Mirena Coil for contraception


When I received my breast cancer diagnosis (ER+) I was told by my oncologist to stop taking my hrt. I asked at the time if it was both estrogen (tablet form) and progesterone (mirena coil) and she said yes, both.

I stopped my estrogen tablet that day and had my coil removed the week after (early September).

I have been taking the tamoxifen for a couple of weeks and am now having a heavy bleed and suffering pms which could be contributed to either the coil removal or the tamoxifen.

Am I now able to have the coil fitted for contraceptive purposes (the side effect of reducing pms and bleeding would also be most welcome)

Hi there. I have the exact same issue. Sadly, as my cancer was ER and PR positive then been advised Mirena is bad idea :pensive: I have a gynae appt on Friday for advice as have a dodgy cyst that is being monitored too…trying not to freak about that! X

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I was advised to have my mirena coil removed when diagnosed with ER /PR positive breast cancer.

Due to my age at the time it wasn’t a major issue.

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Same here. Miirena has to come out. Due to age it is no longer needed. GP tried to remove it last November, but the threads broke. Gynae day surgery on Saturday to fish about and get it out I hope.

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Its horrendous isnt it. I havent bled like this since post kids!

Totally understandable to be freaking about your gynae apt - thats the post cancer diagnose curse I think, imagining the worst case scenario. Keeping things crossed that it goes okay for you

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Hi Luna1

Thanks for posting.

As you’ll be aware the intrauterine system **(**IUS) in the form of a Mirena coil, is a form of contraception. It is a small, T-shaped plastic device which releases a small amount of the hormone progesterone (levonorgestrel) that’s placed into the womb (uterus) by a doctor or nurse.

Although it only releases a small amount of hormone it’s not clear how much, if any, of the hormone circulates to other parts of the body. Some people are concerned this may increase the risk of developing breast cancer or increase the risk of breast cancer coming back in someone who has had a previous diagnosis. Current guidance says that it is not recommended where there is a confirmed history of breast cancer and as other members of the forum have commented, it is standard practice for women with ER+ breast cancer to have the coil removed.

There have been studies looking at the use of the IUS in women taking tamoxifen. Tamoxifen can cause changes to the womb (such as polyps and thickening of the womb lining) and evidence suggests the IUS can reduce the risk of these changes. The effectiveness on other changes and the risk of breast cancer recurrence is not known.

Currently the manufacturer says they shouldn’t be used in women who have (or are suspected of having) a hormone sensitive breast cancer. However, some oncologists may agree that certain women on tamoxifen, or who have had breast cancer more than five years ago and it has not returned, can use the IUS.

Further studies are needed to provide more conclusive evidence about the safety of IUS in women with a history of breast cancer.

The IUS shouldn’t be confused with the intrauterine device (IUD) which is the copper coil. The copper coil doesn’t contain any hormones and can be used for people who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer.

As you are experiencing significant bleeding you may wish to discuss this with your GP or treatment team as they should be able to offer advice on both contraception and managing this symptom.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Breast Care Nurse

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