T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 3
posted 01-02-2007 06:23 PM
For those looking into the different methods of birth control to find what's right for them, here's one of several threads where users can report their experiences with a given method so that other users can get a more personal idea of what using a given method is like when they're looking into what might work best for them.
If you have used or do use the IUD (copper or Mirena), please report on it in the following format: Pros: List what you have experienced as the pros or benefits -- the good parts -- of using this method. Cons: List what you've experienced as the downsides or cons of using this method. Ease of use: Talk about how easy -- or not -- it's been for you and/or your partner to use, access and afford this method, how it's worked out in your relationships, etc. Effectiveness: Talk about how well this method has protected you from pregnancy, and if it ever has failed, note that, including any explanation of how or why, if you know or suspect how or why. Feel free to also add any extra notes, hints or tips!
Member # 25425
posted 01-26-2007 02:41 AM
Anyone at all with some experience with the IUD? I am thinking of switching, but getting an IUD is really expensive and I just really want to make sure I know what I'm doing before I shell out the cash.
Member # 3
posted 01-26-2007 11:13 AM
One biggie with the IUD, Septemner, just so you know, is that it is generally NOT advised for women who are not in long-term monogamous partnerships, due to the increased risks that can be posed if a woman contracts an STI while using the IUD.
Member # 36915
posted 02-06-2008 07:04 PM
I'm using a Mirena. Had it fitted during surgery to treat endometriosis - I was on the pill beforehand, but hopefully the Mirena will eventually stop my periods, and minimise the pain I was getting at the same time. I'm an odd candidate because of my age - I'm 18, and have had no children - and I was wondering whether that might have anything to do with the experience I've had of it since installment.
A week after having it fitted, I'd finished my last set of pills, and within 4 days my period started. It didn't stop for 15 days, and was erratic in colour, flow, etc etc. Headaches and cramps constantly throughout. Very hard to predict, too - it almost stopped at one point, but the next day it was back again, as if it had never stopped. That was about a fortnight ago. My doctor said it was par for the course and likely to settle sooner rather than later - if it -didn't-, I'd just have to have it removed. I understand this, of course, it was one of the conditions of having it fitted, but I'm yet to find anyone else with it (due to my age and that of the people I socialise with, I suppose) who can tell me how long it took for them to grow accustomed to it. Any Mirena users out there who can tell me how long it took for them to adjust?
Member # 3
posted 02-06-2008 08:15 PM
How long ago was this Hannah? In general, yes, women who have never been pregnant can have a tougher time with insertion, and may also find them less comfortable. But for most women, some spotting and cramping is expected over the first couple months an IUD is inserted.
Member # 32310
posted 02-10-2008 02:01 AM
I've heard that the combination of starting the Mirena and stopping a BCP can lead to some strange side effects. Your body is having to get used to a foreign body and a hormone change at the same time.
The first three months are supposed to be the settling in period. I think that's about right- I'm about four months in and things feel good. My first two periods with it were odd- my pre-IUD cycle was just shy of seven weeks, and these were four. There was much less flow, but my periods lasted twice as long with the added bonus of a couple days of spotting at the beginning. However, since then, I haven't even had PMS, let alone a period. I think the Mirena may have decreased my sex drive for a couple of months too, but it's kind of hard to be sure because my relationship hit a rough patch around the same time it was put it. Anyway, things are back to normal now, and the only thing that's different is the occasional two-second twinge of a cramp at some random time.
Member # 23487
posted 03-17-2008 03:53 PM
I've had my Paraguard (copper iud) for a little over a month, and I'm happy to share what I've experienced so far.
PROS: I really wanted some form of birth control that was long term, highly effective, and hormone free. The copper iud was the only thing that seemed to meet all of this. I got my iud through Planned Parenthood, which was a great experience. The staff was very friendly, despite the office always being very busy. I had expected some resistance from them because I'm 19 and nulliparous, but they were very supportive and willing to work with me. CONS: I had the iud inserted on the last day of my period, spotted for a week, and then my period started a week early, and lasted for a week and a half. This didn't bother me so much, but I don't feel comfortable using my menstrual cup anymore, as some people have reported online that they accidentally pulled their iud out when removing their cup. I purchased some reusable cloth pads which are awesome, as I didn't want to ever go back to disposable pads or tampons. I still miss my cup,though. Insertion wasn't too painful- I took 800 mg ibuprofen 30 minutes before and was given misoprostol to dilate my cervix. The most uncomfortable part was whatever instrument that clamped on my cervix to hold it in place. I had some mild cramping for the rest of the day. EASE OF USE: The cost of an iud had me balking (and saving) for a long time- especially since I would be paying without insurance. Between the cost of the iud, insertion fee, pap smear, mandatory pregnancy test on the day of the insertion, and std tests... it added up to quite a bit. I had never spent so much money on anything before, but I'm glad my first big purchase was on something to protect my health. My partner was really supportive about my decision, despite this, I did find myself dealing with some unexpected emotional issues after the insertion. While an iud was completely my idea, and something I have been reading about for years, I felt resentment towards my boyfriend after the insertion. I was crampy, in some pain, and generally not feeling well, and resented that all the responsibility of birth control rested with me. Previously, we had switched off between condom buying duties. We read some articles together about how iud's work and I let him feel my strings, and he thought it was really pretty cool I had previously kept him out of the loop a bit- I told him about my appointment for my insertion about a week before hand. I had wanted to make sure I was doing this for myself, not for him- but once we had a good, long talk I felt a lot better about my decision. EFFECTIVENESS: No problems yet- the effectiveness in studies is ridiculously high, and there is hardly any difference between perfect use and average use. One of the best resources I found was a livejournal community IUD Divas http://community.livejournal.com/iud_divas/ [ 03-17-2008, 04:00 PM: Message edited by: qeii ]
Member # 13245
posted 03-27-2008 02:10 PM
qeii, that is super helpful! Thanks!
I'm reconsidering hormonal birth control at the moment, and an IUD looks like an option. My mom has the Mirena IUD, and I remember she had some cramping for a few days, then a few months (4? 5?) of weird periods, but she loves it now. I think she's planning to have it removed and a new one inserted right away when it's time.
Member # 38361
posted 05-08-2008 10:08 PM
I've been using the Paragard Copper IUD for two years now after using condoms, Ortho Evra (the patch) and the nuva ring, and so far I like it the best. My doctor was initially hesitant since at the time it was inserted I was only 19 and have never had kids, but I had been in a monogamous relationship for 4 years (which is still going on) and I assured her that I knew all the risks and she agreed to give me one.
Pros: I don't have to deal with buying birth control every month, I don't have to remember to take a pill or replace a patch. It's always there which allows for more spontaneous sex. The copper IUD has no hormones which means my PMS mood swings aren't as severe, and I don't experience nausea or breast tenderness like I did on hormonal methods. It lasts for up to 12 years! Cons: Significantly heavier periods. I used to have a period that lasted about five days - now it lasts seven, with very heavy bleeding in the first three days, with bad cramps. As long as I keep myself constantly dosed with Ibuprofen for those two or three heavy days I'm fine, but I definitely notice when the painkillers wear off. Also, insertion was quite painful for me - it felt like one extremely acute very painful cramp - like someone was stabbing me in my belly - and this was after I'd taken 800 mg of Ibuprofen beforehand. My doctor warned me that what I would feel would effectively be a labor cramp, as the cervix would have to stretch to accommodate the IUD - and boy it hurt, but only for a minute or two. The IUD is a T-shape when the arms are extended, and only about an inch tall but to insert it, the arms fold down and the whole thing fits into a straw-like applicator, which is inserted through the cervix and the arms fold out and the straw is removed. I also experienced a lot of cramping and pretty constant spotting for about a month after it was inserted - but over the months my cycle normalized and now (2 years later) it's almost like I'm not on birth control at all, except my periods are two days longer. Ease of use: It's been really easy for me to use the IUD - it's pretty much maintenance free. Now and then I reach up and see how long the strings are - my partner says he can't feel them, except for now and then. My insurance at the time even covered all of the costs - the $150 for insertion and the $365 for the Paragard - so you might want to investigate that. Effectiveness: So far I've been protected from pregnancy for two years and have only had one scare where my period came really late but I think my body was still getting used to not being on hormonal birth control. *One note I'd like to make is that I've continued using my menstrual cup, the Keeper, throughout the two years - I just try to be conscious of the strings, but I have never accidentally pulled on them.*
Member # 42148
posted 02-10-2009 01:03 AM
I'm a recent recipient of the Mirena IUD as well. I got it placed about 2 months ago and it's been fairly good so far. It was a great choice for me because I usually have heavier periods (leaving the copper IUD as a no-no) and I was looking for a long-term, easy and cheap form of birth control. I'm 21, but I'm in a long-term relationship and it didn't seem like regular birth control cut it for me. I was pretty consistent in taking it, but I still got pregnant, so I figured I'd try an IUD instead.
After the initial first month, things have been great. Getting it in was the worst pain I've ever felt, but I think it was worth it. As for side effects, I had some spotting for the first 3 weeks or so, and then it stopped. My period didn't return until 1 1/2 months after getting it inserted. Although I had some initial cramping at the beginning, things have pretty much gone away and I don't even notice it anymore. It's the best thing I ever did and I'm glad I don't have to worry about taking the pill every day (I've tried the patch too, but I was always afraid it would peel off) and it's much cheaper in the long run.
Member # 44031
posted 09-11-2009 11:51 AM
I have the Nova T 380, a Copper T IUD, which can stay in for 5 years. I had it fitted around three months ago because I had come to absolutely hate being on the mini pill. The combined pill worked fairly well for me for about 4 years but when I had my first migraine I had to come off it.
Pros: It's hormone free, I don't have to remember it every day and it doesn't cause side effects and stress every single day of the month. Cons: The fitting involved a lot of pain for me, probably the worst I've ever had. My mum said it was worse than labour pain when she had hers fitted, so I guess we have un-co operative cervixes? I had some pain for a few days after but no bleeding. I took my contraceptive pills for another 5 days and two days after stopping them the bleeding started. I was bleeding rather heavily for about three of the six weeks leading up to my check up, with a couple of week long gaps. I had gone about three months without a period before this and just come off a contraceptive pill, so I expected this kind of craziness. I also experienced much creamier and gloopier discharge and a lot of anxiety about getting an infection (I am a complete hypochondriac). I told the doctor at my 6 week check up about all of this and she didn't seem worried, said it was normal and reassured me. Since then I've had one more "regular" period that lasted 5 days and came at the right time. The bleeding has been heavier and more painful than anything I've had before, but good painkillers and my Moon cup really help out there. Also, the pain isn't constant throughout the bleed, but only for the first few days or so. It is miserable, but really not that bad for me, and certainly much more tolerable compared to what I experienced on the mini-pill. Ease of use: I had it fitted in an NHS walk in clinic, so it was all free and access was very quick and easy. For me, it's been very easy to use as I don't have to do anything with it other than check it's still in place periodically. Aside from that I don't know it's there. Unfortunately my partner has recently complained about it after sex once or twice. We've had lots of sex where he said he couldn't feel it at all and he said it was fine for ages before it suddenly became an issue. He agrees that it's most likely a combination of my feeling different when my period is due and being squeamish about it; he didn't actually feel anything, just some vague discomfort. We've only had sex once since he said that, which he said it was fine, but I don't consider this issue "resolved" as yet. We had of course discussed it before the fitting and I would never have had it without his agreement .. but he's always been resistant to using anything other than the pill so I think some adjustment time is needed or a rethink if it really becomes a problem for him. Effectiveness: As far as I know, it has worked perfectly since the fitting, though that's only a very short time of course.
Member # 44031
posted 09-12-2009 04:06 PM
To add to my post, we had trouble again with my IUD causing possible discomfort during sex.
This time I got my partner to feel the threads for himself to see if he thinks they are big and substantial enough to be a problem and he thinks they are. They are quite long and actually feeling a little more pronounced to me than usual, so I am going to get it checked on Monday, make sure it's all in place and see if I can get the threads trimmed down..
Member # 13388
posted 01-09-2010 07:40 PM
I had a consultation to get a Mirena IUD this week and will probably getting one inserting during my period this or next month. On one hand, I'm very excited because I haven't been totally happy with other birth control options I've used and an IUD seems to have those covered.
However, I do have some concerns. The initial cost will be extremely high; at $925 due to NO insurance coverage, it's way more than anything I've heard before. (I'd ask my partner to pitch in but he's a student with very limited funds whereas I work two jobs so I'm absorbing all the costs.) I've heard people talking about it being the "worst pain ever" and that frightens me a bit, even though I don't think I have a low tolerance for pain; likewise, I've always gotten through even the most painful stuff in my life so I think I'll be ok. My GYN gave me some medicine to take before insertion that may open my cervix a bit and I'm also going in when I have my period. I work a lot and can't really take off more than maybe an afternoon for this. (My GYN who apparently inserts about five IUDs a week wasn't too worried about this; she said that if I had to go back to work, I could take some ibuprofen, take it easy, and be ok.) I'm also concerned that my uterus won't be big enough and that will be pretty disappointing; fortunately, I won't have to pay for it if that's the not the case but, unfortunately, I'll be back at square one. My greatest concern is the issue of monogamy. My new-but-dependable GYN does believe that monogamy is important for having an IUD due to the small but potential increased STI risks although I did not discuss this with her in-depth. (Heather also mentions this earlier in the thread.) No, I'm not concerned about being able to stick or it or not; that's what I'm currently having, but I wonder what would happen should I change or add partners? Of course, I'd use latex barriers and people involved would get tested. However, I'm guessing that spontaneous hook-ups (even with latex barriers) for either my partner or me would be out of question due to the risk factors? When you divide that big amount by five, it comes down to a very manageable $185/year. However, it's not quite as cost-effective if I were to remove it after just one or two years. I guess I'm just not as ready as I thought I was for an IUD. Still, it does seem like the best option for me right now and in the long-run. However, at that price, I do want to be cautious. I think the best decision may be to wait another month or so; I'm in a long-distance relationship anyway so that shouldn't be hard although I'd like to have it in for awhile before we see each other again. EDITED to add: I know it can take a few months to adjust to it. I don't mind spotting but I hope that the small dose of progesterone doesn't give me a hard time. While I sure wouldn't mind my periods becoming shorter, I also would hate to see mine completely disappear as can sometimes happen. (It did to my sister.) I guess you just have to risk the side effects to reap the possible benefits! In any case, I'd appreciate hearing from people with specific knowledge and/or experience with IUDs. Thanks! [ 01-09-2010, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]
Member # 13388
posted 01-15-2010 07:05 PM
I just wanted to share that I got my IUD inserted as planned this past week. I'll skip the details for now; however, I can say that I'm glad I got it. I was pretty nervous beforehand and had a TON of questions that I was able to direct to the doctor, friends with IUDs, etc. so that worked out well. And it was hardly painful for me: at times I get absolutely horrid cramps so this IUD insertion pales in comparison! My follow-up appointment in a month so we'll see. My fingers are crossed that this will remain a positive decision!
Member # 30895
posted 01-19-2010 04:06 PM
I got my Mirena IUD inserted in early August '08
PROS: it's nice not worrying about birth control every day. The insertion wasn't painful, just uncomfortable for me (then again, they did give me a cervix softener because i've never been pregnant before). I drove myself home afterwards, and wasn't in any pain for the following days. There's no estrogen in the Mirena, which is great for someone like me who has migraines with aura. My migraines have actually been reduced!!!! I've experienced NO cramps, weight gain, extra acne, etc. CONS: I'M STILL BLEEDING. It's been over six months now, and while most others have stopped spotting a few weeks in, there have been very few days where I haven't been spotting. It's extreeeeemely irritating, but thankfully I'm single now so this is the best time as any to let my body adjust fully to this IUD. EASE OF USE: Easy!! My insurance covered the insertion, so five years of birth control came down to a two or three $25 copays at the doctor's office. Overall, i LOVE the idea of an low-hormone IUD, and I love the side effect of cutting down my migraines, but I'm upset at how my body has adjusted. If the spotting keeps up for much longer, I'm gonna resort to removing it. I'd rather find a different birth control than avoid sex because I'm constantly bleeding.
Member # 46437
posted 04-02-2010 12:15 AM
Mind, if I add?
I had my Mirena inserted on the 24th of November. before that I have always been on the nuva-ring and although that was comfortable I did not like having to continue to call the doctor to order me a new prescription every month. i also didn't like to have to predict when i'll be having my period of not. not fun. since i have never been pregnant the doctor wanted to insert on my heaviest flow date, but it was hard to predict because of the fact i had messed up my nuva ring insertion dates. so i guess that it would have started on thanksgiving but since the doctor would have been closed that day they scheduled on the 24th....... Pros: i decided on Mirena because of the lack of that inconvenience and according to my gyn "absolutely NO risk of pregnancy" and for little to no periods for 5 years. I feel more free with it, i could go swimming whenever i want, i feel so self consicous if people are stareing at me, and my boyfriend is pretty cool with it. Cons: they did NOT give me anything when they insert it. the pain was pretty awful. i felt everything. I sometimes feel a slight tug when i do some contortion. and every now and then i get a little pain in my side. but the most embarrassing thing is when i start spotting eigther before or after, and it smells weird. ugh. and sometimes the end of it will poke my boyfriend during sex. it's pretty painful for him but i feel it when it happens but overall I love the Mirena. i think it's deffinately worth the pain and i havent had any major problems with it as far as i can tell.
Member # 3
posted 04-02-2010 09:27 AM
(Martie, what do you mean they used nothing? If so, that was NOT standard or recommended practice. Standard practice is a doctor at LEAST giving you, or suggesting you take an NSAID -- like ibuporfen -- around an hour before insertion. They did not do even that?)
Member # 46437
posted 04-02-2010 07:56 PM
they just suggested something like advil and i took that an hour before but of course, nothing. ibuprofen and midol don't do too much for me... but no "cervix looseners" or anything like that to numb the pain.
according to them a lot of the pain that went along with it was because i have a tilted uterus. a tilted uterus would make it uncomfortable during sex and may make it difficult to conceive. [ 04-02-2010, 08:09 PM: Message edited by: Martie ]
Member # 3
posted 04-02-2010 10:46 PM
Actually, "tilted uterus" as a concept is fairly questionable, since the uterus is attached to ligaments so tilts all the time, depending on any of our posture. As well, the uterus really isn't contacted during sex, so saying that is a bit of an old wives tale.
Given those comments, and them not softening the cervix -- which, especially if you haven't given birth, is very odd to skip -- makes it sound like you simply didn't have a very good OB/GYN, period. Sorry to hear it was such a bad experience for you, but I'd advise finding a new GYN, regardless.
Member # 46437
posted 04-03-2010 12:22 AM
i don't know who else our insurance covers. and i am not sure who exactly i would go too.... I'm not "paranoid" but I'm not sure if my primary doctor really takes the best care of me.
my family and i all go to him because he's the only doctor in our area who takes our insurance and he's pretty friendly with my parents (both ex-military, as in if they have foot or headache problems then he sends them to the doctor of that field and/or tends to their every need but if i go in for breathing problems and heart fluttering he just says an anxiety attack and sends me to a counselor. which did not help. :/ but i wouldn't say the experience was all for nothing. i got it and it's stayed in despite the first couple times my boyfriend and i having sex for the first time and us fearing it fell out and the sudden cramps, or it poking him again. no baby and no period. life's pretty good for me ;] at the moment at least heh. [ 04-03-2010, 12:27 AM: Message edited by: Martie ]
Member # 37835
posted 04-03-2010 08:14 AM
Breathing problems and heart palpitations are really something that should be taken seriously. If your doctor isn't, I'd strongly suggest pushing him for a referral at least for some basic tests such as blood test to check for hypothyroidism, an EKG, and a peak flow test to check lung function. None of those tests would be hard or expensive, and they could help you find a problem that should be treated. You also might want to try cutting out/down on caffeine if you consume a lot of it.
(And even in people who have anxiety problems and are relatively sure it's anxiety, sometimes it is worth checking these things too. Even though the one counselor I saw for PTSD was generally terrible, at least he said, "Have you been tested for X, Y and Z, because your symptoms really could be something physical.") How is your relationship with your parents? Could one of them come with you and advocate for you during the appointment?
Member # 46437
posted 04-04-2010 11:22 PM
atm, i have had breathing problems on and off about a year or two ago, before i got the mirena. and our primary doctor; cardiologist. i went through all the blood tests and wore a 24 hour heart monitor and they never found anything. i barely ever ingest caffeine, i mostly drink water and tea. and these occurrences are SO entirely random, i could be in class listening to a lector, to walking to my car, to laying around my house watching tv. when it happens it doesn't last long enough that by the time i'm at the doctor its gone and they can't find anything wrong with me.
my relationship with my parents is good. but they would just agree with him. [ 04-04-2010, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: Martie ]
Member # 3
posted 04-05-2010 04:01 PM
Well, that's certainly different than just being sent to a counselor.
Member # 46437
posted 04-05-2010 07:50 PM
But I don't think i have anxiety.
[ 04-05-2010, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: Martie ]
Member # 3
posted 04-05-2010 08:07 PM
I understand, but what you had first told us was that for those symptoms, you were only referred to a counselor, not that you had all those tests done by a cardiologist. That's why atm1 said what she did. It may also be why your PCP is suggesting those symptoms may be from anxiety, since physical causes have been, it sounds like, ruled out.
Regardless, it's unlikely your insurance only covers one primary care physician, so you could certainly do some research, make some calls, and find out what your other options are.
Member # 46757
posted 04-21-2010 04:46 PM
Hi, I'm almost 24 and had my Mirena IUD inserted a month ago.
Pros: Well, I love the fact that I can be covered for up to 5 years, which puts me at the age where I want to start a family. My skin has been noticably clearer (it started breaking out after having been on Ortho Tri-cyclin Lo for 7 years). It's a lot easier for me not have to worry about packing my B.C. when going to my boyfriend's for a few days, or using condoms. Cons: I forgot to take anything before going to the doctors, so the pain was definitely wirth noting. But honestly, it was a 7 out of 10 and it meant that i would be baby-free until I was ready, so it was so worth it. I had cramping for the next four days, but a foreign object was placed in my reproductive system, I'd be concerned if my body didn't react. I've been spotting since insertion, but it hasn't been bad. No panties have been ruined yet. Um, I think that's about it. Experience: The first time my boyfriend and I had sex (about 7 days after insertion), i asked how it felt, and if he experienced any pain. He said that he felt like something was kind of pushing back when he thrusted, but that it wasn't an unpleasant feeling, just different. We've had sex plenty of times since and he hasn't brought it up. Effectiveness: baby-free Concerns: I've never had regular periods and have been on the pill since 16 so I don't really know/can predict when my cycle should come. Since Mirena can make periods really light or non-existence anyways, other than checking for strings is there any way to ensure that I am not pregnant in the absence of a period? I know about the risk of ectopic pregnancy and the warning signs, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to rely on looking out for pelvic pain.
Member # 3
posted 04-21-2010 05:29 PM
toocute: if missing periods worries you, what I suggest to Mirena or Depo users in that spot is just to buy yourself a box of pregnancy tests and take one now and then for peace of mind.
Member # 47022
posted 05-11-2010 03:50 PM
I feel like I should post my experience, because I’m one of those rare, once-in-a-decade patients that gynecologists sometimes have that actually rejected my implant the first time around.
Pros: I got the IUD because I started having sex and decided to get a more regular method of birth control. For whatever reason, they guys around my town either have no condoms or won’t wear one, so my birth control so far has been abstaining from vaginal sex. My experience will the pill taught me that I would always be anxious on daily birth control and hormones do bad things to my head and body, so I went with the copper IUD after researching different methods of birth control. I am 22 and in college, and assuming that I have a child at 27 (the average age of marriage being 26 + 1 year, the average age newlyweds wait before they try to conceive) the IUD (500 dollars with the discount) would cost me 8.30 a month. The cheapest birth control option available at the women’s health center is 13 dollars a month, 25 dollars without the student discount. Therefore, the IUD was the cheapest option. Cons: The initial cost was a little pricey, but the women’s health center got a discount so that I could still afford it. My family did not support me going on birth control, but I told them that at the end of the day, I could afford it out-of-pocket and they couldn’t stop me. It took a month to schedule an appointment for the surgery, since it can only be done after a period I had to take what was essentially progesterone to induce bleeding (I don’t have many periods) Easy of Use: The first time it was put in, I had two periods and constant spotting in the month after it was put it, as well as pain in the first week. During the operation I had pain, but not an unmanageable amount; nothing that I couldn’t control with deep breaths and my gynecologist did mention that I didn’t look like I was in pain at all during the procedure. When I went in for my checkup (two months latter), it turned out that my uterus had gone Hulk on my implant- it was sticking out of my cervix and my gynecologist just pulled it out with a pair of forceps. It was actually bent out of shape when she pulled it out. Finding out that my uterus has super strength would be awesome if I wanted to fight crime with said herculean uterus, but less awesome if I want to actually have an implant in there. Paraguard did send us a replacement one, and two months later (today) I got the second one put in. the bleeding and pain is noticeably less this time around, so hopefully this time it will stick. I’ll update on June 10th, when I get the implant checked for a second time. I doubt that it is a uterine abnormality, since I have been checked for that already. TLDR: Your uterus can reject the implant, though it is once-in-a-decade rare. This can be because of a uterine anomaly, or because your uterus has superpowers. You need to do it immediately after a period, and if time is an issue, ask for a drug called medroxyprogesterone that can induce a “faux” period (bleeding but no ovulation). Also, if you are at college, your women’s health center might have a student discount on this and other birth control methods. Also, ask your IUD manufacturer if they will ship you a new one if you reject it, in case something like that happens. Also, for the people wondering the cost analysis on an IUD, a 900 dollar IUD pays itself off (ie, it’s cost per month equals that off the cheapest birth control method, which I believe for now is a certain formulation of Yaz at 25 dollars- correct me if I am wrong) after three years. So you should get an IUD if you need birth control for more than 3 years.
Member # 3
posted 05-11-2010 03:56 PM
quote: Finding out that my uterus has super strength would be awesome if I wanted to fight crime with said herculean uterus, but less awesome if I want to actually have an implant in there. This may be one of the best sentences I have ever seen posted here.
Member # 47022
posted 05-11-2010 04:35 PM
thank you, I try.
Member # 47022
posted 06-11-2010 11:12 AM
Promised I'd give an update when I was checked a second time. It didn't attach, again. We're not trying it a third time, since it's unlikely to work and I've graduated and now have no access to health services of any kind. Plus my chances of a refund are really slim.
So yeah, life sucks right now. My last chance at the point in time is the shot, and if that doesn't work (if I have a bad reaction to progesterone the same way I've had to estrogen in the past) I'm really screwed.
Member # 43325
posted 08-10-2010 12:35 PM
I have a Flexi-T 300 copper IUD and I've had it for almost 3 months now.
Pros: I never have to think about my birth control, hormone free, my boyfriend and I have been tested clear for STI's and I personally find not using condoms to be a plus for me. Mainly I just love not thinking about my birth control, and it's also very private. Cons: Trying to get the IUD was the main downside. My cervix just would not let anything into it. It took three tries to get it in. And occasionally (though not often) it kinda jabs my boyfriend in the penis. Also, before I had my cervix numbed, it really really hurt trying to get it in. Ease of use: Well, I never have to think about it! So it's been pretty easy so far. The doctor put it in and I didn't bleed or spot at all, no weird cramping, I felt pretty much normal. I just check the strings/ my cervix once a month and I'm good to go. My periods are NOT insane periods from hell that drag on for days and have me in a ball on the floor. Not at all. In fact, my periods are exactly the same as they were before any kind of birth control (fairly light, short, 3-5 days) with the addition of slightly more cramping. But it's nothing a heating pad and some advil can't take care of. Access to an IUD wasn't difficult, since I just went through a local community health clinic that services teens and they were happy to help me. Affording the first IUD was not a huge problem either. I don't have insurance, so my partner and I had to pay out of pocket, but the IUD only cost $60. I had to buy two IUD's though since the first one didn't work out, but I talked to the clinic about affording it and they offered to pay $45 of the $60 ( very nice people) for the IUD, which makes my total cost for 5 years of birth control, $75 or $1.25 a month/ 5 years. It's worked out well in my relationship, my boyfriend and I both enjoy the peace of mind, since its very effective. It's been a welcome addition to our relationship. Overall, very easy breezy birth control for me. Effectiveness: I'm very confident in the effectiveness of my IUD, and I'm not pregnant so it must be working! I gotta admit, it was a little nerve racking not using condoms at first. It felt weird to completely trust the effectiveness of something I can't see. It just...works. My boyfriend felt the same way, so we continued to use condoms for a while after I had the IUD inserted. All in all, having an IUD has been very easy, pretty affordable and I would definitely recommend trying it to anyone looking for long term birth control.
Member # 3
posted 08-10-2010 04:55 PM
(Hay Parapluie -- and anyone else curious about this.
You're not the first person whose partner has said they felt an IUD. However, every time I hear it, I go, "Huh?" because an IUD is in your uterus, an organ the penis can't reach, so that strikes me as impossible. But I went ahead and double checked with an OB/GYN I work with who puts in more IUDs than anyone I know. Just so you know, she also made clear it isn't possible UNLESS a) an IUD is not inserted correctly, or b) the strings are not cut correctly. In the latter case, it's the strings a partner would be feeling, not the IUD. So, if your partner is saying he can feel the IUD or something from it -- and you're pretty sure he's not just feeling more, period, by virtue of not using a condom -- while I know you've been in about this a lot so it's probably the last thing you want to hear, you should probably have your healthcare provider take a look once more to be sure your strings were cut right and your IUD is where it's supposed to be.)
Member # 43325
posted 08-12-2010 03:09 PM
I meant to say that the strings jab my boyfriend in the penis.
Sorry, you're right, the IUD is certainly not sticking out my cervix or anything! I had my check up two weeks ago and she said it was all good and that the strings have just yet to soften up and curl up around my cervix. I was worried about that myself and she assured me that everything is alright. It's hard to explain the way the strings are situated, kinda like...they come out my cervix and then bend backwards. And they're made of a fishing wire sort of material, so the part of the strings that bend is fairly hard.
Member # 43325
posted 08-12-2010 03:27 PM
I went and checked just now to be sure (also, I'm paranoid
), and the strings aren't actually twisted around each other anymore and they feel softer as a result. Maybe there won't be anymore poking! She left the strings about 2 cm long, by the way.
Member # 3
posted 08-12-2010 03:31 PM
Sometimes the length isn't the issue, apparently, but the angle at which the strings are cut. But for sure, giving them time to soften also matters.
Perhaps obviously, too, if you're having intercourse anytime before you are fully aroused, your cervix will also be lower than it will be when fully aroused, so that can be a factor, too.
Member # 47947
posted 08-21-2010 12:07 PM
I just got my paragard copper IUD yesterday and I am so happy that I finally got it!
Pros: -99.5% effectiveness both perfect use and typical. You cannot beat that. -Normal periods and not just spotting like on the pill. Yay! -No hormones. The pill was giving me side effects like hair loss and everything (including my boyfriend!) smell bad. -CHEAP! My insurance covered the entire day, visit, exam, IUD, and insertion. All I had to pay was a 10$ co-pay 10$ for 10 years? Sign me up! -No hassle. The only action on your part needed is checking the strings after every period and getting regular checkups. Put it in and forget it. -I didn't have to get sounded (the most painful part for most) because I had a recent ultrasound that showed my uterus shape and size. She also palpated my uterus to confirm the ultrasound findings. Cons: -Ouch. The insertion is pretty painful if you have a low pain tolerance. It feels like a drawn-out ear piercing. I got pretty wicked cramps if I let the Motrin wear off. But it's not nearly as bad as you think it will be. -Spotting after. I wasn't bleeding that day, but when the doctor got done her fingers were covered in blood. I had heavy spotting for the rest of the day. -Many doctors refuse to give IUDs to teens and/or people who have never been pregnant. I got lucky, my doctor has had a copper IUD since she was in college and has never been pregnant either. So, she was able to give advice and tips that otherwise she couldn't. -It can be expensive if you don't have insurance that will cover it. It may cost upwards of 900+ dollars! -Heavier/crampier periods. Ease of use: -Very low maintenance. The only action required on your part is to check the strings after every period and go to all your checkups. Effectiveness: -99.5% perfect and typical! It is extremely rare to get pregnant with one of these babies. The only way it really fails is if you do not check the strings and it falls out and you have sex and do not notice. Other: I wasn't expecting to get it inserted that day, but my OB/GYN said they could do it then and there. My cervix was pretty open since I just ended my period and I cannot take numbing shots because of a heart condition. So, I bare-backed the b*tch. It really wasn't that bad. The doctor said she had never seen anyone take it so well with nothing but a motrin. The tennaculum was no more painful than a flu shot, it just felt weird. Then, she told me to brace myself for the ouch. As she inserted the IUD, it was going "ow ow ow ow omg omg ow ow ow" but it lasted only a few short seconds. After, I was perfectly fine. Getting your nose or belly button pierced hurts more than this. I asked the OB/GYN about my Diva cup, and she said that she has used one with her Paragard for years and has never had a problem and that tampons are just as risky. Just be careful about not grabbing the string while removing it. She cut my strings a bit short for this reason, but she said she cuts them short on everyone anyway. She made me very comfortable and all in all it was a great experience and it was worth the wait and worry. If you are considering an IUD, go for it. <3
Member # 39451
posted 10-11-2010 11:15 PM
I am getting the Copper IUD inserted this Thursday (3 days away) I am getting the copper because my isurance wont pay for the Mirena, and since I am a full time student the health department will do the copper IUD for free (so rather pay $500 for something that I MAY NOT even like, I will try the free one) well I ahve done LOADS of research on it and know quite a bit about it. I understand it is POSSIBLE to have heavier/crampier periods (I have currently started the ortho evra patch UNTIL I get the IUD) so I asked my GYNO if it would be possible to use the patch after the IUD insertion to assist with the cramps and bleeding the first few months and she said that would be okay....so I am deciding to use both at the same time for the first few month (to get over all the cramps and bleeding) but the question I have is do you ovulate while on the patch (many websites say NO) and do you ovulate while on the copper IUD? (many websites say YES, but the copper stops the eg from implanting)....Im sorry this is so long I hope this is in the right topic...
Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice (<3 this site)
Member # 49574
posted 10-24-2010 08:57 PM
I'm going to be getting the Mirena IUD put in the day before my next period starts. Should I continue to take my birth control pills after it's been inserted to be sure I'm protected? Is there anything dangerous about having an IUD in and taking BC pills?
Member # 35643
posted 10-25-2010 04:26 AM
You do still ovulate on the copper IUD. It primarily works by stopping fertilization of the egg. Also by stopping implantation if fertilization does occur and by changing the cervical mucus so it may be more difficult for sperm to get through. Regarding the patch: "Contraceptive Patch or Ortho-Evra is an adhesive square that, when placed on the body, transdermally (through your skin) administers a combination of hormones, including estrogen, to prevent pregnancy. Those hormones suppress ovulation (keep your body from releasing an egg each month), thicken cervical mucus to interfere with sperm mobility, and also thin the lining of the uterus, making it less hospitable for a fertilized egg to implant in. It works in all three of those ways to basically provide backup in case one of its mechanisms doesn't work at a given time." That info comes from birth control bingo: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/sexuality/birth_control_bingo Gen V: You do not need to continue taking birth control pills after your Mirena has been inserted. I'm not sure if there would be any long term danger from that, but the standard recommendation is rather to use a barrier method (condom or diaphragm) for the first 7 days after Mirena insertion, if insertion was not between Day 1 to 7 of your cycle. (Day 1 is the first day of your period). If Mirena IS inserted between day 1 to 7, it's immediately effective and you don't need any back up method. (Your doctor should definitely go through this information with you).
Member # 46095
posted 11-17-2010 04:39 PM
Alright, so... I'm getting a Minerva IUD tomorrow... I'm in a study for women who are 18+ and have never been pregnant. They're testing a drug to see if it can help with dilating the cervix and make IUD insertion easier for women of that category...
I'll update this periodically, since I think it's important for people to know my experience. (I feel like a pioneer at the moment. Exploring new territories. I'm honestly nervous, though. I'm hoping my uterus is big enough and that they don't accidentally puncture my cervix, both which would stop me from receiving the IUD. I'm also scared as can be for how painful the insertion will be, but... Here goes nothing!)
Member # 48196
posted 11-28-2010 11:12 PM
I've had my Mirena IUD for about 6 weeks now, and you have no idea how happy I am to have it. I came to the IUD from Micronor, a progestin-only birth control pill. I can't take estrogen because I have migraines with auras. The Micronor made me feel like I was PMSing all the time, and it was starting to affect my relationships, so I talked with my doctor about alternative options, and we reached the conclusion that the IUD was the only remaining option for me. As a 22 year-old and having never been pregnant, I was an unusual candidate, but my doctor seemed confident that I'd be happy with the Mirena, and mentioned that in some European countries it's more popular than the pill.
I had a lot of trouble getting the IUD placed. After the educational session (which was awesome - totally recommended for anyone considering and wanting to be sure), I had an appointment at which the doctor failed to find the opening in my cervix, and so had to refer me to another clinic. I had taken two Advils beforehand, and I was given a little freezing on my cervix, but it was still a few moments of agony as the IUD actually went in. I was too pale and weak to be let go immediately, but I'm happy to report that after that first 5 minutes, I had no other pain. I had spotty bleeding for a week or so after that and a few days with mild cramping, but nothing worse than an average period. Since my IUD was placed, I feel like I've gotten my life back again. I stopped taking my pills three weeks after the insertion, as per the doctor's orders, and within about a week I was back to normal. There were some odd side effects as my body got used to the different hormone levels, mostly skin issues I also had in puberty, but nothing that caused me serious concern. I've had a few periods since it went in, and I expect I'll be patchy for a few months as my body gets used to having it. Overall, I'm very happy with my IUD. I would recommend that any woman questioning her birth control options look seriously at getting one. I'm very happy with the efficacy rate and the peace of mind it gives me to know that I won't be risking pregnancy if I leave my pills in the wrong purse or if a condom fails. I would really recommend talking to your doctor or making a visit to Planned Parenthood to have an educational session, as they can help you decide whether or not it will work for you.
Member # 46161
posted 04-16-2011 04:06 PM
I got the paraguard (copper) IUD yesterday.
Pros: -No hormones. I have severe migraines with auras which were more frequent and much worse while on the pill (I tried the and combination and progestin only BCP). -I'm good for the next 10 years! -The place I had it inserted was great. The nurse practitioner that did it was very supportive and talked me through the whole thing. She even gave me her cell phone number and pager number to contact her over the weekend if I think something isn't right. Several years ago she had someone have an allergic reaction to the copper so she wanted to make sure I could reach her if that happened. - My insurance should be covering most of the cost Cons: -The process of insertion was painful, but not the most painful thing I've experienced. I did have some cramping after insertion. I am now having my period and the cramps are about the same as they always are. Ease of use and effectiveness: I don't have a sexual partner right now, but for me I think it will be a "get it and forget it." Except for checking the strings every month it should be maintenance free. The effectiveness is as close to perfect as you can get, and I plan on also using condoms when I do have a sexual partner, so it I don't expect any problems.
Member # 47032
posted 06-10-2011 12:06 AM
I just bumped the thread on the nuvaring a few weeks ago...but I got an iud and want to share!
Pros: I managed to have user error with every method (except the patch, but I would have ditched that either way). Mirena prevents that. Lighter bleeding! High effectiveness, which is extremely important, and one of the main reasons I chose this method. Cons : The insertion was incredibly painful. Mine was made worse by a vasovagal reaction I had, but didn't know what was happening while I was experiencing it. The cramps for the first hour after the procedure were the most painful I've ever experienced. It's one week later, and my cramping is all gone! Ease of use: Incredibly so since I don't have to remember much. It was mostly easy for me to access. I have a family pact card that meant the services were completely free! But access wise, the planned parenthoods that used to be more near my mother's house were shut down so I have to travel about 20 minutes away, and I'm fortunate enough to have a car and be able to pay for gas. I was curious if my partner would feel the strings, but he didn't say anything. Effectiveness: Well, I've only had intercourse twice since putting it in, but I trust it. If I were to find that it was expelling and I was at risk for pregnancy, I have some emergency contraception. My partner and I will also be using condoms until we both get tested. Hope someone finds this useful/helpful/informative! [ 06-10-2011, 12:15 AM: Message edited by: Woohoo ]
Member # 71399
posted 07-11-2011 06:33 PM
I had the IUD inserted 8 weeks ago and am sort of an anomaly in that I'm only 20 and have never been pregnant or had children.
Pros: For me the best part of this is not having to worry about condoms during sex and then not worrying about pregnancy, however my boyfriend and I are in a monogamous long term relationship and have been fully tested for STDs. Another BIG pro for me is not having to remember to take a pill every day. Cons: I have been bleeding pretty regularly since the insertion (MUCH more than once a month) I have to wear a pad or tampon almost constantly and it makes having sex a bit messy... I had cramps for a couple weeks, but nothing much worse than normal. It is an expensive form of birth control, even with my insurance it was a couple hundred dollars, however if you weigh it against buying birth control pills every month for 5 years (how long Mirena lasts) it's not unreasonable. Ease of use: My gynecologist gave me pill to put in my vagina the night before to dilate my cervix, the insertion was a piece of cake, I never experienced anything worse than my monthly cramps, however as I have endometriosis my monthly cramps are worse than many women experience. My boyfriend has felt the device once during sex but it wasn't an incredibly big deal and he has not since. Effectiveness: I trust completely that this device will protect me from unwanted pregnancy, I am much less inhibited than I was before. Overall I would say this form of birth control has been worth it for me so far, but it is definitely not for everyone.
Member # 3
posted 07-11-2011 07:31 PM
(Just a quick tip for people with IUDs whose partners say they can feel the IUD itself.
They actually can't, since it's in your uterus, not your vagina. A partner can't feel the uterus through the vagina during intercourse. However, sometimes what partners CAN feel are the strings to the IUD. If and when that's the case, you can ask your healthcare provider to just cut them a little shorter, and that will tend to do the trick. As well, when an IUD is new, the strings are less soft, so sometimes time alone will take care of that issue. Also, one more thing for people who don't have an IUD but want one? You don't have to have had kids or been pregnant to have an IUD, or be a certain age. What being pregnant before (whether it ended with kids or not) tends to influence is just comfort with insertion and the likelihood of the device expelling itself. Expulsion is rare regardless, it's just a bit less so with IUD users who were never pregnant before, that's all.) [ 07-11-2011, 07:35 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 47032
posted 08-14-2011 02:51 AM
To add on to what Heather said, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended IUDs as a first line option for teens and nulliparous women back in 2007
I went to a Planned Parenthood, and there was absolutely no resistance to giving me one. The doctor kinda seemed to push depo/the pill, but after telling her I wanted an IUD, she was super excited. The nurse I saw pre-insertion also was excited and told me I would love it (and I do!)
Member # 69161
posted 10-31-2011 01:11 PM
I see this is kind of an old thread, but I'd like to share my experience anyway! I got my IUD inserted 3 weeks ago.
Pros: Once it's inserted, you're done! I got the Paragard because I'm not a fan of hormonal methods. My body is really sensitive to medications and stuff, and I like having a regular period. Cons: The insertion itself was not really painful, but the device they used to open up my cervix HURT! It was what I imagine labor pains to be but on a much lower level...(I've never been pregnant). I didn't take any painkillers beforehand. I just kept telling myself during the procedure that this temporary discomfort is worth it for years of not having to worry about birth control! Ease of use: I've never had sex (yet). I got the IUD because my boyfriend and I are discussing it and I want when I choose to have sex to be on my terms and I don't want to worry about pregnancy, which is absolutely not an option right now. the IUD seemed like a great option to kind of "set it and forget it!" Effectiveness: We'll see! I was on my period when I had it inserted. The nurse doing the procedure said that this can actually make insertion easier. I had some major cramps that afternoon and evening, continuing into the next day. My bleeding increased a lot but my period ended when it should have. I'll admit I have had some spotting, even one day where the spotting was about the amount of the flow of my period! But, I'm hoping this will even out in few months. For anyone thinking about an IUD, I would recommend going to Planned Parenthood. My GP would actually not insert it for me because she found it difficult for patients who had not given birth. The nurses there do IUDs daily and really know what they're doing. Plus, they make it affordable based on your income