Potential dangers of an IUD?
It's a controversial topic and many women have polar opinions and get quite emotional about their choices to have a hormonal IUD or not.
This article is not about passing judgement on anyone, but to make ladies aware of the possible dangers, as they are very real and often not fully explained.
Even worse many women don't realise their symptoms are associated with the device. Please read this article carefully as I will outline many possibilities that are often not recognised.
Clinically I have seen the downside of these devices and I believe women are not being sufficiently informed about the consequences. And these are just the known ones. Many doctors and women don't understand the secondary consequences of these devices on the endocrine system and beyond.
The first thing to understand is that although the amount of progesterone from hormonal IUD’s is low compared to the contraceptive pill, the effect is large.
Hormone levels in the blood are very different to the tissue amount in the uterus, but the influence is the same.
The direct signalling from the progesterone impacts on the larger endocrine control, as it identifies a large amount of progesterone in the uterus. This inhibits the natural body process of a menstrual cycle; and tricks the body into believing it's pregnant, hence the reduction in periods for most women.
So don't be misled into believing it's safer because the level of progesterone is lower.
Inhibition of a natural cycle
By inhibiting the period, you block a vital natural route for women to detoxify each month.
Hormonal IUDs may take away the symptoms of a monthly period, however, it's like blocking up a drain. If the body can't release these toxins and cleanse the uterus, it's a very dangerous game to play; and the medical community just doesn't recognise this factor.
Once the body cannot cleanse itself on a regular basis, toxins accumulate, blood flow is reduced, and a myriad of symptoms start to occur as a result - such as weight gain, feeling sluggish and tired, depression and anxiety to name a few.
Don't let anyone tell you that not having a period is safe. Treat the cause of your symptoms in the first place and there is no need to block a period.
Treating hormonal imbalances with hormones
Very few integrated practitioners, let alone mainstream GPs or Gynaecologists understand the deep impact of using hormones to treat hormonal imbalances.
Simply by giving the body a hormone, it should be producing, it then reduces the production of that hormone itself. i.e. giving progesterone in hormonal IUDs then turns off your own production of progesterone. There are several flow-on effects from this mechanism controlled by your hypothalamus/pituitary axis in the brain which controls hormone levels.
The main effect is that oestrogen then becomes unopposed by natural progesterone. This leads to a very common condition called oestrogen dominance, mainly seen in women 30+; however, it can occur at any age.
The epidemic of peri-menopausal women who all tend to suffer from oestrogen dominance is a testament to this fact.
Then once you reach menopause, the body has a reduced ability to manufacture its own hormones, hence the epidemic of menopausal symptoms. Here is an article on Oestrogen Dominance.
Slow drip hormones
Now you have to consider the slow drip feeding of synthetic hormones into the body. The long-term impact of these hormones on the liver and endocrine system are not considered. The thyroid reduces function; blood sugar levels are affected, causing binge eating and sugar cravings; fatigue sets in as the adrenals reduce their output. Adrenal fatigue is becoming more and more common with progesterone creams, and hormonal IUDs are one of the most common causes.
The master endocrine controlling gland - the pituitary - receives false messages about hormone levels, so it adjusts the body's own natural production leading to further imbalances.
Some women don't understand that the weight gain, fatigue, depression, mood swings, anxiety, migraines and skin breakouts are all coming from the IUD; and think that because they no longer get painful periods, that everything is fine.
Hormones need to fluctuate, and a blanket dose for 5 years - as in hormonal IUDs, just isn't natural and sends your natural cycles into disarray.
Disturbed sleep can be a common cycle that gets disrupted. However, there are hundreds of cycles in a woman's body that are linked to her menstrual cycle which can be disturbed. And of course, none of these is ever linked.
Depletion of nutrients
It's ironic that the very nutrients needed for hormone metabolism are the ones depleted by synthetic hormones: Zinc, B vitamins, Chromium, Magnesium and even Calcium. All these nutrients are known to be depleted by synthetic hormones and are needed for the correct breakdown of hormones. Eventually, the level of circulating hormones is elevated and leaves women wide open for the development of oestrogen dominance and hormone-dependent cancers.
Finally, and hard to quantify is the emotional link to the imbalanced hormone levels. It's impossible to test for via blood or even saliva because hormone levels are normal, but are shifting erratically - which leads to mood swings, anxiety, and depression with antidepressants the first treatment option for what essentially is a hormonal imbalance linked to the hormonal IUD. Here is an article on Depression linked to hormonal imbalance for your interest.
The most common hormonal IUD, the Mirena has become big business for law firms in the U.S., as class action suits are taken against the manufacturer, Bayer.
My concern is not so much about the immediate trauma of the Mirena, as this is identified and treated. It shouldn't happen in the first place; and in time the Mirena will be taken off the market because of these dangers.
I am more concerned about the silent hidden effects which many women who happily comment that they have not had any problems with the Mirena - yet are on anti-depressants, thyroid medication, can't lose weight - and don't link it back to the common cause.
A quick Google of MIRENA will bring up countless stories about the device, yet it seems to still be the first treatment choice for doctors.
We see thousands of comments about how hormonal IUD's have been the worst thing women have ever done for their body. In defence, there seems to be an equal amount of women who testify to have no issues with the Mirena physically.
My point is to look deeper - as often there are underlying health issues which may never have been linked. There are just too many women commenting about the impact on their lives, not to take it seriously.
In my opinion, hormonal IUD's need an independent enquiry into its safety rather than relying on Bayer research and doctor-reporting of adverse reactions.
Treat the cause, not the symptoms
Unfortunately, it's an all too common story for women from a supposedly simple treatment option. In fact, hormonal IUDs have become a first-line treatment option when it should be the last.
Just like antidepressants are a first-line prescription when other lifestyle options should be first investigated.
If the real cause of the excessive bleeding or painful periods was treated in the first place, with natural options of diet, lifestyle and safe herbal combinations, this sometimes tragedy would be avoided.
Happy Healthy YOU has a program that addresses these imbalances and allows the body to heal itself so that painful periods and heavy bleeding are no longer an occurrence.
By focussing on the larger endocrine imbalance that is the root cause of the problem, it allows everything to fall into place; and women can lead a happy, healthy life; rather than being stuck in a mire of emotional and physical symptoms.
Think seriously about the real and hidden consequences of a hormonal IUD. I do not have any alternative motive in pointing out problems with hormonal IUDs. It's just that I have seen too many, to remain quiet.
Actually, I should be encouraging them - because they cause the hormonal imbalance which the Happy Hormones program treats!
We just can't sit around and watch women suffer unnecessarily. If you're looking for a natural solution to your hormonal issues, I encourage you to read some of our other articles or download our free 8-Week Program.
We also have an in-depth free Happy Hormones e-Book which explains the real causes of hormonal imbalances.
If you feel your symptoms may be linked to a hormonal imbalance triggered by any form of hormonal contraceptive I would suggest as a first step to take our comprehensive women's health assessment. We will send you a personalised report outlining your symptom profile and how to take proactive steps to balance your hormones.
Share this post to help build the awareness of hormonal imbalances, so that other women can find natural solutions.
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Sun, X., Xue, M., Deng, X. et al. Clinical characteristic and intraoperative findings of uterine perforation patients in using of intrauterine devices (IUDs). Gynecological Surgery. 2018; 15, 3.
Rowlands, S., Oloto, E., & Horwell, D. H. Intrauterine devices and risk of uterine perforation: current perspectives. Open access journal of contraception. 2016; 7, 19–32.