To coil or not to coil??!

Hi All

Hope you are all keeping nice and warm!

Just had my last chemo - hoorah!! Feeling the effects something shocking but hey ho! At my last visit to my onc we got onto the discussion of birth control. I will be starting tamoxifen at the end of the year and have been told that I cannot get pregnant whilst on it. Fair enough. So the subject of the mirena coil came up as this would be a much nicer form of birth control rather than having to use condoms - which lets face it ladies is a passion killer!!! My concern was about any hormone in the coil as my bc is hormone based. But she said that many many ladies have this coil after treatment and so far it has proved to be ok.

I am in two minds at the moment and would love some advice from anyone. Have you gone down this road? how is it for you? any side effects ect…


I haven’t got a clue, to be honest - but isn’t there another form of coil that doesn’t release hormones? The old fashioned sort, before the mirena came along? I’d be almost more tempted by that…

Fortunately for me, my OH had the snip a fortnight after I discovered #4 baby was on the way…lmao… but even so he wasn’t over impressed when the chemo nurse advised us to use condoms whilst I’m having treatment…

Makes me laugh how optimistic he is that he’ll be getting any anyhow…

I’m sure your bcn may have more advice - but I would ask about the non-hormone coil and see if that’s an option?

Sophie xx

HI I had the mirena coil put in just before my diagnosis in 2003. My gyneacologist said I could keep it in inspite of the fact that my bc was hormone dependant. I had it out in 2008 (I didn’t need it anymore) although he was quite happy for me to keep it in longer. I had bc again in 2010 but it was triple neg.
Good luck to you

Hi, ive no idea whether the mirena coil should be used or not, i think oncologists must have their own opinion as i was advised to have mine removed just before i started chemo, my bc was hormone positive.


Hi I had mirenia coil in 05, was dx in june 07 my oncologist recomended it taken out. . . just to be on the safe side as my bc was hormone related and he admitted they dont know enough about it yet, so he thought it the best route, had a normal coil fitted same time as that was removed.


I had a mirena coil fitted and I got a reccurence of breast cancer.I think the advice now is not after BC suzan

I had a mirena before dx and loved it. Was advised to have it taken out as my bc was hormone positive so our options now are a non-hormone coil, condoms, diaphragm or vasectomy. I do not want anything else unnecessary putting inside my body so my OH is having the snip in Jan.
I don’t think the risk of having artificial hormones in your body after bc is worth it, but I do really miss the mirena!

My BC was hormone positive and my breast consultant insisted that I had to have my Mirena coil removed, even though I was very upset at the idea, it suited me so well. She suggested using condoms instead - no chance, disgusting things! So I had it swapped for the traditional type coil, which has had the unexpected advantage that it tends to compensate for the vaginal dryness caused by the hormone therapy. So all’s well that ends well!
Sarah x


i was on the mini pill cerazette, and when was dx was advised by consultant, doc and onc to stop it.

hen they found out it was weekly hormone positive i was advised to get the coil, as ill be on tamoxifen for 5 years also. i have had one fec so far.

i was referred to specialist in family planning and she didn’t want me to have the mirena coil to be on safe side. i also didn’t want to put myself at any potential risk, so i had the copper original coil fitted yesterday.


I’ve had the non hormonal coil for about 6 months now following chemo etc, plan to keep it in as long as poss. I know it can effect periods and not recommended for ladies with heavy periods but the combination of tamoxifen and Zoladex means I don’t have them.

I like having the coil as it’s less of a passion killer than condoms and I need as much encouragement as poss! I have confidence in it plus it’s free. I know you can get condoms from FPC but they’re like inner tubes!

Em x

As we’re talking contraception - did you guys all get advice to use barrier methods (eg condoms) during chemo? I read somewhere that you should, and asked chemo nurse, who said it was prob. a good idea as the chemo can be excreted through all bodily fluids. She reckoned any risk was tiny, but condoms would be sensible. I was just quite surprised that she didn’t mention it until I asked?

I personally blame the mirena coil for being the final piece of the jigsaw that gave me BC but to be honest who knows. My surgeon said its fine and would not be drawn on it (2years ago). When I said well you are giving me tamoxifen for the oestrogen but I am also progesterone positive so how does that work when the mirena gives you a nice steady flow of progesterone? He changed his mind and said have it straight out. I was dx with 2 friends within weeks and we all had mirenas when we exchanged notes, a coincidence? When we questioned our different surgeons separately they all said have it taken out. One friend had had cervical cancer and later BC, she was told the mirena was fine and got BC recurrence after that. There may be no connection but it was enough to spook us.
There were a group on here taking a class action out against the manufacturers of the mirena, not sure if it got anywhere. Anyway just my view, which is against them but wishing you good luck with your decision and it only matters that you are happy with it. I would send him for the snip :slight_smile:
Lily x

Hi, I have had two mirena coils, both for 5years, with a baby in between. I have had the second one removed now. I was diagnosed in October with primary invasive bc, lymph nodes involved. I also know two other women, both with mirenas when they were diagnosed. I have my suspicions,

My view, for what it’s worth, is that I probably already had the potential or actual BC lurking in there and all that the Mirena coil perhaps did was to feed it the hormones it wanted and therefore accelerate its progress. So I was diagnosed with BC at 50 instead of maybe 60? I prefer to take the attitude that at least I was younger and fitter and therefore better able to cope with it.
P.S. I never know on these forums what is the definition of “younger women”. In BC terms it seems to mean pre-menopausal.

cheshire cheese,
thats correct, in bc younger woman refers to pre menopausal.

i hadnt had coils before. i started on the migrogarna 30 pill at 16 and at age 36 had pre cervical cancerous cells and was told it was about the combined pill and to stop it. i then went on to the mini pill, which is progesterone only, but was advised to stop that as soon as my bc was diagnosed, im 41. havent had children, and now wonder if years on the pill as added to this dx

At my first visit to the one-stop shop, the registrar who examined my lump asked lots of questions about what contraception I had used in the past. I’ve never had the coil, didn’t like the idea of it, but was on combined pill for approx. seven years in total, and had the depo jab for about another four years. Reg. wasn’t interested in depo jab (presumably it’s a hormone suppressant?), but was interested to know just how long I’d used the combine pill for - so there must be some evidence that adding these hormones to our bodies is messing them up in more ways than we realise. <sigh></sigh>

Fortunately, OH had the snip when I discovered I was having baby #4!! For me, the depo jab was the only 100% reliable form of contraception prior to vasectomy!!!

My tumour is highly hormone receptive - and though I fortunately don’t have to think about future contraception, I would be very unhappy about using any form of birth control that involved adding hormones to my body… and I’ll be discouraging my daughters from long term pill/mirena use too.

Sophie xx


Thanks for all your comments. My fear of having manufactured hormones pumped into my body again are very strong. A big part of me does blame the pill for my bc. Messing with hormones cannot be to good really can it?! I am somewhat surprised that my onc even suggested the mirena. I think I’ll look in to one without any hormones. Me and hormones are enemies anyway so I don’t fancy another battle with them thank you very much! LOL!

Anyone got a coil with out hormones in? whats it called?


Not sure what it’s called, but instead of hormones, it uses copper. It’s the ‘original’ coil, if you like - your gp will know exactly what you mean.

Sophie xx

Mirena is an IUS - intra-uterine system. Non-hormonal coils are IUDs (intra-uterine device). There are a couple of different brands - the one we tend to use is called Multiload. (I’m a Family Planning nurse)

Im sorry to show my ignorance but have read all the of the posts and still have my questions in my head. I have had my mirena coil in for 4 years. Was dx in Feb of this year and was told that it was absolutely fine to keep the coil because i am 30% oestregen positive and the coil is putting progesteron into my body…is this correct?? The more that i read this thread the more im worrying!!