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ParaGard (the copper IUD)

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
Add me to the list of people who have Mirena and love it! I decided to go with it after trying several BCPs and not finding one that didn't cause side effects. Plus, I like knowing that it is always there and I don't have to remember to take it. The insertion was painful but the pain was gone in ~1 minute. I felt kind of light-headed for about an hour or so (my doc warned me that this is normal and to be expected). For a while I had lots of spotting and my first period I had really severe cramping...but after that no problems. I would definitely look into it. I have also heard good things about implanon but our health center does not do those.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,876
I have had the Mirena now for I think 3 years. I am mixed on it for several reasons. The pros are obviously no pill, and little to no period, and well, it's about 5 years of not having to worry about stuff like that. But the cons...well, there are many. First off--before you have the IUD inserted, make sure they will put you under. (This assumes you have no kids). They tried to do mine with me just having taken a valium and some advil and let me just say...not a good idea. So when they put me under, it was for like 15 minutes, in and out. Then came the "rejection period" where your body tries to shove it back out. That lasted for almost 6 months for me, and it effectively felt like my body was trying to expel all of my reproductive organs. Serious cramping, long term. I have no idea why I left it in. I promised the doctor I'd give it a year. After about 6 months it just became random little spikes. But my period cramps were like...crushing. And even prior to being on any sort of birth control I never had cramps like this. Over the next year it got a little less painful, but even now 3 years out...I don't really know why I kept it in...I guess because the idea of going back to taking pills, which I am not good at anyway, won out over comfort.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
I didn't read the thread, just the OP so you may have made a decision already- but, for essentially the same reasons, I went for the Mirena (hormone) IUD- and no side effects *at all*, and no period. Seriously the most excellent form of BC ever for me. I had one expire already and am on my 2nd (so- 7 years or so on the Mirena). When I thought about going back on the pill when the first one expired DH was like "HELL EFFIN NO! Don't you remember how horrible it was?" I'd forgotten. I had literally NO sex drive on the pill, any pill, and I tried a bazillion different kinds hoping for one that worked. Oh the irony! You can have safe sex but you don't want any!

So anyway, the Mirena was a godsend for us. Yay for wanting and enjoying sex! It hurt like a freaking b!tch to get inserted but it was over in all of 30 seconds, and no pain after that, so for 5 years of no-worry contraceptive? Awesome and totally worth it. And, I got light spotting towards year 5, but no actual period for 7 years. Which makes it harder and more painful to insert the 2nd one (it hurts less on your period, apparently) but, honestly, I didn't notice it any worse with either insertion- it just hurt plenty either way! But, since I don't get a period I don't get cramps from it.

BTW, I'm lame and never check the threads- they clipped mine super short so I'd er, have to get a whole hand up there :errrr: to check and I haven't much been inclined to try that particular maneuver. Regardless of me ignoring it, both Mirenas have been fine on their own. At least with the super short threads (~1cm) I haven't, um, poked DH with them either. Which I've heard can be a problem if they don't clip the threads short enough. Didn't seem to be a problem to get it out even with the really short threads either, which had crossed my mind...

HTH! And hopefully this isn't too redundant, I'll read the whole thread later when I have some time to do so ;))

Oh, and to get the thing inserted, I took a huge amount of ibuprofen which helped a lot more than anything else. About 5 I think. I did almost pass out from the pain the first time, but like I said, it was over and done with within around 30 seconds to a minute. The second time (when I wasn't having periods, so I couldn't have it done during one) the doctor had to dilate me with these pointy metal tool things and I seriously was in AGONY over that. And it took longer. like 5 minutes or so. OUCH. The receptionist held my hand though, she was a sweetie! I had no trouble getting a Mirena despite not having kids. I suspect if you aren't yet married it might be harder (even if you're monogamous and engaged) because that was what both doctors kept talking about- that I was married, and monogamous, so they were fine with me choosing an IUD.
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
I have the Paragard. I've had it in for almost two years.

I will not lie to you. My insertion was painful. Much, much worse that I was expecting. I was on the tail end of my period when it was inserted. I have never had children. I was told "there might be some cramping." This was the understatement of the century. I planned to only take an hour off from work and ended up taking the rest of the day off to go home and sit on the couch with a heating pad.

My flow went from moderate to epic. I'm talking changing a super absorbency tampon every 2-3 hours on my heaviest day. My cramps are bananas. I have been known to take four ibuprofen (800mg) every six hours two days out of my cycle. This is the max dose. My GYN put me on a prescription dose of naproxen sodium (like Aleve) but that didn't make it any better.

My periods went from around 5-6 days to 7-8 days. My moods swings are not nearly as dramatic as they were when I was on the pill. I wanted to be completely free from hormones so this seemed like the only logical option for us.

The only thing the IUD has not changed is my general cycle. My periods still happen like clockwork. I am able to tell when I'm ovulating and when my period is about to begin. I am oh so hesitantly considering the "Family Planning" method as I am able to track my cycle so well. However, my husband and I know how much of a risk that is.

So after all the bad that comes along with my Paragard, I can say this: it still trumps getting pregnant. As I told my sister when she asked why I put up with the IUD month after month, "I'd rather have a tiny metal object painfully inserted into my uterus than a little naked human coming out of it."

My story may be typical for some, but you may have the very best experience with an IUD. In fact, I really HOPE you love yours and have zero issues. If you want more information, there is a site called "IUD Divas" that has lots of personal stories both kinds of IUDs. If you google it, it should pop right up.

Good luck to you on whichever child-free path you choose! :twirl:

ETA: I have never found my strings. My husband hasn't been able to find them either. My GYN assures me they are there and they are fine.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,876
So after all the bad that comes along with my Paragard, I can say this: it still trumps getting pregnant. As I told my sister when she asked why I put up with the IUD month after month, "I'd rather have a tiny metal object painfully inserted into my uterus than a little naked human coming out of it."
LOL LOL LOL I think that's EXACTLY why I tolerate the mirena.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
6,893
Ok I got Mirena yesterday and this thread helped me a ton in deciding between it and Paraguard so I felt I should come post my experiences.

For some background, the ONLY BC I've been on was Yasmin (for about 6 years). I went off of it when I didn't have health insurance last year and Planned Parenthood didn't have it (and I didn't want to risk Ortho or the like because I felt I liked Yasmin so much). Turns out - I was having some serious mood swings on Yasmin! I just didn't realize because I had been on it so long - I thought that was how I normally was. So no more Yasmin for me, and a healthy trepidation of hormone BCs.

But I was really leery of Paraguard because of all the negative things I heard, and then I heard all these great things about Mirena and how the hormones are localized, versus pill BCs so I decided to give it a try. But I was also basically terrified because of all these stories I keep hearing about how painful insertion is (and I've never had kids).

I ended up going in and getting it, especially since my student healthcare covers the full cost minus a $20 copay for the visit. I went and talked to the doctor and expressed my concerns. An hour before I took an 800 mg ibuprofen. The doctor gave me a numbing shot on my cervix before the procedure.

So despite all I heard about the pain, I actually had no pain during the insertion. The most uncomfortable part was getting the numbing shot which felt like a really strong pinch for 2 seconds. I talked up a storm with the med student observing to keep me distracted and I actually did not even realize the IUD was in until it was over. The doctor described the pain as coming in three cramps - yeah didn't actually feel any of them. And she said it was actually a bit more of a tricky insertion because I had a really tight cervix and she did have to dilate me.

So my advice: take an ibuprofen, get the numbing shot, and talk or keep yourself distracted somehow.

I did have cramps all day and unfortunately I had to go to my class (a three hour seminar). It wasn't super painful but just a consistent amount of moderate to sometimes strong discomfort. I would've been fine if I could've just come home and laid down but it felt worse because I had to go to class and be alert.

Today I woke up feeling fine. A couple moments in the day I felt a bit crampy but nothing too bad and it passed.

So there you have it!
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,232
Dude...my doc didn't even offer me a numbing shot! That would have been soooo helpful. If I get another one after 5 years, I'll ask for that. Anyway, congrats on your Mirena, B.E.G. - hopefully you love it as much as I do!
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,876
Yay! I wish it was that easy for me!
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
jstarfireb|1314946965|3008115 said:
Dude...my doc didn't even offer me a numbing shot! That would have been soooo helpful. If I get another one after 5 years, I'll ask for that. Anyway, congrats on your Mirena, B.E.G. - hopefully you love it as much as I do!

Ditto! I didn't even know a numbing shot was an option! Hope your Mirena works out for you! :appl:
 

QueenB29

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
440
jstarfireb|1314946965|3008115 said:
Dude...my doc didn't even offer me a numbing shot! That would have been soooo helpful. If I get another one after 5 years, I'll ask for that. Anyway, congrats on your Mirena, B.E.G. - hopefully you love it as much as I do!

I didn't know about it either!!!!!!! Maybe that's a new thing?
 
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