oestrogel and the mirena coil review

Oestrogel and the Mirena coil: HRT’s last chance

Oestrogel and the Mirena coil – sounds like some sci-fi superhero film, right, starring Chris Hemsworth? No? Just me, then. But almost three months after finally having my coil fitted, I’m starting to hope against hope that this is the superhero of HRT for me.

It’s not all been plain sailing, but the glimmer is there…

What is Oestrogel and the Mirena coil?

Oestrogel is a prescription medication that contains a form of oestrogen known as estradiol (you can read more about oestrogen here). Oestrogel itself (or Estrogel, as it is in the US) is a gel that comes in a pump form. You use around two pumps a day, rubbing the gel on either your arm and shoulder or your inner thigh. I do the thigh. It’s easier.

The Mirena coil is known as a contraceptive, but when it comes to HRT, it delivers the valuable progesterone that those with a womb need. (And yes, you can read about progesterone here!) Without progesterone, there is a chance you can develop womb cancer by taking oestrogen. If you’ve had your womb removed, then you don’t need it. So together, oestrogel and the Mirena coil are your HRT.

What is HRT? HRT gel, patches, tablets and more explained in under 5 minutes

The coil itself is a small T-shaped device that is placed inside your womb via your vagina. Usually that’s done at a GP’s office, but because I have a retroverted womb, I had to have it done under general anaesthetic.

At least it wouldn’t be painful…

Wanna bet? I slipped under the anaesthetic with no problem, but when I woke up, I was in agony within seconds. Luckily the nurses and theatre assistants were on hand to give me painkillers, but it was the worst cramp I have ever had – and I’ve been doubled up in bed with it.

Turns out that my cervix is so tricky and difficult they had to dilate me a couple of centimetres. Now I’d heard this mentioned when women were talking about giving birth, but I hadn’t a scooby what it meant.

Basically, it means they had to open up my cervix.

So, yeah, big “ow”. Big. Huge.

And… I cried.

I cried because I was just fed up of it. All the pain and emotions and feeling crap and a nuisance.

Don’t get me wrong: the medical staff I’ve dealt with have been wonderful (bar one). But it’s been such a struggle and throughout it all – yes, even through my campaigning and everything I’ve learnt – there’s been a part of me thinking: “It’s just menopause. It shouldn’t be this hard.”

And it shouldn’t. And lying there in the recovery room, it all got to me and I hated the fact I’d been born a woman to go through this. If I could have changed that…

What happened next?

I went home – without anyone actually showing me the most important part of having a coil fitted: how to check it’s in!

Without the Mirena coil, my body won’t get the progesterone protection it needs so it’s vital I know it’s in. They can move and get lost or even get washed away if you have a heavy bleed.

I should be able to insert a finger in my vagina and feel a string hanging down from my cervix. However, I can’t, even though I tried as soon as I got home. Whether that’s because of my wonky cervix or not I don’t know, but I have to go and see the nurse at my local GP office to check.

Yup, always a struggle.

Has oestrogel and the Mirena coil worked?

The jury is out – although it’s hedging towards a yes.

My first few weeks of oestrogel and the Mirena coil, however, were not good. I had a lot of spotting – almost every day – and that would at times turn into a proper bleed.

When that happened, I would get the familiar PMDD blues and while they weren’t as bad as they can be, I would still feel desolate and alone.

I also felt as if I could feel the coil and felt uncomfy in my body.

But thankfully, I am lucky enough to be able to contact experts and a chat with the lovely Dr Nighat Arif after a few weeks helped.

She told me that the hormonal fluctuations could last several months and while that is a bit of a blow, knowledge is power. I know this is natural and what I’m going through is to be expected.

Nighat also advised me to take some antihistamines, which I did and they really helped. I didn’t feel so swollen and bloated.

Which has made me realise something – the last few days have been bad, with a real downturn to the dark side of the menopause, complete with itchy skin, RLS and insomnia. And lots of tears.

And I ran out of antihistamines last week and haven’t got round to replacing them. Right, off to Boots for me…

My final thoughts on oestrogel and the Mirena coil… for now

Last week I had a chat with my NHS menopause specialist and told her – it’s a hit. I think.

We’re going to up my oestrogel to three pumps (mebbes four) and see if that helps with the general “mehness” I’ve been feeling and the tiredness. If not, we can look at adding testosterone into the mix (which is something I’m wary about, given my hair loss).

But I also have to acknowledge that these are stressful times we’re all living in and HRT can only help me with menopause, not with the general unease of life at the moment with Covid.

I’m bumping up my lifestyle measures, too, and have started exercising with a personal trainer, which I’m loving. Now I need to tackle my food (and cut down on the alcohol).

Me at the gym!

So my final thoughts on oestrogel and the Mirena coil is I think it is working, but HRT is only one part of the jigsaw.

Menopause is more complex than just a drop in hormones. It’s a reckoning on all we’ve been through and how we want the future to be. How I want ME in the future to be. And that’s more than just relying on oestrogel and the Mirena coil.

But I guess the fact I’m thinking this way is a good sign. The future is mine…

Have you got a Mirena coil? Let me know how it’s affected you in the comments below.

Do you need to talk through your menopause options? Why not give me a call? Find out more here. And don’t forget to get your free 20-page guide to menopause and midlife…

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58 thoughts on “Oestrogel and the Mirena coil: HRT’s last chance”

  1. Hi Elizabeth – I just want to thank you for all you are doing and I’m so glad I’ve come across you – can’t remember how of course as I can’t remember anything atm!! I’m 56 and having a complete nightmare finding the right hrt for me. It’s got so bad that I’m paying to see a dr at the Newson Clinic as I’m so desperate. Whilst I am lucky to now be able to afford this following an inheritance- I shouldn’t have to pay for advice on how to deal with the Meno!!I feel very cross and let down as once I finally got a referral by my GP to an NHS Meno clinic I was informed the waiting list was 7 months!!!! It might as well have been 7 years as I need it now to prevent either my marriage ending if not being able to hold down a job. So my private clinic appointment is 20th Jan. I will be reading and watching everything you’ve done to prepare me to ask the right questions – after all it’s costing me £275!!! Thanks again and btw your lipstick looked great and your videos are genuinely a life saver – that feeling of being alone is just aweful. Best wishes.

    1. Ah, thanks Janice. That is lovely to say. You’re in good hands at the Newson Clinic, but I’m so sad you are having to pay. Here’s to getting everyone to #KnowYourMenopause so this doesn’t happen to women in the future. Keep me updated, please! xxx

      1. Hi Elizabeth..
        Wow..I was so pleased to see this this morning. I had a difficult coil insertion on 29h December. After a week I felt fantastic, I felt how i wanted to feel about my husband and libido was amazing.. Then bang.. I think because I hadn’t taken any progesterone for a month and only used oestrogel my progesterone levels were low and suddenly a week into the coil..it all goes mad. Sobbing uncontrollably last weekend almost on the verge of a panic attack over something ridiculous. Heavy bloaty feeling, spotting, thrush, heavy tingly breasts.. at this minute I feel like I’ve done the wrong thing. Mood isn’t great, husband is annoying the shit out of me. But reading your blog has given me hope that things will settle. I really hope they do. I also have a personal trainer and use the gym. Your story is so much like mine.
        I hope all is much better with you now Elizabeth. Sending love ❤️

  2. Can I ask, can taking utrogestan vaginally cause Pms? I am on 200mg utrogestan days 15-26 but I am progesterone intolerant. I went absolutely crazy taking it orally hence I have been advised to take it vaginally. Day 6 and I have woken up and been tearful the last two mornings. Feeling overwhelmed, tired and irritable (especially towards partner). It seems to be helping me sleep though. I appreciate any advice! X

      1. This is wonderful to hear. You have given me hope. So how long would you say the mirena mad you feel rough with at the start?

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I also have had extreme progesterone intolerance with HRT and it is horrendous. I read and identified so much with your other post (and other commenters) about it.

    I’ve gone from Everol oestrogen and progesterone patches to Everol oestrogen only plus Ultrogestan orally. To Ultrogestan vaginally. To Ultrogestan vaginally every 12 weeks and upping oestrogen to 100mg. The increase in oestrogen has helped but the Ultrogestan is just horrendous! It seems to take weeks for the symptoms to pass – but at least this last regime has given me 6 weeks or so progesterone symptom free and shown me how much better than can feel!

    I’m fortunate to have a good GP now, and forked out for a couple of private appointments at The Newson Clinic to move things along.

    My GP is now suggesting a Minera coil. I am terrified as my body just loathes progesterone so much. Your positive experience gives me some hope to try it.

    I read in a previous post you took ADs to help with the PI symptoms. I am open to this. (I am desperate for relief as I really want the oestrogen but cannot sustain with with PI). Did you continue with the ADs when you had the coil fitted?

    So glad it seems to be working better for you – really hope it’s continuing.

    1. Hi Annie. Thank you so much for your message. It’s now been five months since I had the coil fitted and the difference is night and day. I feel normal. No more mood swings, not more crying… it’s incredible. I was like you – terrified about a coil and what if it didn’t work? The thought of being stuck with all this progesterone… I am so glad the gynaes said they thought it would be the best thing for me. Yes, I am still on ADs at the moment, but I’m beginning to wean myself off them as I think they’re no longer necessary. Good luck and let me know what you decide x

      1. Thank you so much! I’m 9 days off my last Ultrogestan round (100mcg vaginally daily for 14 days) and can still feel the unbearable progesterone symptoms in my body. Incredible to hear how you have responded to the coil. I think I may take a deep breath and try it. I cannot continue with Ultrogestan. And will start ADs to support for now. Thank you so much again for sharing your experience. Gives me hope, and courage to keep trying!

        1. Chloe Gilligan

          Hi Annie,

          I am the same as you and think I will try the coil. I’m very worried. I’d love to know if you tried it yet?

        2. Hi Annie

          Sorry I know this is an old post but I’m right at where you were when you commented on this post. I’m a week into the coil and wondered if you had it fitted and if so how you have got on with it?

          1. Considering the struggles you had, this is incredible to hear. Think I’ll speak to my Gynea. I have been referred to the Chelsea and Westminster team who I will be speaking with on 25th Apr. In the mean time my Gynea has suggested norethiserone??? All I can find on it is that if you are progesterone intolerant it’s one of the worst you can try. Tired of all the trial and error. Our poor bodies!

      2. Hi.
        Day 1 of the Mirena coil – had it fitted yesterday afternoon with no side effects from the procedure, so far!!! I had it fitted due to irregular persistent bleeding using conti patches which wasn’t appearing to settle. It wasn’t my initial choice, but the GP and gynaecologist both pointed out the positives outweigh the negatives, for most women! I’m now needing to choose an oestrogen only supplement. Until now I was using estorel conti and estrogel as there’s never enough in the patches! I’m leaning towards Estrogel as long as it’s easily obtained by the pharmacists, hence why I was still on patches!! Anyway, I digress, the main reason I’m getting in touch is about RLS. I’ve suffered with this awful syndrome since my first pregnancy aged 23, and it’s taken me until the periM to realise it’s hormone related, for me anyway! As my hormone levels have naturally decreased so has the RLS and the last thing I want is this returning with a vengeance. As a fellow sufferer I was wondering if you have any further thoughts/info/advice on this? Whether it’s progesterone or oestrogen that causes it, or both? Like you say, knowledge is power and right now I could do with a bit of that!! I’ve tried with the GP’s several times but sadly they don’t have the interest, told it’s just something I have to manage 😖

  4. Stephanie Morris

    Hi all, I have been having a tough time with the progesterone in all the HRT formulations including the patches sequential and continuous also the utrogestran. I had some bleeding and saw a gynaecologist he suggested hysteroscopy and insertion of mirena coil. I had this done 2 days ago under general anaesthetic (also had a polyp removed from cervix). At this point although worried about the coil I needed to do something as the HRT worked for flushes and sweats, but intolerant of the depression and mood swings the progesterone gave me. Fingers crossed this will help, it was definitely worth a try so here goes. My journey begins. Will keep you posted.

    1. I am so keen to hear how you get on. I have absolutely everything crossed for you. It’s certainly something I am seriously giving consideration to. Please do come back and let us know how you are doing! You are very brave. C

  5. I had the mirena fitted at 49 to stop the really really heavy periods. It did and that felt great. It also got rid of the four day headaches. However the spotting and irregular periods lasted a whole year. The whole peri ((3 years) was miserable. Then in January periods stopped. By then I’d already handed my notice in at work too. Now – feel so much more normal. I hot flush continually but get used to it. Sleep is now good since finishing work. I don’t want to risk anymore hormonal upsets so I’m not looking at HRT at all. I can’t face the ups and downs of it.

  6. Hi all, currently coming on month 3 of taking Everol Conti and I already know that when it comes times to put on the progesterone patch I won’t be doing it. I’m terrified to feel the way I have the last few months when I have to move on to it. The first month I was reminded of the horrendous years of my youth (48 now) and nightmare pmdd symptoms. Also take AD which has no effect when the progesterone induced symptoms begin. I had a Mirena coil when I was in my early 30’s which definitely eased pmdd, but the trauma of having it removed fills me with fear of ever having another one, but after reading 50sense posts on this I wonder if this is the path I should be going down. Appointment booked with Gp for 10 June, just before I’ll be due to take progesterone element of patches, to discuss. If I could be reassured that I could have coil removed under full local anaesthetic when the time comes I might actually consider it again. In summation estrogen has been a game changer but progesterone side effects are so bad I’m ready to chuck it all in and just suffer the night sweats and lack of sleep and I’m only three months in on my hrt journey.

  7. I was on the Depo Vera for 13 years the Doctors have taken me off it ,and put my onto vagifem vaginal before I get my mirena inserted.

  8. I am currently taking Livial HRT and have been for 10 years, I am 58. I have never had a problem with it and it literally changed my life after suffering from a hideous meno for 8 years ( I started very early). My gynae has suggested chaning to a Mirena coil with Oestrogen gel simply because I have been taking Livial for so long. I have to say I am unsure as some of my friends have had issues with sex drive and mood swings, BUT they didnt have the Oestrogen Gel – Help!

    1. I’m not aware of any reason why you should need to change, but I’m not sure about Livial. The Oestrogen Gel has really helped me so if you do change, you may get a little bit of swings while your body readjusts but then it will probably be okay. x

  9. I have ben on Evorel Conti for 4 months but have had breakthrough bleeding from the very start. I am 56 and my last period was 3 years ago. I struggled through perimenopause from the age of 48 but the hot flashes and insomnia started to change me as a person so thought I would give the HRT ago. The hot flashes stopped within 2 weeks but the bleeding didn’t settle down so i went back to my GP who referred me for an internal scan which shows up that I have endometrial hyperplasia (The lining of the uterus (endometrium) becomes unusually thick because of having too many cells (hyperplasia). This is likely caused by not having enough progesterone in the patch and so the estrogen becomes dominant. I will now have a procedure called a Hysteroscopy, they take a piece of the lining and send it off for testing to make sure there are no cancerous cells. Apparently they do this as an outpatient, not on my watch, how on earth could anyone in there right mind think that having a procedure where they go through your cervix to take a piece of the lining is something that can be done awake! They also wanted to insert a Mirena coil whilst I was awake. Absolutely not, had a coil fitted when i was in my 20’s before i had children. It was the single most painful experience (outside of childbirth) i have every experienced. I would rather have all my teeth pulled out. I discussed this with the consultant and he was fine with my choice of going under a general anaesthetic, he will take a biopsy, give me a D&C (remove the thickened lining) and insert a mirena coil and yes this is all on the NHS, dont be afraid to say that your want a GA, it is an option and there was no judgement. I was told that someone will call me in the next week or so and arrange a date for the procedure that will be carried out at my local NHS hospital and then will be given advice on how to get my estrogen. So here we go another chapter on my menopuase journey #itsgoodtotalkaboutit

    1. I had the hysteroscopy & yes it was a little painful but honestly nothing like childbirth. Take some paracetamol an hour before the procedure. It takes around 15 to 20 minutes. A nurse holds your hand throughout the entire procedure & it really truthfully isn’t that bad. I am a complete baby when it comes to this sort of thing & if I can do it then anyone can.

      1. No nurse holding my hand and as I wasn’t aware it was going to happen had not taken anything beforehand to take the edge off the considerable pain!

    2. I’m currently in bed in pain after having a biopsy as you described, went to see gynaecologist this morning as GP was concerned I was still having irregular periods at 56, I’m on elleste duet and have been for 18 months, it’s been a god send, it’s tablets, which gynae said he wants to get me off, this wax my first time seeing him and he talked about the mirena coil and checking cervix and doing biopsy, and talked about a follow up appointment, he took me into examination room and I a thought he was just going to do an internal exam, it was the nurse who said he was going to do the rest there and then, I said I wanted more information before he fitted the coil as I’d only heard about it today. He did the exam and the biopsy, which I was told to breathe through 😱 and was going to do the coil but I said no, I needed more information first. He gave me the info and the nurse sent me off with a sanitary pad to get changed! I’m happy with my HRT so should I change?

    3. Hi Sarah, I have just had a biopsy because of intermittent bleeding. It was uncomfortable, yes, but over rapidly as my gynae was super quick. It certainly wasn’t as bad as standing up after 24 hours of labour and an emergency C section! And at least you can then stop worrying about cancer of the womb lining. Likewise a coil fitting is uncomfortable and a few deep breaths needed. I am going back to Mirena. Had mine out a year ago but continous spotting or bleeding with so many side effects.

  10. Hi there
    Thanks for sharing all your stories. So interesting to read through them all. I had Mirena coil fitted in my early 40s to stop horrendous periods. I didn’t want it at first and was not convinced that this was the right thing for me. I went private and the experience was all good. No too much pain with fitting, just discomfort and a bit of spotting for a few weeks. The rest is history and I’m now on my 3rd one (the removal and fitting of the 3rd one was like having another child! NOT doing that again without some form of anaesthetic) I’m now 51 and hit the Meno big time. I tried to manage it with some homeopathic potions and herbal tablets, which sort of kept the lid on it for a while but the last few months have been a struggle. The mood swing and brain fog possessed me, not to mention the hot flushes. I saw my lovely GP on Monday and asked for advise. She suggested Oestrgel 1-2 pumps per day. I’m on day 3 and feeling like I’m about to fall out with the world! I know this is very early days but the black cloud is a lot worst today than it was last week. Oh, and the sleep almost non existent. All my good intentions of eating well balanced diet have completely gone out of the window. Please tell me this will end soon! 🙁

  11. What a fantastic site this is, I can relate entirely with most of you. I am age 54 post menopausal and fitted with a mirena coil just 2 days ago after having a hysteroscopy under GA. Gynae insisted coil would reduce thickening that was evident within my utuerus. Hysteroscopy to take biopsy of this thickening to check for nasty’s. On day 2 of the Estrogen gel pump and already feeling very different. Not sure if the ‘different’ is good yet as there is definately pressure build up in the head but i’m willing to give anything a go to avoid the years of misery, hot flushes, vaginal & bladder infections, lack of sleep and bloatedness. I will update you with my HRT journey and hysteroscopy results.

    1. Well it’s been just over two weeks since hysteroscopy with no results. Have had dragging period ache belly since July and hoped the hyster would end all those symptoms. Plus I’m spotting brown big blobs. Is this normal? Not had a period for 3 years so freaking over this. Spent the day crying, convinced I have something horrible going on. Pain, spotting and feeling total crap all because of Mirena. Would give anything for a full hysterectomy right now

      1. Hi Joanne
        I’m sorry you’re having such a bad time. I was having exactly the same symptoms and just had the mirina coil fitted hopefully to combat this.:( Do you already have the coil?

  12. I had a 17 day heavy period, 2 days after having the Mirena fitted. When i say heavy, i mean post child birth heavy. But this month i had 3 days of spotting and that was me done so bloody HURRAY!!! I am on the estrogen patches with it and it seems to be working well. I notice when i forget to change a patch i start getting symptoms of anxiety again, so so far, so good. Am only 8 weeks in but it seems to be working.

  13. Hi Elizabeth,
    I’m really pleased to have come across your site here – thanks for sharing your experience. I’m really interested in your experience with the mirena – I had one fitted many years ago as a contraceptive but like you I have a retroverted uterus (which the GP who fitted it never mentioned) and I had terrible problems – extremely heavy bleeding for six weeks or so and a constant discharge as if my body was trying to expel it. I had it removed eventually. I’ve been on HRT for 3 years and my regime has been changed as it had stopped working for me – I’ve been put back on utrogesten, vaginal this time, but I’m intolerant to progesterone and after just one dose I’m feeling dreadful (I don’t seem to be affected by the synthetic progestin that was in the combined patch, but maybe I just wasn’t absorbing anything). I probably need to give this new regime a few weeks but I’m dreading the progesterone effects. Reading your story gives me a bit of hope that I might be able to look at the mirena if I can find someone who understands the retroverted uterus issue! Thanks again, wishing you well x

  14. Lisa Jane Richardson


    I have tried several HRT tablets over the last 4 years, some worked some didn’t and now at the stage where I need to find another. I have recently changed GP’s as we have moved house and had an HRT review. The doctor was fantastic and said she thought gel and coil would be a better option. I then had to have a telephone consultation with the doctor that fits the coils, but this doctor has now confused me and started me with doubts about the coil so now I am unsure what to do. I’m basically looking for the pro’s and con’s from someone with experience, thank you

      1. I have had coil fitted due to enlarged uterus and heavy bleeding for about three years can go on for months at a time without a break. So tired and in iron tablets. Coil fitted April and bleeding lighter. Gynae said to take oestrogel for Hrt as I am suffering terrible with the symptoms. Need to see how it goes as only started the Oestrogel yesterday! Hope it doesn’t made the bleeding worse again just as the coil seems to be easing it off! Sick of it all, moods at all time low and so very tired good luck all x

  15. Hi.
    Day 1 of the Mirena coil – had it fitted yesterday afternoon with no side effects from the procedure, so far!!! I had it fitted due to irregular persistent bleeding using conti patches which wasn’t appearing to settle. It wasn’t my initial choice, but the GP and gynaecologist both pointed out the positives outweigh the negatives, for most women! I’m now needing to choose an oestrogen only supplement. Until now I was using estorel conti and estrogel as there’s never enough in the patches! I’m leaning towards Estrogel as long as it’s easily obtained by the pharmacists, hence why I was still on patches!! Anyway, I digress, the main reason I’m getting in touch is about RLS. I’ve suffered with this awful syndrome since my first pregnancy aged 23, and it’s taken me until the periM to realise it’s hormone related, for me anyway! As my hormone levels have naturally decreased so has the RLS and the last thing I want is this returning with a vengeance. As a fellow sufferer I was wondering if you have any further thoughts/info/advice on this? Whether it’s progesterone or oestrogen that causes it, or both? Like you say, knowledge is power and right now I could do with a bit of that!! I’ve tried with the GP’s several times but sadly they don’t have the interest, told it’s just something I have to manage 😖. (PS. Apologies for posting twice – I think i posted in the wrong place initially!)

  16. Hello
    Lovely to read these posts After being turned down, due to my ripe old age of 59, for HRT, I returned and saw a more understanding doctor (a male!!). I was running a home alone with two grown up children and working full-time. I had got to the stage whereby, I was feeling dizzy and sick at work (and while driving!!) due to lack of sleep due to the menopause. The hot flushes and nervousness (every noise seemed amplified and would shock me, actually making me jump) was hard enough to endure but, wow, lack of sleep was becoming a danger,,,,,
    The GP (this time) seemed to understand (probably because I was sobbing onto his desk 🙂 ) and put me back on the HRT. A year later – I was bleeding and the doc. said it wasn’t normal!! Arranged me a hospital visit and the wonderful staff there recommended, Estogen only HRT (tiny pill by mouth) and a Progesterone IUD. They said that the combined HRT medication, was thickening the uterus to the extent that, cancer was in the mix if I continued.
    Three comfy, happy years later (not even any spotting and, sleeping well and NO hot flushes or sweats 🙂 ), I have an appointment to retrun to have the IUD replaced. The GP is happy to let me contiunue in this vein – solo HRT with the other half of the necessary hormones being replaced by the IUD.
    I know that some male doctors get a bad press for not understanding but, in my case, it was the female doctors who were content to ignore my cries of despair…… Thank you HRT & IUDs (I am 63 years of age). Don’t hesitate to ask for help,,,,,, if the first GP doesn’t give you what you need, see his/her colleagues x

  17. I got my first Mirena when I was 40 having had two kids and being recommended by my GP as a good contraceptive option. I was advised to take paracetamol beforehand and the experience was uncomfortable but over pretty quickly. The Dr said I could just lay on the bed for as long as I needed as it could make you feel a bit woozy but I was fine. Yes I cramped but kept up with the paracetamol which made it bearable. The worst part was I spotted for probably about a year and a half, yep, that long. It wasn’t major, it was just annoying and I’m surprised I stuck with it but my heavy periods were no longer and I felt that was a positive change. Then it all stopped and I haven’t had a period since, it has been a godsend. I had my second Mirena at 45 and now as 48 and experiencing perimenopausal symptoms I am on 2 pumps of Oestrogel which I started about 5 months ago and seems to be going well. I’m so glad I stuck with the Mirena and I’ll get my 3rd in 2 years and carry on with the Oestrogel. Stick with it if you can, but if it’s not right for you, demand more!

    1. Hi Bex, so glad the mirena worked for you! Can I ask, did you get any tests or do any temperature readings yourself to see whether it stopped you ovulating? I know the mirena can stop bleeding but not necessarily ovulation. Confusing!

  18. Hi, what a wonderful blog! Re-assuring but also maddening how many people are affected by this and how much research we have to do my ourselves on it. I was wondering if anybody could give any advice. After years and years of battling PMDD I finally have gone the hormone route which seems to be working so far. I suspect I am progesterone intolerant after having a very bad experience with the mini pill which is why I was very reluctant to go on the mirena, but after a rough couple of weeks at the start, this seems to have settled down. I have also gone down the recommendation from the Royal College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians Green Top Guidelines (based on Professor Studd’s research I think) to also apply oestrogen gel to stop ovulation. It seems to be working so far but 1)I’m not sure if I am not ovulating as I have my mirena so don’t know by bleed 2) It seems a lot of oestrogen to be taking if I am not peri-menopausal and presumably still making my own oestrogen. I am ok with the risk factors of HRT but I also know that it is best to take the lowest dose you can. I can’t seem to find the answers to this anywhere, so putting it out here in case anybody in their early 40s who is not peri-menopausal in same boat! The other recommendation I had come across was taking a smaller dose or oestrogen gel just in the luteal phase. Anybody had success with that? A long shot, but thought I’d ask!

  19. When you say you were in pain having it fitted even after anaesthetic then I am even more appalled with what I went through. I had a pin hole cervix and my doctor couldn’t insert the Mirena coil. They sent me to a consultant and they offered me general anaesthetic or a local one. To avoid wasting NHS money I opted as an out patient on Local. However, when I got there they didn’t offer me anything. I challenged it and they said it could be dine if I feel pain. Well, they wrenched by cervix open like something out of Medievil times and inserted the coil without anything. The pain I cannot describe… I left the hospital shaking. I’ve never had children but can only imagine………..

  20. Regime – 200mg utrogestan/50mcg estrodot patch. Symptoms disappeared. Then I started with diarrhoea (lasted 6 weeks until I stopped oral utrogestan) after 5 months of above regime so decided to have coil as I’m sure the progesterone orally was the problem with my bowels. 2 weeks now since having mirena and I am spotting (or more like light bleeding)everyday. My hot sweats at night have come back – do you think I need to up patch dose?

  21. As I sit here reading this blog less than 12 hours from Mirena insertion under anaesthesia; trying valiantly to find somewhere that tells me when I need to start the oestrogel! I am so relieved I came across your frank and informative article, thank you. I was worried something had gone wrong during surgery or I was being dramatic about the post op pain. My uterus is also a retro and coming round after GA to that level of pain shocked me to the core. It’s been a rough night but at least the pain is now a deep seated cramp and no longer excruciating. I’m 55 and have exhausted all other types of HRT. I decided my skin is made of Teflon as patches wander or fall off and no I haven’t used creams or ointments on my skin. I even found one missing patch stuck to the inside of my trouser leg…a mystery never to solve! Usually for 6-8 months the HRT works fine, then I become symptomatic again with moods swings, hot sweats etc etc. I feel reassured through your article that this will be worth it. In the meantime, pain relief calls! Again, thank you, your blog is invaluable.

  22. I’ve been on the Mirena since I had children. First for birth control and now for HRT. Never had any pain with it going in or out, just slight discomfort, sounds like I was quite lucky. At some point it was removed when I experienced menopause, however my sleep got worse and worse, i work full time and I was tearful and anxious and struggling. So had Mirena fitted and take estrogen patches as part of HRT. Over the years increased to full 100 dose. All fine. Working well. Would recommend. And my sister is now using the same method.
    After 4 years I suddenly had bleeding issues, so dose was reduced to 75 which sorted bleeding. However sleep was affected again and now 6 months later I’m back to terrible sleep, tearful, anxious, mood swings.
    I wonder if anyone else has experienced issues after 4 years on Mirena?!
    I’m slightly concerned because Mirena is only licensed for HRT for 4 years although the advice is that it’s ok to continue off licence for another year. I personally believe that the progesterone part starts wearing off after 4 (and I suspect that the manufacturer may know this and that’s why it’s not tested/licensed for 5!)
    Anyone else been through a 5th year?

  23. Hi everyone,

    I’m glad I found this blog as so many of you seem to have had similar experiences. I am 44 post and was fitted with a mirena coil 2 days ago after having a hysteroscopy under GA. I’m also on 2 pumps of Oestrogel and one pea sized amount of Testogel daily. I’m not sure how different I feel since starting Testogel 3 weeks ago.

    I woke up from the GA in a lot of pain and was given immediate pain relief. Since getting home it’s now like a mild period pain. Having severe symptoms and being unable to work for nearly 2 years, I’m willing to give anything a go after feeling so bad for so long.

    I’ll also keep you updated with my HRT journey and results.


  24. Hi, i have just found your website & your story really hit home to me. During an ultrasound scan i was found to have adenomyosis, & after speaking to my Gp HRT was not an option for me at this time as this can make the symptoms worse. My best option was to have a mirena coil. After a lot of thought, as i wasn’t sure, i went to my appointment yesterday. All prepared to have it done, there was some discomfort & i could sense something was wrong! I have a tilted cervix! So i have been told we can try again, in a couple of weeks as the cervix can move! I was so disappointed & worried about the next time!
    My perimenopause symptoms are getting worse and I need something to change.

  25. Thanks for your story. I have been on HRT for many years, estradiol cream and progestin capsules. I recently deceloped uterine polyps and thickend uterine wall discovered when I had a D&C and polytectomy under general anaesthetic. 12 months later the polyps came back. In second surgery I also had a Mirena placed in my retroverted uterus as part of HRT especialy to treat thickend uterine wall. I woke up with mild cramping and some bleeding. This lasted for the remainder of the day and since then no spotting and no cramping. Looks like I’ve been lucky but insertion is very recent.

  26. Has anyone had dryness and soreness in the vagina area and pain I’ve had a mirena for three weeks and I’m using two pumps of eastogel daily

  27. Hi Janice,
    I have been down the same path as you.
    I’m 53 now and started down this road around 3 years ago.
    What a time to turn 50 and start going through perimenopaus! Bang smack in the middle of a worldwide pandemic!!!!!!
    I found myself desperate to find a way to stop all the adverse side effects of perimenopaus. Namely the migraine headaches & nausea along with tender breasts and painful periods.
    I had also became ridiculously sensitive to smell which was exacerbated by a teenage son, whose odour from increased testosterone levels through puberty was unbearable!
    I was initially looking at having my uterus quaterised but during my consultation they suggested having a mirena inserted which would alleviate these symptoms and even make my periods stop . . . . which it did.
    I went for approximately a year but then the weight gain, constant anger & irritability, brain fog, insomnia and night sweats caused me to seek additional help.
    That’s when I was introduced to Estrogel and haven’t looked back!
    I lost that bloated uncomfortable feeling I had been living with. My weight has dropped and I have more energy. I’m sleeping through the night again.
    The biggest and most significant outcome though, is my ability to just deal with life again and that feeling of being constantly overwhelmed has subsided.
    And another bonus is my skin is softer and more supple. Win win on all accounts.
    There are still little setbacks every now and again but that’s just life in general.
    Before I seeked this treatment I was feeling old, obsolete, useless and that I had passed my ‘use-by-date’.
    Now I feel energetic, revived, smart, useful again.
    I highly recommend any woman who is suffering through perimenopaus or menopause to not isolate themselves but to speak up and seek help. You do not need to go through this alone and there are treatments to help make this stage of our lives easier to pass through. It’s not forever.

  28. I am 53, I too started displaying signs of peri in 2020 – lost loads of hair, anxious to the point of needing help, tears, male work colleagues who find it all amusing or treat me like I’m out to pasture. I started on oestrogel, 2 pumps and utrogestan 100mg orally. Had to stop the utro as made me incredibly dizzy and changed to vaginally 12 days on, 14 off. Suffered more dizziness and was told to increase the gel. Test showed my oestrogen levels are still low so advised to try Evorel patches and to change to 200mg utro vaginally every day. My boobs have ballooned and painful, weight has piled on. I have zero confidence in the only GP in my practice that shows the slightest interest in HRT. I am so “over” feeling like crap and getting no answers. I am not surprised women take drastic measures when it comes to work/home life or worse. I don’t have kids and no partner which frankly, must be a blessing! I have no idea what my next step will be. Oh, I also have Lupus and on quite the cocktail to control that. Sorry it’s Doom and gloom from me, don’t really get to have a rant.

  29. This was very helpful for me !
    6 weeks after the MC for hrt and felt good much more tuned in apart from bleeding, week 7/8/9 sooooo bloated and tired !! I think I’ll try the anti histamines

  30. I had the marina coil fitted 2 weeks ago and hrt jel 2 pumps had to take antidepressants to I was so bad with anxiety I’m in the UK we have to have the coil fitted with not pain relief nothing it did hurt and had some cramps but no bleeding then cramps 2 weeks later I think it was the best option for me I’m 43 so early for menopause just hope I’m going to feel better as been the worse few months of my life I don’t understand why we have to fight for help they refused to believe I was in menopause but my fsh test came bk high menopause so 3 drs later also unless you pay no hormone drs were I live but reading everyone’s experiences has give me hope

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