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Thread: Copper IUDs (and birth control in general) page 6

  1. #51
    namelesswonder's Avatar
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    I thought I'd chime in with my recent experience of getting Paragard. This is my description of how it went down, in case anyone is wondering what the appointment might be like.

    History: was on and off several brands of birth control pills from 18 yrs old till 22. I eventually got migraines, spotting, or periods twice a month on every pill I tried. The last I tried worked fine, but with no libido to speak of, I wanted to go hormone-free. I got off the pill not long after going primal. I have never given birth. I have always had a regular period (28-30 day cycle) when not on hormonal BC, not very heavy. I usually don't have cramps during my period.

    Future plans: I do want to have kids, but not for at least 2 or 3 years. Fertility should be restored within 3 months of removing the IUD. My insurance covers the device 100%, though not sure if it will cover removal. It was going to be $500-something without insurance, but that is not considering income or anything (through Planned Parenthood).

    The process: I was going to have to wait until November to go to my regular doctor's office just to talk about getting an IUD. I already knew I wanted it (read about it, talked to a few people) so I made an appointment online with Planned Parenthood. They messaged back & forth with me and said they could only insert it during my period, to insure I'm not pregnant, since I'm not currently on any hormonal contraceptive. I'm currently having my period, so they scheduled the appointment for that night! I appreciated that they wanted to get me in ASAP, no questions asked, which would be very good for anyone who is desperate for protection.

    The clinic was running an hour behind, but I brought a book to read. They had me leave a urine sample in one of the bathrooms (cup goes in a little cabinet in the wall, they retrieve it through the back wall of the cabinet) for the pregnancy test. After they called me in, they asked some basic questions about my current pregnancy protection, relationship, if I feel safe at home/in my relationships, and then took my weight & a drop of blood to test hemoglobin. Everyone was very nice & thorough. They agreed not to read my weight outloud, since I don't want to know my weight. I read while I waited for the doctor or nurse who came in for the procedure, after undressing from the waist down. They talked to me about what they would do and got me as comfortable as I could be in the stirrups.

    They asked if I was allergic to shellfish and something else, I think for something used on the IUD. I didn't ask about the whole insertion process, but they did tell me some of what they were doing. The doc cleaned my cervix and then inserted a tube for the IUD to be inserted through. She inserted the tube in stages, giving me time to breath & recover between the intense cramping. There were two "pushes" I think to get the tube in, and then the last cramp was while the IUD was inserted & position. The second cramp was the worst, though she told me the last is usually the worst. After that, I got dressed and held a provided heading pad over my lower abdomen as the cramps set in. They checked on me, made sure I had some pads & the informational brochure/paperwork and I set on home.

    Pain - I have never broken any bones. I have never been seriously injured. The worst pain I could compare the cramping to was getting my nose or eyebrow pierced, which was really not bad because it's so momentary. I consider myself to have a fairly high pain tolerance, however. I was able to breathe through the sharp cramps during insertion (huge breaths with exhales on the bad parts, which gave me something to focus on so I didn't tense up elsewhere), but with the cramping after and feeling nauseated, I felt very glad that I would not have to go through this again for quite a while! The cramping made me feel really pathetic and sad last night, but it's much better today. I'm taking Ibuprofen and that takes the edge off.

    Instruction - no insertion of any kind (tampons or anything else, so no sex) for 48 hrs. The strings hanging from the cervix will soften over the next couple of weeks. They felt like thicker fishing wire to me. I should make an appointment to make sure it's still seated properly and nothing is coming out in about a month with my doctor, or a doctor at Planned Parenthood.

    I am looking forward to having the discomfort go away and will post back after a period or two with the IUD! I've been advised to take iron & iodine supplements if my flow increases a lot.
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  2. #52
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    I just made an appointment to get the Mirena put in. I'd rather go no hormone and might change my mind for the Paraguard instead. I haven't used hormone-based BC in several years and am leery about the effects. But the Paraguard in the past has given me really heavy periods, so there's that to consider. The insertion pain wasn't too bad in the past - not pleasant but not bad. I had a friend who had one inserted and she had never had kids. She said the pain almost made her pass out.

  3. #53
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    I had a Mirena. I haven't had kids but it wasn't painful. They told me to take 4 ibuprofen before the appointment, so I'm sure that helped.

    Mirena was great in that I stopped having periods for the most part (just a little spotting), but the hormones did have an effect on me. I didn't realize it until after it was removed and suddenly I felt more relaxed and less irritable. It was sort of a personality change.

  4. #54
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    Hmm. I don't really want to stop my periods. Maybe I should stick with the Paraguard.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanna View Post
    I just made an appointment to get the Mirena put in. I'd rather go no hormone and might change my mind for the Paraguard instead. I haven't used hormone-based BC in several years and am leery about the effects. But the Paraguard in the past has given me really heavy periods, so there's that to consider. The insertion pain wasn't too bad in the past - not pleasant but not bad. I had a friend who had one inserted and she had never had kids. She said the pain almost made her pass out.
    I wasn't close to passing out or even crying, but it was definitely an intense discomfort/pain. I was more frustrated that anything by having something so internal that I could not soothe (not like a muscle cramp you can't massage). I've been told that iodine and iron may help with heavy periods, if I get them from the Paragard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vega View Post
    I had a Mirena. I haven't had kids but it wasn't painful. They told me to take 4 ibuprofen before the appointment, so I'm sure that helped.

    Mirena was great in that I stopped having periods for the most part (just a little spotting), but the hormones did have an effect on me. I didn't realize it until after it was removed and suddenly I felt more relaxed and less irritable. It was sort of a personality change.
    Yeah, I don't want to stop having my period & I don't want to affect the IUD by using Vitex or anything. I've had hormonal issues in the past and don't want to risk losing my libido by introducing any to my system, uncontrolled by me. Also, I took Ibuprofen beforehand, but the appointment was late so I don't think it helped at all! Acetaminophen has been working better for me since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanna View Post
    Hmm. I don't really want to stop my periods. Maybe I should stick with the Paraguard.
    I like the monthly check-in of not being pregnant, haha. That was a problem for me with some of the pills I tried.
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  6. #56
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    Nameless - I hope you'll like the Paragard, I did . I had mine put in between kid 2 and kid 3 but only had it in for 5 yrs before we tried for kid 3. I never did experience a heavier or longer period with it as I was told could happen. In fact, they seemed to become lighter and shorter over time but maybe that was just my body anyway.
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  7. #57
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    Great news about the IUD, Name! I'm sure the soreness has subsided by now. Hope your first period goes off without a hitch.
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  8. #58
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    I had my merina iud inserted in 2007. Miscarriage in 2011 & found it hadn't fallen out but instead gone through my uterus wall. Had it surgically removed 3 weeks ago. Was near my appendix. Have heard similar stories about other iuds.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by ombat View Post
    Great news about the IUD, Name! I'm sure the soreness has subsided by now. Hope your first period goes off without a hitch.
    The cramping is very light, on and off, and I'm still bleeding a little (I suppose this would be called spotting). I'm very happy with it though. The sense of security is immense. ~2.5 weeks till next period, if it's timely. We'll see!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannakb View Post
    I had my merina iud inserted in 2007. Miscarriage in 2011 & found it hadn't fallen out but instead gone through my uterus wall. Had it surgically removed 3 weeks ago. Was near my appendix. Have heard similar stories about other iuds.
    I'm sorry that happened to you! I have heard about this, but supposedly it is pretty rare.
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  10. #60
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    I just got a Paragard last week. Holy God that hurt -- i was 3 days past my period and no numbing or whatever luxuries are available ... Wasn't even offered! And I have Cadillac insurance. The sounding hurt like a bitch ... The insertion was horrible ... I had what felt like the worst cramps ever for about 12 hours, but woke up fine. Some bleeding for 2 days. It has been a week, now I have weird mucus blobs ... .? Whatever ... My BP dropped instantly, which is why I tried it. This insertion should get me to menopause. Never been pregnant, FWIW.

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