40 answers

Hormones Out of Control

I am 26 and a pretty easy going person and can always see the positive side of things. In the last 3-4 months my hormones have been all over the place. I'm irritated A LOT, crabby, tired ALL the time (even after 8-9 hours of sleep), and will cry at the drop if a dime. This is not like me at all and I don't know what's going on! I have gained about 10-15 pounds and even after exercising (running and walking) daily and eating healthy (salads, lean meat) I can't lose a pound. I have the Mirena IUD and was wondering if this could be a contrubuting factor(everything started about 6 months after insertion). I took a pregnancy test (haven't had a period in three months but that's normal with the Mirena)....just to make sure and it came back negative....any ideas or suggestions?? I've already made a doctors appointment but they couldn't get me in for a month and I'm considering having the IUD taken out as I've experienced other side effects that I don't like (cramping, pinching when moving or sitting a certain way).

What can I do next?

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Yes! That is the Mirena.... Google it and see all of the other blogs about the effects of it. I know it is convenient but because it is progestin only its effects are way different than a birth control with estrogen. I was on it, and had it removed.

I have had the Mirena in for over a year and have not had any problems with weight gain or mood swings. The only problem I have ever had was spotting. I do diet and exercise regularly, but that is usually necessary to maintain an ideal weight.

Hi there- as an RN I would recommend getting a thyroid panel. you have a few of the classic symptoms of hypothyroid which thankfully are easily controlled with a one daily does of thyriod medications. Hope that helps and let me know if you opt to get tested.

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It could be your IUD but I'd also have them check your thyroid. If you have an underactive thyroid you can gain weight and have lots of "hormonal" symptoms as you have described. Definitley, ask your doctor about the IUD but it sounds like it could be thyroid too. The thyroid regulates hormones in your body so if it's out of whack you're going to be out of whack. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

AAAAAHHHHHH, I have said for sooooo long that I wasn't crazy. I can't be the only one! I'm sure when you go to the dr. they will tell you that the Mirena has nothing to do with it, but I promise you, in my case, that was the culprit! About 6 months after insertion, I noticed I was tired ALL the time. I was gaining weight and I had been the same weight for 9 years!! I was moody, impatient, not nice to be around. Crying all the time. I finally had my iron levels checked, and I was severely anemic. That would cause all of the above, but even after very proactively getting that under control, (and feeling better), the same symptoms continued. I felt so out of control. I started feeling like I was going crazy!! The doctor tried to give me every other option until I finally put my foot down and said I wanted it out!!
I think for some women, this type of birth control and the hormones it produces, just doesn't mesh with your body chemistry! I'm terrified now of taking ANY birth control that contain hormones! I finally opted for the ESSURE procedure, so I won't have to worry about hormones anymore. Hopefully my own hormones will stay under control!!! The best of luck to you, and I don't think you're crazy!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you asked your doctor to check your thyroid levels?
You won't believe everything that can change if it is out of whack. Best wishes to you on finding the root of your problem.

1 mom found this helpful

The cramping and pinching is the same symptoms I had with the IUD. As far as the hormone levels, I went into the doctors just 2 days ago with the same issues as weight gain and mood swings. My test came back I have borderline low thyroid hormone levels. My doctor has prescribed me with hypothyroid medications. Upon looking it up, I found birth control can make the symptoms worse. If you are diagnosed with it, your doctor may have to change the dosage of the medication with the birth control in mind! I am just glad I am not alone.

I have had the Mirena in for over a year and have not had any problems with weight gain or mood swings. The only problem I have ever had was spotting. I do diet and exercise regularly, but that is usually necessary to maintain an ideal weight.

I have worked in the back office for an OB/GYN doctor in the past, and have seen the Mirena causing those side effects. Every doc is different, but the one I worked for would remove the device if it was effecting the patient to the point of altering her life, as it sounds like is happening to you. Also, ask the doctor to check your thyroid. Mine was failing (due to Hypothyroidism) and caused me those exact symptoms. Even now if I need a medication change, or if I miss my thyroid meds for 3-4 days (which is VERY rare for me), I still have the same symptoms. I hope I have been of some help.

Best wishes!

it could be depression . iI went thought someting semarlar to that when my kids were 8 and 4 I when on antidepressant for a short while and it seem to take care of it .Iwas only on them for about a month but that is what work for me talk to your doc.

I agree with the ladies who suggest it could be the IUD - which you have already considered yourself. I had the same reaction to hormone shots, and it took a few months for the mood swings to start. I think it becomes a buildup in your body that it just can't handle. Before you do anything else I would get the IUD out then see what happens. Give it a few days or even weeks though. It took a few weeks to get this way it could take awhile to straighten back out. And make sure your doctor takes you seriously!!! Don't stop asking for help until you feel better!!!

You sound Pregnant? It could be the IUD though. I would ask the doctor to do a blood pregnancy test and check your thyroid. A Hypo Thyroid can make you gain weight and your hormones go crazy too. I know that when I was pregnant with my last child I was on birth control and had your same symptoms. I took 3 test and all came back Negative. 10 weeks later I finally got into the doctor and the blood test was positive. She is 13 years old now.
Good luck....

I can relate totally to mal-adjusted hormones! About 2 1/2 years ago I was in shape, felt great, had energy and life was good. Then I went to the OBGYN for my annual exam where he suggested I try the birth control shot "depovara". I should have told him NO since I was very happy and content on my oral daily pill but I gave him permission and it was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made!!! I started not feel well but thought it was just the "adjustment time" for my body so I took a second shot to see if all would get better after my body adjusted. That's when it all got even worse....
I started losing my hair, becoming even more hormonal emotionally, bloated up and gained 10-15 lbs, lost all energy and zest for life, started cramping and bleeding profusely like I was miscarrying but I wasn't pregnant. I couldn't even walk it hurt so bad.
I saw the dr who told me that apparently I need the 2 hormones that are in the oral pill and the depo shot only has 1 hormone and that was causing my body to get out of whack. Even though the depo shot was still in my system, he put me back on my oral pill which help my body stop bleeding and cramping but I still had the weight issue, emotional issue and lack of energy to deal with. That was 2 years ago and I'm better emotionally and do have more energy now but I still have this weight that I can't seem to get rid of!!
So, it could be the IUD that is giving you problems but my advice is to definitely not take depo once you remove the IUD!!!!
Good luck and hope you recoup soon!

Have your thyroid levels checked at the doctors. Hang in there!

Hi! Well my first thought to your post is call them back and tell them this can't wait a month! This should be considered a 'sick visit' and waiting a month is not right. Be careful with all the methods of b/c that are currently on the market... they haven't had long term results and can be just plain dangerous (that's not founded by fact, but my opinion after hearing complaints, etc). If the IUD is causing these issues, and even making you uncomfortable when sitting etc, I would have them take it out today and see if it all resolves itself in a relatively short amount of time. Hope they can see you asap!

Does anyone in your family have Thyroid problems? Even if not Ask your Dr to check your Thyroid - it is a simple blood test and can cause a lot of the symptoms that you describe.

I am new to this site as of right now. lol. I am not sure if you've already taken care of this but if not I just want to tell you what I know. I have a very good friend that got the Mirena and she went through exactly the same things you are. She got it taken out. She gained weight (20lbs.), was very edgy, fought with her husband, was impatient with her kids, cried all the time, had cramps, her period was messed up, her hip joints and bones were killing her. I mean, I can go on and on. Since she's had it removed she is back to her normal self. I don't recommend the Mirena to anyone.

I have heard that some women have had problems with weight gain and other side effects from using the Mirena. I have Mirena too, however, I have not had any bad side effects. How long have you had it in? Did the symptoms start after having it inserted? If it has been a long time and the symptoms just started, I would think that it isn't the Mirena. However, if you just had it inserted and you started having problems, it is possible that it could be causing problems. Going to the doctor is a good idea to rule out other causes such as thyroid problems or anything like that.


I could have written your post(aside from gaining 15lbs & the Mirena). I have had a heck of a time losing the remainder of my pregnancy weight when with my first two I was back to my pre pregnancy weight by 8 weeks though. I recently had an appointment with a nutritionist/homeopath and based on the symptoms I was describing she wanted to evaluate my thyroid. My thyroid function was low and we are working to bring it back into balance.

I would also evaluate the stress in your life. My dh is deployed so I'm a single parent until March 2009. Things are hectic in my life right now despite the measures I take to bring peace and balance.

I'd suggest sharing this information with your doctor and requesting some thyroid testing to rule it out. There may be other issues that are causing what you describe but I was told that thyroid issues are very common in women.

Good luck,

Have your thyroid checked, and have it checked often! It can go from normal to all out of whack in a matter of months! You would be surprised at how much that one little gland effects your entire system. It is very common for thyroid issues to be the main cause of many of your symptoms. Don't worry though, if that is the main issue, it is so easily corrected! It is well worht the 5 minutes at the lab, and you will feel much better knowing.
I'm not saying the hormones in the IUD couldn't be the culprit-I can't use birth control with estrogen, it throws me too out of whack. (that's why my husband was fixed 17 yrs ago! ;) But it's worth checking the thyroid, just to be sure.
Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine when you have more answers.

Hi R.S
I would get that IUD out and see what will happen. It sounds like you are reacting to it. But that is my guess. Don't wait too long. Get to a doctor sooner if you have to.
You have a good day today
And i sure hope you get to feeling better.


Don't IUD's have a hormone-release? I'd also ask to have a thyroid panel blood test taken. Low or high thyroid (HORMONE) can cause a gammut of emotional and physical symptoms!

God bless!

How long has it been since you had blood work? Sounds loke you need a hormone panel done, and they will go from there. I am thinking the most treatable which would be thyroid, but make sure they rule out other things. Good luck, and I hope you see someone soon.

I had the Mirena - it definately can be that! I've dealt with hormone imbalances my entire adult life - although I'm only 25, it's been a long 10-15 years of dealing with this. I got the Implanon after my second baby - and I can see it dramatically making me a better person. I love it. I don't have to take anything to keep me from 'swingin', and my family can definately tell a difference. Not all people are made the same and not all medication will react the same in your body. If you think that is it - remove it and get something else. don't let this one little thing ruin your day - because with two kids, you do not have the time to be upset and unhappy all the time.

Hi RS;

I haven't read the other responses, but this sounds like me. I think you should have your doctor (GP) check your thyroid. Sounds to me that these are classic symptoms of hyperthiroidism (sp?). I feel for you bc I've been through it and it's awful. There are several options -depending on your condition - and it does get better. The downfall is that, in my case, I was put on Zenthroyd (or something like that) and it takes a while until you actually start feeling better. Are you experiencing hair loss as well?

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.


One of the main reason that I personally switched to the Mirena IUD is because I was not losing any weight while on Depo-Provera birth control shots. When I talked it over with my ob/gyn she said the Mirena has no PROVEN weight gain effects. I would call your office and talk to the nurse--sometimes they will get you in quicker if they know the problem and your frustration!

HI R.S.,
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the IUD, but you've it sounds like you've definitely got some hormonal issues. Doesn't that make you crazy? I had a similiar problem when I got off the pill and a product from Arbonne was a lifesaver and still is. It's called Prolief. Prolief is a soy-based hormone balacing cream. Soy is a natural (and extemely safe) form of Progesterone, which is the counter-balancing hormone to estrogen. Call or e-mail me, if you'd like, and I'll be happy to send you some information, as I happen to be a Rep for Arbonne.
J. Roberts-Davis

Schedule a doctor's appointment for a complete physical. It sounds like you may be low on thyroid hormone and may need Synthroid or Levoxyl. Weight gain, irritation, depression, and not having a period are all symptoms of low thyroid hormone. There are also other medical problems with these same symptoms. Schedule a complete physical and start feeling good again.

Hi there- as an RN I would recommend getting a thyroid panel. you have a few of the classic symptoms of hypothyroid which thankfully are easily controlled with a one daily does of thyriod medications. Hope that helps and let me know if you opt to get tested.

Read this about Mirena: http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/mirenareport.html

It can most definitely mess with your hormones! It contains a progestin, which is a synthetic that's similar to the progesterone our own bodies produce. It's similar, but not identical.

The progestin sits at the receptor sites and doesn't allow progesterone to get in where it needs to be. So now you are likely experiencing estrogen dominance because your estrogen is no longer being balanced out by your progesterone.

Incidentally, estrogen dominance can cause thyroid issues! It alters how the body is able to use the thyroid hormones. Sometimes women can see thyroid problems get better when they address their excess estrogen.

I did this many moons ago... before I started learning what these synthetic hormones do to women. I did Depo for about two years, and really messed up my body. :(

Check out http://www.women4balance.com/hhnw for lots of info.


I had the same thing. Hypothyroidism. Make sure you get a lab that uses the most recent "normal" range.

Check out the info on about.com; http://thyroid.about.com/
Mary Shomon is responsible for the content on that site and has a great book about it I checked out from the library to learn more.

I agree about having your thyroid checked. I had to have my thyroid removed, and although I had hyperthyroidism (which caused all the opposite effects of what you are experiencing), it sounds like you may have hypothyroidism. I also have the Mirena IUD and don't have any other problems other than cramping during that time of the month (which I never had before). I have heard that it doesn't cause you to gain weight (a specific question I asked the doctor after I too had depo and gained lots of weight), however, I can say I got my IUD at the end of June, and over the last month have gained 6-7 pounds. That could also be because I relaxed on my diet too. If I were you and you aren't having any other problems associated with the IUD, I would start by having your thyroid levels checked. It is a simple blood test measuring your T3 and T4 levels, and you can get the results quickly. You can also go to your regular doctor so you don't have to wait a month to go to the gyn. Just a thought for the meantime...

I too have had many hormone problems since the birth of my second child and I have the Mirena also. I also have had cramping, and pinching too (It stoped being so bad around 7months). I also have alot of stress at work I have tried to cut the stress out but I can not. I had been on Mirena since last Dec. I started taking Zoloft two months ago. I could not stop crying & sweating mostly at work. I wanted to be happy and it did not matter what I did until the Dr. put me on the Zoloft. Now I feel like my normal self. I suffered with the hormones before I had the Mirena put in though, I know this probally don't help much but it might give you something to try. Someone else said something about ameina I am too but I was amenic after the birth of both of my children and before Mirena. Good luck.

Could you possibly be experiencing depression? Why not see a psychologist or psychiatrist or as a last resort your general practitioner and check it out? Fatigue, weight gain, irritability, and sadness/tearfulness are all symptoms of depression, and you certainly have a lot going on in your life. I doubt your problem is side effects of Mirena since this didn't start until 6 months after you got it. Good luck!

It could very possibly be the IUD, but it could also be other things. I know for me personally, I can't be on any form of hormonal birth control because it makes me severely depressed. Definitely talk to your doctor about your thyroid and depression in addition to the IUD, but if it were me, I would have the IUD removed first to see if it was causing the problem. I do hope things get better for you.

There's an excellent book on www.amazon.com called Feeling Fat Fuzzy or Frazzled, that is all about hormone imbalance, and it's by Dr Shames, MD. It was a bargain book when I bought it, so not too spendy. It would explain all your issues and he gives a lot of recommendations of how to find a practitioner that will work with you (I started seeing a naturopath) and what supplements to take for your issues, and what foods to eat or avoid, and especially it explains what is going on with you and why.

Also, I ran across a website recently. They want you to pay to join and they'll help you yada yada, but there's a lot of info there just for reading purposes: http://www.womentowomen.com What you are going through is common, but not always well understood or recognized in the medical community.

and there's your answer. I believe it's the IUD. I had the same one and I was out of control/ my hormones. I was always in a bad mood....
I had them take it out and the very next day I was back to normal.
If I would be you i would take it out.

Birth control does mess with your hormones because it is hormones that they place in your body. I took the Depo-shot for 2 yrs. I thought it was great at first when I had no period. Then the mood swings started and in the 2 yrs I was on it I gained 40 lbs. The shot was my 3rd or 4th choice. All of the pills I tried did various things. I had nausea and vomiting, weight gain, mood swings and irregular periods. Finally I decided that I am going to deal with using the rythm method and let it be in God's Hands. Putting chemicals in our body to trick it into being pregnant can cause problems.

Talk to your doctor about depression. When they first told me I was depressed I got very defensive because like you I am usually a very positive person and always look for the good in things. All kinds of changes can happen when you have a baby. You also have a lot on your plate with your husband being in the military, your twins' hearing challenges and working full time. Please don't think you are crazy if you are depressed or that if you are a Christian that you are not being strong if you seek medical help along with spiritual help. I have a sister-in-law who is severely depressed because being a Christian she let it go on so long without medical help because she thought she was not being a good Christian if she sought out medical help rather than spiritual help. I firmly believe that her depression would not be a bad as it is if she had sought help earlier. I sought help early and am still on a low dose of Prozac; which I have been for the last 20 years. Depression is usually caused by our bodies not producing enough Serotonin in our brains, especially with the crazy lifestyles we now live. Talk with your Doctor and don't give up. I did not realize how much the medication was helping me (because the change happens slowly) until I went off of it for a while and went back to the emotional roller coaster I was on before. Be sure and talk to a doctor and watch out for OTC feel good pills. They are usually made from herbs and can have very negative side effects (I had murderous dreams and thoughts while trying them). If you want to use herbs or natural supplements it would be wise to go to a naturepathic doctor. God Bless, B. E.

definitely could be Mirena or could be Thyroid. Have both checked. Is not normal.


I would advise having your thyroid checked out as well. Some thyroid conditions cause you to lose weight, some cause you to gain weight. These symptoms sound similar to what I experienced.

I would get my thyroid checked, too. It can cause all of the problems that you described. Good luck to you- I hope you feel better soon!

Yes! That is the Mirena.... Google it and see all of the other blogs about the effects of it. I know it is convenient but because it is progestin only its effects are way different than a birth control with estrogen. I was on it, and had it removed.

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