is using yet another day of vacation on Monday so they can tie up any loose ends since the beginning of this episode.

Her mother-in-law and her mother are graciously hiring a babysitter to help out with the days when any of us can't step in and volunteer.

Cuddling the kids is a little tough, since she still hurts around the lungs, healing incisions, pin cushion thighs and numerous IV sites. Shes taken to getting her hug and cuddles from her son by sitting next to each other on the couch. For the baby she actually steps into and sits with her in the playpen fence which turned out to be a great investment for this and other uses.

But... it's not over yet until she gets the all clear from the hospital and her own doctors. I'd like to think the medical issues and trauma will be a faded, and not so painful, memory some day.

Keep your fingers crossed for them, won't you? They can use all the best wishes you might send their way, too.

4 months later, and still in recovery...

September 14th

My daughter, after all this time is still feeling the effects of this horrendous trauma. She still has aches in her side, abdomen, and back, and...


Her hair is thinning. For a now 24 year old who for a time was studying to be a cosmetician, this symptom has been unnerving to say the least.

These side effects could be due to the IUD, the surgery, or the anesthetic.

What birth control method would you use after this story?

© 2010 BWDuerr

Please sign my Guest Book - Anyone can leave a comment, so please do.

anonymous on December 29, 2012:

I had one never again. Then I had fight to get it taken out. They told I could not have another one in that was a lie, but why would I want to my body did not like it!

anonymous on July 18, 2012:

Getting mine in a few weeks. I've heard all the horror stories, but they're pretty rare. Nobody writes a multi-post blog about an uneventful experience, so all we hear are the terrible ones. I don't think it's likely it will be worst than my last birth control, which ended up giving me a 9-month-long period.Sorry to hear that it didn't work out for your daughter, but its still a great option for a lot of women. Very cost effective, very high efficacy rate, almost no risk of user error.

kimadagem on February 26, 2012:

I don't own a TV but am now staying with someone who has one and have watched it a bit. I notice that there are lots of IUD commercials showing. Of course they have the standard warnings that all medical commercials seem to show (I suppose they're required), but I wonder if anyone pays attention to them. When I was a nurse many years ago and learned about IUDs and how they were supposed to work (by irritating the uterine lining, I think) I was concerned because that didn't seem like a very safe way to prevent pregnancy. Your story is a lot more recent than my experience but it sounds like my safety concerns are still justified. I hope that your daughter has now recovered fully from her experience and has found a better method of birth control.

sherridan on January 09, 2012:

Oh my goodness - no way I would let my daughter have an IUD after this .

Aussie-Net LM on September 02, 2011:

Hope your daughter gets over this ok,all the best.I also had bad side effects,have a look at my mirena lens if you like :)

anonymous on July 24, 2011:

I am 21 years old, had the mirena put in last november. And my night after the insert of the IUD I was lying on my bathroom floor with night sweats, cold chills, vomiting, blacking out, and horrible contractions!! 8 months has past and I still get terrible back pains, mood swings, the worst acne I've ever had in my life!!! And now I am lactating!! I have an appointment for a blood test to see if I'm pregnant this week set up because I don't know if the IUD would affect a pregnancy test. But for sure, I'm giving this IUD one year and if there's not an improvement I'm getting it out!! I would never advise anyone to get the mirena!!

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on July 24, 2011:

I am so sorry for your daughter's experience. I have known so many people over the years who had serious problems with IUD's, starting with my mother when I was 14 years old. She actually became pregnant with the IUD, had a very complicated pregnancy which sadly did not result in a live birth. A friend of hers had a similar result months later. I later knew two young unmarried, childless women who had to have hysterectomies due to IUDs perforating the uterine wall. The experiences of all of these women, plus seeing what my mother went through, scared me off from ever using an IUD & being cautious about any artificial birth control in general. I hope your story will have a happy ending.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on July 24, 2011:

Scary to read about this.

EuroSquid LM on February 08, 2011:

This same story can be written about any medicine. People believe that if your doctor prescribes it, it must be safe. Imagine all of the stuff we put into our bodies everyday, assuming that it must be good for us. Wrong. Every time you use a medicine and many times that you take any kind of medical intervention you are taking a risk. Many times the benefits outway the risk (for example, if you have a severe infection). But other times they are not. Thanks for giving a much needed wake up call. Please update us. How is your daughter today? I do hope she is better.This lens has been blessed and featured on my lens "Thoughts Of A 2011 Squid Angel"

LissaKlar LM on January 13, 2011:

Every time a new contraceptive thing comes out someone I know has a problem with it so I would never try anything too new. What a horrible ordeal your daughter went through.

lemonsqueezy lm on September 10, 2010:

Perhaps the best lens I have ever read. I have 3 kids and my doc said she is using Merena... shucks... who am I kidding... EVERYONE I know is using the IUD. This is such a sad story on so many levels. I am glad to know that your daughter is home... with her little ones. :-) I hope that everything is going well.

myneverboredhands on August 09, 2010:

This is REAL NIGHTMARE! I wish your daughter get better. I would like to wish her forget about this soon, but I don't think it is possible...I'm using copper one, but only because it's the only option I have (nothing else worked...)

marsha32 on August 07, 2010:

yikes!! after years on the depo the health dept and my doctor said tie your tubes or get an IUD because the depo shot should only be used for 2 years, then it can deteriorate your bones.My daughter and I both are using Merena, but she's had major back aches, throwing up, headaches and such...test after test is showing nothing physically wrong with her...even cat scans....and they did check her IUD on her ER visits.I sent her the link to this lens to read.

Genesis Davies from Guatemala on August 06, 2010:

I've heard so many nightmare stories about IUDs that I would never, ever try them. Even people without serious problems end up losing their hair, feeling ill, etc. I personally can't use any hormone contraceptives either, so barrier and rhythm methods have worked best for us.

norma-holt on July 14, 2010:

What a nightmare. What some women go through. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

VarietyWriter2 on July 10, 2010:

Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on June 17, 2010:

Sorry to hear about your daughter's nightmare. Glad to hear she is now home. I wish her well and a speedy recovery. Thanks for sharing this difficult story.

Joan Hall from Los Angeles on June 07, 2010:

So glad to hear that she's home. She continues to be in our thoughts.

anonymous on June 02, 2010:

Hate to hear that Ericka is going through such an awlful time. Sending our prayers and wishes that this nightmare will be over soon, so Ericka can get back to her husband, her children, and her bed. Those are the things that seem to help up heal the best. Thanks to Beth for keeping us updated.

anonymous on June 02, 2010:

Just wanted to say...I feel so bad for her. I've never heard anything like this. One day it seems like she is getting better, then the next day not so good. Just so hard to believe an IUD can cause this. I know back in the day I had one, and it needed to be removed due to excessive bleeding. Hopefully girls read this and know that there are other options out there.

Joan Hall from Los Angeles on June 02, 2010:

What a nightmare. Prayers for your daughter and your family.

anonymous on June 01, 2010:

Hard to believe all this can happen to such a young, healthy, person. We send her love and caring, hoping she can go home very soon.

anonymous on June 01, 2010:

So glad you are doing better and I hope you will be home soon. Take good care of yourself once you get there and ASK FOR HELP!! We love you

Rachel Field on June 01, 2010:

Oh yikes! I hope she is 100% very soon. And congratulations on your purple star!

tssfacts on May 31, 2010:

Thank you for sharing your story. As a retired nurse I have seen this happen too many times. It sounds like your daughter had great medical help to get her through this. Of course, family support does wonders too.

Brookelorren LM on May 31, 2010:

Hope your daughter gets better soon. Congrats on your purple star!

anonymous on May 30, 2010:

Very well written Beth! Hope she is getting better.

Indigo Janson from UK on May 28, 2010:

So sorry to hear of your daughter's ordeal. I hope she starts to feel a whole lot better and can get home to her family as soon as possible. What a horrible time she has had. :( It is good to share these stories so others can be aware of the risk, but oh your poor daughter.

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