Using an IUD in Perimenopause
Have you been dealing with heavy and/or frequent periods? Are you tired of worrying where the bathroom is the entire time you have your period? Even worse, are you tired of never being able to predict when your bleeding will start…or stop? You are not alone! This is a common concern for women over 35. Often times the only solutions that these women are given are hormonal birth control or the hormonal IUD (Mirena).
The problem with “the pill” is that long-term use increases risk of stroke, heart attack, and blood clots. Even worse, that that these risks increase after age 35. Due to these risks many women are given the option of “the Mirena” which is tempting because it often stops bleeding completely, giving women with heavy periods a much needed break. This usually seems like a great solution to women, but as they reach their mid-40’s and enter into Peri-menopause the hormonal IUD (though only releasing a small amount of hormone directly into the uterus) can actually create an even greater hormone imbalance then the one that naturally occurring in their bodies.
So, what makes the Mirena so bad for women in Perimenopause? It prevents ovulation suppressing most, if not all, natural Progesterone production. Though progesterone production stops, it does not stop production of Estrogen (which is usually the problem in the first place when periods become heavy.) This leads to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone that some practitioners like to call, Estrogen Dominance. The result is:
- Mood swings
- LOW LIBIDO (made even worse by the synthetic progesterone, called progestin, that the IUD contains)
- Weight gain
- Low mood/ depression
So, does this mean that you have to live with those horribly, debilitating heavy periods? NO!
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I like to use Natural (Bio-identical) Progesterone along with diet and lifestyle changes to decrease the gap between the estrogen and progesterone and take you out of estrogen dominance. Natural progesterone helps to reduce the thickness of the uterine lining and slow down bleeding. In addition, because it is correcting the estrogen dominance, it will also help with other unwanted symptoms listed above.
Don’t just settle, book an appointment and get to know your options.
-Dr. Lisa Maddalena, ND