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ParaGard (the copper IUD)

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Sorry if any of this is TMI:

I’ve really been thinking lately about getting a copper IUD (ParaGard). I am a little bit hesitant though, because I have heard so many things about it, and I’m scared of all of the bad side effects.

I am 25 years old, and I have been on the Pill for seven years. I have tried many different types and brands, and both the standard and the ‘low’ hormone variations. I have also tried both the monocyclic and the tricyclic types. While some are better than others, I have undesired side effects on all of them.

From the first cycle that I have been on the Pill, my sex drive has been greatly decreased. None of the pills that I have tried have even come close to restoring it. I am currently taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, which probably has the least amount of sexual side effects for me, but it’s still not good.

My fiancé and I are intimate probably less than 1x per week, and even when we are, it is sometimes difficult for me to get fully into it. I remember having the same issues with my college boyfriend, too. I also have issues with a bit of pain during intercourse, like I’m not expanding enough or something, and like my cervix is being hit. My doctor found absolutely nothing wrong during my last exam, and I have also found that this pain goes away when I actually am fully aroused (not very often). Even if we have tons of foreplay, I just don’t get as into it as I would like to.

Weirdly enough, the one day of the month that I am consistently almost always ‘in the mood’ is the day after I take the first pill in my pack. I have no idea why this is, but it always disappears after that first day, unless I forget to take pill #2 (which happened once, and I didn’t realize it – I was completely shocked and happy about how high my sex drive was, until I noticed that I missed it).

Back in high school, I would say that I had a very high sex drive. It’s pretty ironic, because I wasn’t actually having sex then. Now that I am an adult and in a wonderful relationship, I rarely desire sex.

Another side effect that I’ve had issues with is weight gain. I know that this is controversial, and that not everyone thinks that there is really a link, and there might not be. I just know that I gained about eight lbs during the first few months that I was taking birth control (I was the same weight for years before that), and about seven more lbs since then. It might not seem like a lot, but I’m really petite, and I have a small frame, so it shows a lot. Now, I have been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for about four months, and although my sex drive is a little bit better, my pants feel tighter and my bras are also not fitting well (I welcomed the growth during the first few years, but I’m kind of ready for it to stop now).

I think that a non-hormonal option would be ideal for me, but I’ve heard some pretty scary things about the Paragard. I never really considered it before, because I heard that they usually want for you to already have children before you get one, and also because I had heard that the IUD can somehow get lodged in the uterine wall (very rare, but still possible), which can apparently cause infertility due to the scar tissue or something. I have no idea how true this is, but that’s what kind of scared me away. After doing more research, however, I’ve only found that after you have an IUD inserted, a complication can be pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility if untreated. I am not quite as concerned about that, because I would definitely have all of the recommended check ups.

I don’t really want to risk infertility, and I’m a bit concerned about the consequences of inserting a copper-coated foreign device into my body. I definitely don’t want to risk becoming infertile at all, but if the other risks are low, then it sounds like something that I would like to look into further.

Another option is that my fiancé and I could just use condoms, and maybe the withdrawal method. I am a big worrier, so even when I’m on the Pill, we almost always use condoms – I like to use two methods. Also, I don’t think that I would enjoy the fertility awareness method, because I distinctly remember always having a skyrocketing sex drive right around ovulation back before I was on the Pill (accompanied by pelvic pain caused by ovulation, and my period always came within the next couple of weeks or so). I would hate to not be able to be intimate during the time when I would enjoy it the most.

We definitely do want to have children, and it looks like we may begin in as soon as in two years. You never know where life will take you, but right now, that seems like the earliest possibility. I am about to start a new job, and I want to be established in my career before becoming pregnant.

So, does anyone have experience with ParaGard? I just want to feel like my old self again!
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
I have the Mirena IUD (progestin-releasing), not Paragard (copper), but I can answer some of your general questions.

Infertility is a very rare complication of IUDs when the right population is selected. If you're monogamous, you're at a very low risk of STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, the ones that cause PID. So as long as neither of you have more than one partner that you're having unprotected sex with, you should be fine. About migration of the device through the uterine wall...that can happen, but it's extremely rare, so rare that it could be written up in medical journals as a case report. It's not something you should really be concerned about because it's nearly unheard of. Also, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that implants in the tubes instead of the uterus) is another condition that may lead to infertility due to the need to remove a tube and/or ovary. You should know that IUDs technically increase the percentage risk of ectopic pregnancy, but because they reduce the risk of pregnancy in general by a tremendous amount, the absolute number of ectopic pregnancies is actually lower in people with IUDs than without.

Paragard can work for up to 10 years, but there's nothing wrong with keeping it in for just a few years and taking it out when you're ready to have kids. One of the advantages, though, is its longevity. Mirena, on the other hand, lasts for 5 years.

The complications you should consider more are heavier periods, spotting between periods, and cramping. While Mirena decreases your periods (I have no bleeding at all after 3 years with it), Paragard may make them heavier. So if heavy periods are a significant problem for you, consider Mirena instead. The failure rates are similar (less than 1%, slightly less for Mirena than for Paragard), and the hormones released from Mirena are thought to act locally in the reproductive system rather than throughout the whole body like OCPs - you still ovulate with Mirena as well as with Paragard.

Insertion of either IUD is painful, especially if you haven't given birth, but luckily the pain only lasts a few seconds.

Personally for me, the failure rates of condoms, withdrawal, and fertility awareness methods were too high for me to be comfortable with.
 

honey22

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
4,458
Have you considered using just condoms? I read that you prefer to have a backup but it might be a way around the issues you mentioned with both the pill and IUD?

I know some couples are dead against condoms but my husband and I have been using them for 15 years, almost exclusively (occasionaly I will use the pill to manipulate my cycles for times I don't want to have a period). They are very very safe if you use them correctly - and I mean you have to be diligent! Hubby knows he is not allowed to 'play around anywhere near down there' without a condom. And we are always careful to check afterwards - in 15 years we have never had a breakage, failure or pregnancy. That said I am not saying they don't have any risks, but I think if you are careful they are fine.

And my libido is fabulous when I am not on the pill. I experienced the same issues as you did when I was taking the BCPs and I would really never go back now. Especially after reading TCOYF and finding out that the pill can affect your cervical fluid production up to months after finishing it, so I really don't want to risk that when we are considering having kiddies.

Good luck with whatever method you chose!
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I had the mirena and was happy with it, but I do think it affected my sex drive. When I had it removed to conceive my 3rd baby, my drive was much better- but it only took 2 months to get preggo and then I had horrible morning sickness so the drive went away quickly....DH wasn't happy about that! :knockout:
Since we are done having kids my DH is getting the big snip in about 2 weeks. Unfortunately my drive hasn't fully recovered as I'm breastfeeding but I am very excited about it's return in a few months once I'm done nursing and he is fixed and there are no more worries about unplanned pregnancies!

The reason they recommend the IUD for women who've already had kids is that the cervix is already a bit "open" once you've had children so it is much easier to insert. So expect that there WILL be some pain associated with the insertion. I took an 800 ibuprofen and it didn't hurt too much but I had already had 2 vaginal deliveries at that point. Maybe they will give you a valium or something for the day of. Also the paraguard can make your periods heavier and longer. But that might be a trade off you are willing to deal with.

Since you are engaged and planning for kids in the near future maybe something like the sponge or a diaphragm would be an option...combined with condoms?
 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
2,029
I also have the Mirena and not the copper one, but I really like it.

One question is, if you haven't had any children yet, can you even find a doctor willing to put in an IUD? Mine wouldn't, and several ladies here have had similar issues. There's a bigger change of failure if you haven't had a pregnancy, and sometimes the insurance won't cover some of the costs associated with inserting it.

I was on the pill for 7 years before TTC, and even when I went off my sex drive was not the same as it had been in my younger days. I was off almost a year before getting preggo, so I know it was all out of my system by then. Some of your decline might just be due to age (at least that's what I blame it on).

It might be worth using a different method like condoms for a while to see if things change before going to the trouble of an IUD.
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
I agree with using condoms. The withdrawal method is terrible and you could become pregnant from pre-ejaculate. I was the same as you when it came to sex drive and the pill and once I was off the pill my drive came back at full force. DH has had the snip as we are not having kids but we still use condoms sometimes. They are fun! :bigsmile: :naughty: :bigsmile: You can get colored ones, ribbed ones, ones with little bumps, or little vibrating ring on the end, glow in the dark...oh the possibilities!
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
We use withdrawal and have been for the past year or so. It is actually a pretty effective method when done correctly and consistently. It has recently been found to be nearly as effective as condoms with typical use.

Have you thought about using a combination of methods? As in, use withdrawal during the times you aren't fertile and use condoms (and withdrawal?) during your fertile times?
 

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
I would like to know what you decide/find out! Ditto for sex drive although mine was low as a teen, ditto for having been on the pill forever... I quit 2.5 years ago and we've been using a combo of condoms and NFP (temps & symptoms), without accidents... If you have such drastic symptoms of ovulation, and fairly regular cycles, it might be very easy for you guys to use NFP. You can still use condoms when you're fertile. I'm loving being off the damn hormones :).
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thank you for the insight and advice jstarfireb, honey22, nfowife, MustangGal, Sparkly Blonde, amc30, and vsc.

I am still so torn about what to do, and you're right - I have no idea whether or not I would be able to find a doctor who would even insert one. I just kind of assumed that if I did my research and decided what is best for my body and my life, then I would be able to find a doctor who would agree with me about my choice. My fiance and I are in the process of moving, and I normally just go to my general practitioner for my yearly exams, so I definitely need to find a good ob-gyn regardless. Since I don't have someone that I'm set on going to, I thought that surely at least one reputable physician in our new city would be willing to give the IUD a try.

Since I am currently unemployed and my fiance are not married yet, I actually don't have health insurance at the current time. We would definitely be paying for the IUD ourselves, which is not a problem, especially considering the fact that we are currently paying over $80/month for Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo right now (from what I understand, no generic version currently exists). On the other hand, I absolutely cannot get pregnant before December, which is when my insurance coverage will start - because we definitely can't afford those expenses.

I really think that I would worry too much about using just condoms. Right now, my fiance and I almost always use condoms in conjunction with the Pill, since we aren't ready for an oops yet. I just see myself freaking out a lot if that were the only method that we were to use. Also, my general practitioner thinks that just condoms are a bad idea, because they are not as effective at preventing pregnancy as the Pill is. We have tried spermicides in conjunction with the condoms as well, but I don't really like them, and I've heard that they are known to be irritants.

We were considering using the pull-out method along with the condoms, so that might still be an option. Also, I'm not sure about using a cap in conjunction with the condom. Would it possibly cause the condoms to break? I guess it's something to think about!

Maybe it would be best for me to deal with the Pill, at least until around winter, when I'm on health insurance. We would still like to avoid pregnancy for the next two or three years, but at least I would be covered then if we did have an oops.

Thank you again for all of your replies! I guess there really isn't just one perfect solution.
 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
2,029
I think I remember one poster going to 5+ doctors before she found one that would insert an IUD wihout having kids? And there's more expenses than just the device and insertion. They might make you get a set of blood tests first to check for any issues, and get the cervix softening medication done since you haven't had children. They also have you come back about a month later to check it. So you'd be looking at 3-4 doctor visits, lab work and the IUD, it'd probably be $1k+ without insurance. And it might fail or have to be removed if you have a bad reaction. I'd suggest waiting until you have health insurance first, then check out your options. 5 more months of the pill isn't that long in the whole scheme of things.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
amc80|1311620768|2976472 said:
We use withdrawal and have been for the past year or so. It is actually a pretty effective method when done correctly and consistently. It has recently been found to be nearly as effective as condoms with typical use.

Have you thought about using a combination of methods? As in, use withdrawal during the times you aren't fertile and use condoms (and withdrawal?) during your fertile times?
You really should not be telling people this, because it isn't accurate. Studies have been done (I'm at work, but if you want to, you can find them) and while the percentages are SIMILAR, they are still vastly higher than the rates of those taking the pill or using an IUD.

"Like many methods of birth control, reliable effect is achieved only by correct and consistent use. Observed failure rates of withdrawal vary depending on the population being studied: studies have found actual failure rates of 15-28% per year. In comparison, the pill has an actual use failure rate of 2-8%, while the intrauterine device (IUD) has an actual use failure rate of 0.8%. The condom has an actual use failure rate of 10-18%."

Anecdotes help no one, but I got pregnant using the withdrawl method after 4 years of no problems. It's only a matter of time. No man has control over his pre-ejaculate, period.

That said, shihtzulover, I personally would not go with an IUD if you have what are considered medium-to-high-flow periods. From what I have read, they almost always make women bleed more heavily, with more cramping. That sounds miserable to me, but if you feel like it's a good trade off, then good luck finding a doctor that will help! So many won't, but persistence has won out in the end for many ladies here and they got a Mirena before kids.

I'd go with condoms, if it were me. Doubling up on protection still leaves 1% chance, so nothing is foolproof, and I would like to enjoy life rather than struggle for no reason.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
MonkeyPie|1311876482|2979077 said:
amc80|1311620768|2976472 said:
We use withdrawal and have been for the past year or so. It is actually a pretty effective method when done correctly and consistently. It has recently been found to be nearly as effective as condoms with typical use.

Have you thought about using a combination of methods? As in, use withdrawal during the times you aren't fertile and use condoms (and withdrawal?) during your fertile times?
You really should not be telling people this, because it isn't accurate. Studies have been done (I'm at work, but if you want to, you can find them) and while the percentages are SIMILAR, they are still vastly higher than the rates of those taking the pill or using an IUD.
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/reprints/Contraception79-407-410.pdf
Withdrawal is sometimes referred to as the contraceptive method that is “better than nothing” [1]. But, based on the evidence, it might more aptly be referred to as a method that is almost as effective as the male condom—at least when it comes to pregnancy prevention. If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4% of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year [2]. However, more realistic estimates of typical use indicate that about 18% of couples will become pregnant in a year using withdrawal [3]. These rates are only slightly less effective than male condoms, which have perfect- and typical-use failure rates of 2% and 17%1, respectively [3].

Obviously, people should take it upon themselves to research and decide which method is best for them. I was just sharing research I found. I think with ANY method you have to be prepared and realize that there is a failure rate.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
amc80|1311880390|2979135 said:
MonkeyPie|1311876482|2979077 said:
amc80|1311620768|2976472 said:
We use withdrawal and have been for the past year or so. It is actually a pretty effective method when done correctly and consistently. It has recently been found to be nearly as effective as condoms with typical use.

Have you thought about using a combination of methods? As in, use withdrawal during the times you aren't fertile and use condoms (and withdrawal?) during your fertile times?
You really should not be telling people this, because it isn't accurate. Studies have been done (I'm at work, but if you want to, you can find them) and while the percentages are SIMILAR, they are still vastly higher than the rates of those taking the pill or using an IUD.
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/reprints/Contraception79-407-410.pdf
Withdrawal is sometimes referred to as the contraceptive method that is “better than nothing” [1]. But, based on the evidence, it might more aptly be referred to as a method that is almost as effective as the male condom—at least when it comes to pregnancy prevention. If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4% of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year [2]. However, more realistic estimates of typical use indicate that about 18% of couples will become pregnant in a year using withdrawal [3]. These rates are only slightly less effective than male condoms, which have perfect- and typical-use failure rates of 2% and 17%1, respectively [3].

Obviously, people should take it upon themselves to research and decide which method is best for them. I was just sharing research I found. I think with ANY method you have to be prepared and realize that there is a failure rate.
That's...basically exactly what I posted. So good we are in agreement :tongue:
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
MonkeyPie|1311880604|2979138 said:
amc80|1311880390|2979135 said:
MonkeyPie|1311876482|2979077 said:
amc80|1311620768|2976472 said:
We use withdrawal and have been for the past year or so. It is actually a pretty effective method when done correctly and consistently. It has recently been found to be nearly as effective as condoms with typical use.

Have you thought about using a combination of methods? As in, use withdrawal during the times you aren't fertile and use condoms (and withdrawal?) during your fertile times?
You really should not be telling people this, because it isn't accurate. Studies have been done (I'm at work, but if you want to, you can find them) and while the percentages are SIMILAR, they are still vastly higher than the rates of those taking the pill or using an IUD.
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/reprints/Contraception79-407-410.pdf
Withdrawal is sometimes referred to as the contraceptive method that is “better than nothing” [1]. But, based on the evidence, it might more aptly be referred to as a method that is almost as effective as the male condom—at least when it comes to pregnancy prevention. If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4% of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year [2]. However, more realistic estimates of typical use indicate that about 18% of couples will become pregnant in a year using withdrawal [3]. These rates are only slightly less effective than male condoms, which have perfect- and typical-use failure rates of 2% and 17%1, respectively [3].

Obviously, people should take it upon themselves to research and decide which method is best for them. I was just sharing research I found. I think with ANY method you have to be prepared and realize that there is a failure rate.
That's...basically exactly what I posted. So good we are in agreement :tongue:
You said I shouldn't be telling people that typical condom use effectiveness is basically the same as typical withdrawal use. Your argument was that failure rate for withdrawal is much higher than the pill or IUD...which I didn't even mention. So yes, we are in agreement except for the "You really should not be telling people this, because it isn't accurate" part :cheeky:
 

violet3

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
3,793
We use condoms exclusively - i HATED being on birth control pills. I was hormonal, gained weight, and even threw up sometimes. I have also at times used a vaginal insert with spermicide just in case something were to happen. I know you said you thought they were irritants, but i was personally never irritated by them, and they gave me a bit of peace of mind of some extra protection.
 

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
Shihtzulover, if you do decide to get ParaGard and have trouble finding a Dr, you might want to check with your local Planned Parenthood. When I was considering it, they used to post the costs on their website and it was very reasonable. I also would expect them to know more about BC and to be less likely to refuse to insert it because you haven't had children yet.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
For what it's worth, I agree with your concern about condoms alone. They have about a 3% perfect use failure rate and about a 15% typical use failure rate. And trust me, no matter how perfect you think your use is, it's not! (You in the general sense is what I mean.) Personally, I think if pregnancy is something you absolutely need to avoid, condoms aren't enough. If you could handle an "oops," then condoms alone are OK.

Regarding withdrawal, the perfect use failure rate is often quoted at 4%, and yes, that's similar to the condom's perfect use failure rate. But the typical use failure rate is closer to 20-25% (depends on which study you look at), which is pretty bad. I couldn't find any data on the failure rates of condoms plus withdrawal, but intuition tells me that using both would be more effective than either alone.

Definitely check with your local Planned Parenthood about your options for IUDs and other methods, especially since you're paying out of pocket!
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thanks again, everyone!

The heavy periods thing concerns me a bit, but I think that even before the Pill, I had a lighter-than-average flow. I'm not really sure, but my cramping wasn't usually that bad (I had them, but they never interfered with any of my normal activities or anything like that), and I remember wearing 'regular' maxi pads and tampons for four hours or more, even during the worst times.

Oh, and speaking of ectopic pregnancies...my mom had one before she had me. She was told that she might have trouble conceiving, since she had one of her tubes removed, but she told me that she got pregnant with me right away when they started trying - and she was 38 years old at the time. I know, it was probably just luck, but it's still something that I think about.

Also, my aunt on my dad's side got pregnant from a one-night stand when she was in her late 30s (definitely not the ideal situation, but it's what happened, at least from what I understand - I don't talk to her much). I know that you never can tell, and for all I know I could have infertility problems, but these are the types of things that make me worry that we might have an oops.

I may look at the Planned Parenthood option. It just so happens that their website is the first one that I looked at when I was researching IUDs. Also, I guess our other options are for me to stay on the Pill for now, or to abstain from sex during my fertile periods. Since my sex drive is so high during those times, we could still do other things. Then, when I'm not likely to be fertile, we could possibly use a combination of condoms and withdrawal.

If I do decide to go with an IUD: would I have to wait for awhile before resuming normal activities? Or is the pain pretty much completely over right after the insertion? If I had it done on a weekday, could I go to work the next day?
 

honey22

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Messages
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jstarfireb|1311900267|2979371 said:
For what it's worth, I agree with your concern about condoms alone. They have about a 3% perfect use failure rate and about a 15% typical use failure rate. And trust me, no matter how perfect you think your use is, it's not! (You in the general sense is what I mean.) Personally, I think if pregnancy is something you absolutely need to avoid, condoms aren't enough. If you could handle an "oops," then condoms alone are OK.

Regarding withdrawal, the perfect use failure rate is often quoted at 4%, and yes, that's similar to the condom's perfect use failure rate. But the typical use failure rate is closer to 20-25% (depends on which study you look at), which is pretty bad. I couldn't find any data on the failure rates of condoms plus withdrawal, but intuition tells me that using both would be more effective than either alone.

Definitely check with your local Planned Parenthood about your options for IUDs and other methods, especially since you're paying out of pocket!
I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about if needing to avoid pregnancy, condoms are not enough.

As I said, we have been using them for the mostpart of 15 years without a single accident. Also, I am on RA chemotherapy and I absolutely positively cannot get pregnant (would have to have a termination). Both my OB/GYN and rheumatologist, (and me for that matter) are quite happy with us using condoms exclusively. While perfect use failure rate is 4% then it's quite an effective and safe form.

On the other hand, if you can't commit to using them properly or have doubts on their proper use, then you are likely to be in the category with a higher failure rate, which obviously takes into account those who are just not using them properly.

Condoms get a bad rap and their failure rates increase because of user error, not do to an inherent fault in the device.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 23, 2008
Messages
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honey22|1311903876|2979418 said:
I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about if needing to avoid pregnancy, condoms are not enough.

As I said, we have been using them for the mostpart of 15 years without a single accident. Also, I am on RA chemotherapy and I absolutely positively cannot get pregnant (would have to have a termination). Both my OB/GYN and rheumatologist, (and me for that matter) are quite happy with us using condoms exclusively. While perfect use failure rate is 4% then it's quite an effective and safe form.

On the other hand, if you can't commit to using them properly or have doubts on their proper use, then you are likely to be in the category with a higher failure rate, which obviously takes into account those who are just not using them properly.

Condoms get a bad rap and their failure rates increase because of user error, not do to an inherent fault in the device.
I think you need to realize that saying that is anecdotal, NOT TYPICAL. Yes, condoms work fairly well, and you clearly are far more picky about your usage than most people. The average person will not examine their condom afterward to make sure there wasn't a tear, not to mention, a lot will go straight into foreplay and such without the condom already on which increases chances of pre-ejaculate finding it's way where it shouldn't be. Perfect use is not AVERAGE use - you will notice that just about every study mentions perfect use because the average person is not perfect.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
MonkeyPie|1311909494|2979495 said:
honey22|1311903876|2979418 said:
I have to respectfully disagree with your comment about if needing to avoid pregnancy, condoms are not enough.

As I said, we have been using them for the mostpart of 15 years without a single accident. Also, I am on RA chemotherapy and I absolutely positively cannot get pregnant (would have to have a termination). Both my OB/GYN and rheumatologist, (and me for that matter) are quite happy with us using condoms exclusively. While perfect use failure rate is 4% then it's quite an effective and safe form.

On the other hand, if you can't commit to using them properly or have doubts on their proper use, then you are likely to be in the category with a higher failure rate, which obviously takes into account those who are just not using them properly.

Condoms get a bad rap and their failure rates increase because of user error, not do to an inherent fault in the device.
I think you need to realize that saying that is anecdotal, NOT TYPICAL. Yes, condoms work fairly well, and you clearly are far more picky about your usage than most people. The average person will not examine their condom afterward to make sure there wasn't a tear, not to mention, a lot will go straight into foreplay and such without the condom already on which increases chances of pre-ejaculate finding it's way where it shouldn't be. Perfect use is not AVERAGE use - you will notice that just about every study mentions perfect use because the average person is not perfect.
What really are the chances of becoming pregnant from pre-ejaculate fluid? Assuming that the man urinates in the event that he has recently ejaculated, in order to clear any live sperm from his urethra.

If my fiance and I do decide to use condoms, or even if we decide not to have intercourse during my fertile times, we probably will still be intimate - especially considering the fact that these are the times when my sex drive is substantially increased. If he were to touch himself (with pre-ejaculate fluid) and then me, could I become pregnant?
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
Honey22, I think the key is in how one interprets that 3-4% perfect use failure rate. Because even if you do have perfect use (which might be the case for you but is not for most people), I personally think a 4% chance of pregnancy is too high for me to be comfortable with. Especially when there are other methods that reduce my chance of pregnancy to less than 1% and are not affected by user error (the IUDs are a prime example, and so is Implanon). But 4% is acceptable for some, and that's fine! It's just a matter of where you set your personal threshold for the level of risk you're OK with. I'm certainly not denying that it's a dramatic reduction compared to using no method (85% chance of pregnancy).

ETA: Shihtzulover, the chance of getting pregnant from pre-ejaculate is extremely low, especially if he urinates after ejaculating as you mentioned (see this abstract for an explanation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12286905). So "never say never," but the odds of pregnancy are very low. The problem with withdrawal is not so much pre-ejaculate, but that it's difficult for some men to know exactly when they're about to ejaculate and have the willpower to withdraw every time.
 

nkarma

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
636
I only wanted to add that I easily got Mirena though I have not given birth. They gave me the choice between that and Paraguard. I decided Mirena for the reduced periods and bleeding. A large percentage of my friends also have an IUD and have not given birth either. Where I am located, it is very easy to find a doctor that will insert one.

Also, shitzulover, I don't want to get personal, but how is your foreplay? (rhetorical) The reason you are having pain is you are not all the way aroused. When a woman is fully aroused, her vagina expands and is very lubricated. What until you feel lubricated to begin intercourse and it should not hurt.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
shihtzulover|1311910428|2979505 said:
What really are the chances of becoming pregnant from pre-ejaculate fluid? Assuming that the man urinates in the event that he has recently ejaculated, in order to clear any live sperm from his urethra.
This is making the assumption that he doesn't touch you until after he's both ejaculated AND urinated. Not terribly likely, unless you make him take care of himself before you guys even get intimate...what's the point then? I'm confused by this theory. Also, from what I can see, urinating doesn't get every single sperm. And all it takes is one!

I am at work (again), but I did some browsing around for a percentage of women getting PG from pre-ejaculate. I couldn't find a single percentage, probably because this is hard to really track. All I found was a LOT of women saying their babies were born from the withdrawl method. It's seriously not something to play with.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I definitely would not feel comfortable using just the withdrawal method for pregnancy prevention - I might only use it in conjunction with condoms, and probably only during my non-fertile periods. I'm actually just more worried that if I get off the Pill, and we choose to not have intercourse during my fertile times, but we are still intimate, I might get pregnant from his pre-ejaculate fluid being on his hand or something. Maybe I'm just being way too paranoid!

The below is probably way too TMI about my sex life. Just a warning!:

I don't think that it's a foreplay problem. This is probably TMI, but my fiance likes to focus on me before we actually have intercourse, um, usually at least once. I have no problem with 'getting there', but sometimes it really feels like my body is just going through the motions. I'm often only halfway interested in sex before we start, then he takes care of me and I can finish, and then we have intercourse. Even then, we still need to use lubricants, and there's still a fine line between what feels good and what hurts. Also, I don't have a problem with being 'focused on' multiple times, so it's not like I lose my arousal after one.

During that one day of the month (after I take my first Pill) that I tend to have a much higher sex drive, I am extremely interested in sex, we don't need lubrication, and everything feels great. I think I already said this, but I even forgot to take the second pill in my pack once, and was wondering why I wanted sex again the next day, and why it actually still felt great. I was so excited, until I realized that I had forgotten to take the second pill...ha.
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
vsc|1311885682|2979203 said:
Shihtzulover, if you do decide to get ParaGard and have trouble finding a Dr, you might want to check with your local Planned Parenthood. When I was considering it, they used to post the costs on their website and it was very reasonable. I also would expect them to know more about BC and to be less likely to refuse to insert it because you haven't had children yet.
My local planned parenthood wouldn't do this for me because I haven't had children - yet they were the only ones who would snip DH in his early 20's :cheeky: It is my understanding the spermicide can be used effectively with condoms (some even have it on them already).
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
What I like best about the IUD is that there's no chance of screwing it up, like forgetting a pill or not putting a condom on at the right time. Perfect use and typical use are pretty much equivalent - there's no potential for human error. That eases my mind tremendously, and from reading your posts, it sounds like that would be a great benefit for you too. They're also more effective than any hormonal form of birth control, they don't have some of the annoying side effects of hormonal forms, and they require very little effort aside from dealing with the brief pain of insertion and getting an annual exam (which you probably would do anyway). Oh, and mine made my periods go away completely, but as I mentioned before, Paragard can actually make them heavier. On a side note, I wouldn't decide against Mirena just because it has hormones. You're not likely to experience the same side effects as systemic hormones, because the hormones in Mirena are very low-dose and thought to work only locally in the uterus and cervix.

For me, finding a doctor willing to insert one on someone who has never been pregnant wasn't hard at all. But I was a medical student, so it was clearly a very educated decision, and where I went to med school, pretty much all of the OB/Gyn residents had Mirena. So that was kind of a different situation from most. I would still recommend checking out Planned Parenthood, and if the docs there won't insert them in someone without children, look for another doctor who will. There are plenty out there.
 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
2,029
shihtzulover said:
Thanks again, everyone!

If I do decide to go with an IUD: would I have to wait for awhile before resuming normal activities? Or is the pain pretty much completely over right after the insertion? If I had it done on a weekday, could I go to work the next day?
I had the Mirena put in on my lunch break. I was 10 weeks post-patum, so things might have been a bit *relaxed* at that stage, but the insertion didn't feel any worse than my annual exam. No cramps, and just spotting for a few weeks. I'm not sure if the paraguard expeience would be different.
 

QueenB29

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
440
I switched to Mirena from the Pill a couple years ago. I haven't have kids yet, but my gyno was the one who actually suggested it. I had been on the Pill for so long to regulate my cycle that my cycle was completely out of whack. I also forgot to take my Pill at least once or twice a month....and......yeah......ended up saying Hail Marys to get my period a few times. I'm married and wouldn't have been totally upset with a "surprise" but work-wise it would have been bad.

My gyno said Paragard was absolutely the wrong way to go because of the heavy periods and cramping, and some people don't react well to the copper. Mirena hasn't lightened my periods the way she said it would, but I'm just so happy not to worry about missing the Pill. Or get the nasty yeast infections I got from the back-up condoms I made my husband wear. And I lost a couple pounds immediately.

Here's the drawback:

Never having given birth, the insertion was excruciating. EXCRUCIATING. Basically they had to artificially dilate me a couple centimeters in order to get it in. O.M.G. :o :o And the pain didn't stop after the procedure. I've had a laproscopy before to check for endometriosis and the Mirena hurt far more after. I had to take 2 Vicodin that I had left over from a sinus surgery to even take the edge off. Then I had cramps for days. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but it's something to think about.

Also, I get random cramps and pains in the middle of my cycle that I never got before. :confused:

And apparently hormones from the Pill kept me from getting painful ovarian cysts that have appeared in the past year. My gyno actually wants to put me BACK on the Pill for these :rolleyes: I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, but there's no way she's taking my Mirena until I'm ready for a baby.

Because in spite of all of this, Mirena is SOOOOOOO worth it just for piece of mind.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
My experience with Mirena insertion was somewhere between MustangGal's and QueenB's. It was without a doubt the worst moment of pain I had experienced to that date, and I had even pre-treated myself with ibuprofen about an hour before insertion. But the pain lasted for a few seconds and then was gone completely. Over the next few days, I had mild cramping and spotting (much less bleeding than a normal period), but it was very tolerable and did not at all affect my daily activities.

Worth it? To me, absolutely. I think Mirena is the best thing since sliced bread. I'd do it again in a heartbeat after 5 years.
 
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