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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » copper T?

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Author Topic: copper T?
D3PO
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Hi again. I was hoping you guys could give me some info on the copper IUD.

From talking to a nurse in my family planning clinic, i decided against diaphragms-at the moment I need something super effective, and it wasnt doing it for me, even as back up for condoms. My clinician was very strongly pushing for the copper T, and said that there's a new smaller version available for people who haven't had a previous pregnancy, but I have some worries.

I already had heavy periods pre-pill, normally lasting five days with spotting for the next two. I was told that bleeding or cramping could be handled with ponstal would it really make up the difference? how much longer and heavier are periods with the copper IUD? how long does spotting last after insertion? all the stuff im reading says it varies, but i dunno what the variables are.

how bad an idea is it to get it inserted without telling my next of kin? I'm old enough to get it done myself, and would be paying for it out of my own money, but im back at home again and i really dont feel comfortable discussing birth control with my folks.

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D3PO
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Sorry, i clicked on the wrong button, this was meant to be in the other page, not expert advice. no rush
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Patricia H
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Hi D3PO, and thanks for using Scarleteen!

In terms of getting info on the copper IUD, have you checked this out on our website?

Birth Control Bingo: Intrauterine Devices (IUD)

I'm sorry diaphragms don't work out for you; all forms of birth control are effective one way or another at preventing pregnancy and/or STIs, but no one method is 100%, including IUDs. While your clinician may be strongly pushing you to use the copper T, please remember that the choice is ultimately yours, as is your body, so don't feel obligated to opt for the IUD if you aren't comfortable with the idea. Do your homework first; there are plenty of other options to choose from.

As for not telling your next of kin, I personally don't feel I am in the position to tell you whether or not it is a bad idea, but I will try to get another moderator here to answer that. In the meantime, however, you might also want to take a look at this in regards to communicating with your parents for some ideas; the discussion on birth control with them is also included.

About That "Talk" With Your Parents...

I hope this helps. [Smile]

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D3PO
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Just to clarify, when I talk about how bad an idea it is, i mean from an emergency medical standpoint. Though thank you for the link [Smile]
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Molias
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In terms of what to expect from the copper IUD, I'm not sure where you're located but in the US ParaGard is the most likely type you'd get, and there's a lot of information on what to expect on their website. Their patient information packet does say "The most common side effects of ParaGard are heavier, longer periods and spotting between periods; most of these side effects diminish after 2-3 months;" there's no way to know if you would experience that increased menstrual flow or how quickly it would go away if you did. And similarly, it's possible that if cramping increases you can manage that pain easily with medication, but everyone's perception of pain and reaction to medication is so different that, again, there's no way to know beforehand.
Unfortunately there isn't much I can pin down other than "it varies" and the 2-3 month timetable I mentioned above. Some of these questions might be something your clinician could answer; I don't know if you've asked them directly or not. If you feel like one person is really pushing this on you and that's making you uncomfortable, you could certainly ask to see someone else at the clinic the next time you're there, to get a second opinion about your options.

As to whether or not you should tell your parents, if you're of age to make your own medical decisions that's really up to you. IUD insertion isn't a terribly risky procedure, so it isn't like you'd be having major surgery without informing your family. Safety-wise, I think you would be fine, although it wouldn't hurt to have a friend know what's up in case you need some support afterwards. I would assume that you wouldn't want to drive yourself home directly after insertion, so having someone you can trust could be helpful.

Are sexuality and sexual health choices not something you and your parents really feel comfortable talking about at all? If you really want to maintain your privacy around this, I think it's fine, but if you want to use this as an opportunity to maybe open a line of dialogue about your sexual health with your parents, we'd be happy to help you figure out the best way to go about it.

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D3PO
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I have thought it over and decided a copper IUD is definitely for me. I just have one question: I have made my appointment for Monday, but my finals for uni start on Thursday. Should I delay till my next cycle, or should it be ok by that time? I'll ask my gyno before insertion, but just to have as much info as possible. Thanks
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Karybu
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Most people are fine to go back to normal activities within a day or two of having an IUD inserted. You may have some cramping that lasts longer than that, but that can be handled with ibuprofen or similar. Absolutely talk to your gyn, but you'll likely be just fine for the start of exams.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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D3PO
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So, that didn't work out. The IUD expelled a few days after insertion and was horribly painful, I'm too scared to get another. But, since then I've been getting some muscular back and stomach pain and discomfort (prob stress) and on two occasions, both a few days apart and a few days after insertion, a weird lower abdominal pain. Should I go back to the clinic to see if there's an infection? It's expensive so I don't want to go if I don't have to and the sti tests before we're all negative. Also, I'm running out of bc options. I had an awful time on the pill and cried constantly. When I had the para guard removed they gave me a prescription for the mini pill. Will this be better?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Sorry to hear that.

By all means, I'd call in about these symptoms to your healthcare provider and see what they suggest.

We can't possibly know if the mini-pill will work out for you or not. If it doesn't, though, and you want to talk to someone form whom no hormonal methods or an IUD have worked/can work, yet who has remained childfree through all of her reproductive years, I'm someone who has usually been in that spot, so I'm happy to talk with you about that if you'd like.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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D3PO
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Thanks, I'm just really freaked out about infection, even though I know it's a fairly low risk, and I don't want to shell out more money if I don't have to, but if there is an infection it's important to be treated quickly, and I can't judge how likely that is based on my symptoms.

As to the bc problem: it's just really frustrating. I'm ok just about with the idea of condoms and diaphragm and ec if necessary, but it seems expensive and I expect I might be allergic to spermicide as I've fairly sensitive skin. I seem like a bad candidate for pretty much every artificial contraceptive [Razz]

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Heather
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If you didn't have any unprotected sex after the insertion, I'd agree that infection is a low risk, and it seems more likely this is just about some residual pain from the expulsion. But I'd call in, either way.

I totally understand feeling how you are about your options. Mind, I was probably less frustrated because for about half the time I've needed contraception, we didn't have so many options, for anyone, so it didn't feel like quite as much was out of my reach.

That said, I figured it all out and have worked it out over the years. It's been a combo (I can go into more detail if you want), of pill and condoms until I was around 20, then getting off the pill once I realized it was SO not a good fit for me, then a mix of condoms + cervical barriers (I'm pretty sensitive too, but did fine with spermicides, myself), or condoms + barriers + NFP, or condoms + NFP, or just cervical barriers, or just NFP, and in all of that, a handful of years where my partners were women, so obviously, I didn't need any contraception. Now, in my 40s, I'm with a partner who had a vasectomy, but that's usually something that won't happen with partners until later in life.

Point is, this is all doable, it is. I know and understand it can seem like it stinks to have fewer options, but I have always tended to remind myself that through most of history, women had very few options but plenty worked this out. You obviously don't have to approach this that way, but I know it kept me from getting crabby about it and focusing instead on just what *would* work for me.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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D3PO
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hello again. The minipill also caused horrible moodswings. So much for that. I'm wondering how soon after intercourse it's safe to come off it? Like, can i come off it straight away or could that cause a pregnancy risk?
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D3PO
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Also, thank you for talking to me previously. I feel happier about moving onto diaphragms and condoms. It can only be an improvement on this [Smile]
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Heather
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Of course, happy to talk with you about this. [Smile]

I couldn't use the minipill myself, either. (You may be my clone!) Again, I understand that this can all be frustrating.

I'd advise that you finish the full cycle of any pill you're using, rather than dump it midstream, both per pregnancy prevention and to just make withdrawing from it easier on your body.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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D3PO
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A full cycle here being 28 pills? or my next bleed? The continuous use is kind of confusing
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Heather
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Finishing the pack you're currently taking.

Really, that's mostly about giving your body the easiest way out, since you're already feeling ooky. Unless you are feeling HORRIBLY bad, in which case stopping sooner than later might make you feel better.

Since the minipill doesn't suppress ovulation, so long as it's been around a week since any intercourse, you're probably good in terms of any risks if you stop sooner.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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D3PO
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Thanks, that's great to know! I'm feeling pretty panicky though, so I might go off them sooner rather than later seems good. I've already talked with my local clinic about ordering in latex free diaphragms for me, so i can get on that tomorrow.

I was initially worried about the reduced efficacy with the new method, but me and my partner decided condoms+diaphragm+EC if there's a problem with the condom seems like a fairly safe bet. [Razz] Plus, any inconvenience around diaphragms seems to be outweighed by being able to use them without crying, which is a pretty great plus!

Thank you again for offering such a great service through this website. It really is a fantastic help and source of information for me and my partner while we're trying to sort all this out [Smile]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, now that EC is in the world and an option, I'd say -- and I say this to you as someone who has very much wanted to NOT get pregnant during her life, if it helps to know that -- that a combined method like condoms + diaphragm is something you can feel totally confident in.

Mind, you really can even without EC: combined, they truly are statistically just as effective in perfect use as an IUD or birth control pill.

Too, using diaphragms is a lot like using menstrual cups or tampons. You get the swing of it in time and it gets pretty mellow. Plus, you can put them in well in advance of sex if you choose, which can make life easier if you prefer not to have two methods to have to mess with all at once right at the time you two want to be sexual together.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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D3PO
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I just started with period type bleeding, a little over a week after i stopped bleeding after going off the minipill. (That is to say, i went off the mini pill, bled for about 5 days, stopped for about a week, and now started bleeding today). Is this just my hormone levels settling? or should i be worried? I was only on the minipill for 2 weeks so i guess my body has been on a bit of a whirlwind hormonally. Also, should i reschedule my appointment for a diaphragm fitting till after the bleeding stops?
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D3PO
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The bleeding actually seems to be a lot less than period bleeding. Still there, and red blood, but not very heavy at all after i first noticed it. Could it just be crazy heavy ovulation bleeding?
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D3PO
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To clarify, the bleeding has been acting like a normal period, if a good bit lighter than I usually get. Is this normal for going off the mini pill?
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Robin Lee
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Hi D3PO,

I'm very sorry your posts were missed.

Any time we take hormones, even for a short length of time, they have the potential to throw off the menstrual cycle. A lot of things can affect the menstrual cycle temporarily actually, not just hormones.

Above you said something about ovulation bleeding. I'm not really sure what you meant by that as the majority of people do not experience bleeding with ovulation.

When is your diaphragm fitting? The best way to find out if you should reschedule it is to call the healthcare provider's office, explain that you're bleeding right now, and ask them what you should do.

--------------------
Robin

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