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Advice about IUDs
Berkeley Parents Network >
Parenting, Families, & the Community > Birth Control > IUDs
I'm wondering if anyone out there has experienced the
demise of their sex drive in conjunction with using a
Mirena IUD? I am in my forties and went on Mirena after
the birth of my child over 2 years ago. I had not
previously used any hormone based birth control or other
IUD, so don't have anything to compare it to. Also, my use
of the IUD has coincided with post-childbirth and caring
for baby and now toddler, which of course also get in the
way of sex drive. And I'm at an age where perimenopause
takes effect. I'm tending to think that the hormones have
greatly diminished my sex drive, though I must say I like
the side effect of the IUD that has resulted in the near
removal of my period. With a toddler, I don't know how I'd
manage having what used to be my normal period - quite
crampy for a couple days and wiped out etc. I'm interested
in hearing from others who may have experienced this and
what they have done? Thank you.
I also had a loss of sexdrive when I was on the Pill. I
definitely think it was the hormones, and this why I chose
the regular IUD without hormones. Get a regular IUD and
lose the Mirena.
love my IUD
That's a very interesting question about the Mirena IUD. I
started using a Mirena IUD 9 years ago after the birth of
my child--I am now in my late 40s. It never occured to me
about loss of sex drive because of the hormones it
releases. Could very well be. I, too, am not as interested
in sex as I was before the IUD. Hubby and I have been
married for almost 20 years and enjoy sex--although it's
fairly infrequent. Also never thought about the
perimenopause aspect. I will ask my Dr. about all of this
the next time I see her. Thank you very much for bringing
this up. So, it's not just me?
It's the progesterone. I had this with the mini-pill and
the mirena was supposed to be better than taking the oral
contraceptive, but I found it to be the same. PMS
irratability and low sex drive. What's the point of taking
something so you have pregnancy-free sex with your partner
and it makes you not want to have sex at all!!
Pill free now
Had a mirena before I had a baby and got one put in after.
The baby and parenting made me lose my sex drive, not the
I'm looking into using the Mirena IUD and worried about its
side effects? Can anyone tell me about their experience
good or bad? Thank you.
I have had Mirena for about 5 yrs and I have only good things to say about
easy, reliable and care free. Side effects - well, I didn't have period for
yrs. Hurray!! Apparently this happens to about 20% of the users. I did have
spotting for several weeks (maybe 6 wks?) after I got Mirena though. Getting
place isn't exactly pleasant, but hey, for all the benefits I would do it
Getting my 2nd Mirena very soon
I had a Mirena IUD three times now: before my first child
was born, between the births of my children, and again now.
Have been entirely happy. I learned of it through my
female doctor friends. Turns out many of them use it, and
consider it highly safe and effective, and of course
convenient. I had strong reactions to the hormones in birth
control pills, but have had no problems with the IUD. In
fact, my formerly heavy periods were much lighter, and also
much less frequent. I was worried about how quickly I could
get pregnant after having it removed... both times I got
pregnant much more quickly than expected, so no problems
there. The insertion is a bit uncomfortable, but nothing
compared to childbirth! The first doctor left the string a
bit too long according to my husband who could feel it, but
it was easy to trim during a yearly exam. Very relieved not
to have to think about birth control with 2 young kids
around! Can't believe when my girlfriends say they don't
also have one... seems a no-brainer decision to me!
I have had a Mirena for about three years now. It's been
great, except that I don't get a period at all. Of course
many people would consider that a bonus, but I wouldn't
have chosen a Mirena if I'd known that was going to happen
(it doesn't happen to everyone). Otherwise, great birth
Ok with Mirena
I did a lot of research before deciding on an IUD.
Despite the fact that two different OBGYNs of mine
insisted that the hormones don't enter your bloodstream, I
read account after account of women having side-effects
from the Mirena. I am very sensative to hormones so I
decided against the Mirena and did the copper Paraguard.
I love it!!! I have not had any problems with it. Maybe
my periods are a tiny bit heavier. But they are actually
about a day shorter too. Doctors seem to really be pushing
the Mirena pretty hard. I'm guessing there's a big
financial incentive. Mine tried as hard as she could to
convince me to do the Mirena rather than the Paraguard.
Luckily I had solidly made up my mind and stuck to it. Now
I love having hormone-free, hassle free birth control.
Love the Paraguard
I looked at the old replies about the Mirena and felt I
should chime in with my experience. I had it placed after
the birth of my son. I bled for 12 weeks straight before I
had had enough and had it taken out. In addition to the
annoyance of the bleeding forever was the fact that my
husband could feel the strings (and I even went and had them
''tucked'' under.) I gave it more than enough time and it was
a big disappointment.
No thank you
I have had a Mirena IUD in place for coming up on 5 years
(in Sept)...so about time to replace. I have had no issues
or challenges other than a couple of times I became
convinced I was pregnant (for no good reason) and then
freaked out when reading all the horror stories on the
internet about getting pregnant with an IUD in place.
Probably most of the stories are ridiculous anyway.
In fact the best thing about the Mirena for me is that since
having it put in, my migraines have almost completely
disappeared! They did this when I was pregnant too...so
obviously they are related to hormones. Talk to your doctor
and then make the decision that is right for you.
Mirena been good to me
I have had the Mirena IUD for 8 years. It has been a
lifesaver for me. My gynecologist recommended it after a
uterine artery immbolization (UTI) failed to offer relief
from extremely heavy periods due to fibroids. Initially, I
experienced erratic spotting but my periods became more
stable over time. Extremely heavy and painful menstruation
is gone. I haven't experienced any side-effects other than
than spotting, but as mentioned, that stopped. It has also
proven to be reliable, long-term birth control. I forget
that I even have it.
Best of luck!
I had a Mirena for 3 years and it worked very well for me, I
would recommend it to anyone. I had it taken out early b/c
my spouse got a vascectomy.
Now for the cons. insertion was very uncomfortable. more so
b/c I felt a certain amount of grief for the end of my life
as a baby maker.grief made the pain worse and I had not
thought it would affect me so I had not brought anyone with
me to hold my hand.
the second thing was that I bled and then spotted for 2
MONTHS! My OB had told me several weeks. He wasn't very
available by phone so I compared notes with my girlfriend
and found that was normal.
After that I had no period at all. this is somewhat unusual
but not abnormal.
removal was fine and no aftermath that I can remember.
I wanted to give an alternative view of the Mirena... I had
it for about 3 years after the birth of my son, and it took
me that long to realize what was wrong! I cried at the same
time every month... Gained weight that wouldn't budge... and
I've never had PMS before! I am sensitive to hormones, I
couldn't take the pill because it made me feel terrible. I
didn't think the ''tiny'' amount of hormones in the Mirena
would make a difference, but they definitely affected me
I have a paraguard now and I love it!
No hormones, thanks
I didn't see the original posting, but here's my
experience... I've had my Mirena IUD for 7 years--
actually, I'm on my second one. First one replaced after 5
years, that's what doc recommended. I got it a couple of
months after my son was born when I was 40. I absolutely
love it, have never noticed any side affects--I'm 47 and
it's the best.
happy happy happy
To add another perspective to the responses so far, I did
not have a positive experience with the Mirena IUD. I had a
Mirena for about two months and during that time I had
constant lower back and hip pain, a sudden increase in
migraine headaches, lots of spotting, a noticeable decrease
in milk supply (was breastfeeding at the time), and, most
troubling, a near constant state of severe PMS (super
irritable, crying, etc.). Even though the party line is
that side effects will abate, it was so bad that I had it
removed and went back on the pill. The various side effects
(except for milk supply, which never came back) all went
away within about a month. I think the Mirena was
problematic for me both because it is progestin only (I had
previously been on the pill for over 15 years, so have done
fine with combined hormone contraceptives) and because my
body did not want to constantly house a foreign object. I
was lucky - my health insurance paid for the device,
insertion, and removal. I know a fair number of women who
have been very happy with their Mirena IUD (and/or Paraguard
IUD), so if you have health insurance that will cover it,
then it can be worth a try. But, if you are paying out of
pocket or have a big co-pay, I would think twice if you have
any inkling that your body will have trouble tolerating the
progestin or foreign body aspects.
Not a fan of IUDs
I have read the past post but would like updated information
on your experience with the Copper IUD. My doctor is
recommending this one and has stated that since my periods
are not heavy that I will not have the heavy periods which
some women have experienced.
Happy with 2 Kids
I didn't have heavy periods to begin with, and after I had
the copper IUD in, I was bleeding extensively, every 2-3
weeks for up to 10 days straight! After a year of what it
felt like one long period and becoming ANEMIC, I swithced
to Mirena. I had a painful 6 months with the Mirena
(mainly breasts). My GYN said that the body needed to
adjust to the new levels of hormones and it can take up to
6 months. Indeed, after 6 months i was pain free and
Happy with my Mirena
I also did not have heavy periods before I got the Copper IUD a couple of years
ago, but my doctor warned me they'd get heavier (I'm surprised your Dr. thinks
your period won't change). As expected, I had VERY heavy periods for the first
6-8 months. I actually became slightly iron deficient they were so heavy. And
during that initial time, they were also long - 7-10 days. But now, my periods
are back to normal. One to two heavy days, and light flow for three or so. The
periods are a definite drawback, but with two kids already and NOT ready for a
third, I wanted the best non-hormonal protection against pregnancy. Because of
this, the first year was worth it. If you aren't sensitive to hormones (acne,
migraines) I would get the Mirena which I've heard makes your period almost
On iron supplements
I've had a copper IUD for 4 years total (2 separate times-
took it out to conceive my child). I liked the thought of
no hormones and it lasts for much longer than an IUD with
hormones. However, I did have lots of cramping and
horrific periods for the first three or four months after
having it inserted for the first time. I did have
substantial periods before that- they lasted about 4 days
naturally, with two days of heavy flow, but I had never
had cramping before. The cramping went away after several
months, but the heavy periods remained- about 3 days of
heavy flow and 5 days total.
Hope this helps!
I had the copper IUD put in for exactly one year after my
first child was born. I chose copper vs. the mirena due to
being extremely sensitive to the hormones in birth control
pills. I was 'assured' that the hormones in the mirena IUD
are localized vs. being in the blood stream but I was also
assured that some of the several different birth control
pills I tried in the past would not cause the symptoms I so
clearly suffered from as a direct result of the pills. So I
decided to tolerate the 'inflammatory' reaction from the
copper IUD for the sake of my sanity and I feel, even though
I had it removed after one year (in order to have another
child) the payoff was totally worth it for me. My premenstrual symptoms have always
been reasonably manageable
so a slight increase in cramping and bleeding was an
acceptable outcome for me. It's also my understanding that
the increase in cramping and bleeding fades over time so
year two may have been even easier. I plan to get another
copper IUD put in after I deliver my second child in
I used to have light, 3-day long periods. Then I got a
copper IUD and for 6 months my periods were very very heavy
and lasted about 12 days. Then my body got used to the IUD
and I got pregnant. My youngest is nearly 2 and my periods
are still not back to where they were (now much heavier and
closer to 5 days which didn't happen after either of my
first 2 pregnancies).
I'm not sure if my heavier periods now are a result of the
IUD, but the ones I had while I had it in were really epic.
I've had the Paraguard IUD for about a year and a half, since
6 weeks postpartum after my first was born. I LOVE it, but to
give you fair warning my periods are much heavier now than
before. I never had very heavy periods before but now I do.
But for me, it's not the whole time, just one or two days
right in the middle that are very heavy. I'm still trying to
adjust and I think I just need lots of super tampons and
pantyliners on hand!! Other than this ''complication'', I'm a
satisfied user who highly recommends it to other women.
No hormones in my BC please!
I had a Copper IUD inserted about 6 months after baby #2 (about 1.5 years ago).
It was a painless and quick insertion. AF was heavier than normal for the first 6
months and lasted longer (full 6 days). Now it is back to normal. Medium flow
and lasts about 5 days. I'm very happy with my choice. Good luck.
Done at 2
I had a cooper IUD placed about six months ago on the
recommendation of my gyno, and I've been very happy with it.
Insertion was painful but brief. Spotting was heavy for the
first two cycles, but everything evened out after that. I
experience the occasional ''through-the-ceiling'' PMS cramp
(that's right, singular: one cramp each cycle, right before
I start). My periods aren't heavier or lighter than before,
but I've definitely not become pregnant. I love my Paragard!
24 yr old in El Cerrito
I got the copper IUD about 9 months ago. For the first few
months my periods were much heavier and longer with more
cramping. But these side effects lessened after about 6
months, and now my period is lighter and shorter with not
much cramping (but not as light & short as it was before the
IUD). One benefit is that now my period is extremely
regular (like exactly 28 days) whereas before it was a
little erratic. All in all, I'm happy with the copper IUD
and glad I chose it over the Mirena b/c I don't have to
wonder/worry whether the added hormones are really safe over
the long term.
also happy with two
I have been using a cervical cap for about 15 years, and my
husband and I are not planning to have any more children.
Given the higher efficacy and the general ease of the IUD, I
am considering getting a copper IUD. Does anyone have
experience with a copper IUD, either positive or negative?
I have had a copper iud since 2007, after i had my son (i
am 34). The first 6 months i had, as predicted, heavier,
more painful periods. now it's all good.
I don't feel it at all and like the fact that i am not
pumping my body of hormones. If we chose to have another
we can simply remove it and take it from here. If we did,
i would get another copper iUD afterwards. I think it's
I just had my copper IUD removed a week ago after having it for a year. I
think it depends on the person, but it was mildly uncomfortable for me. If I
twisted my torso a certain way, I got a shot of pain. If I got pressed on the
abdomen in the wrong spot, I felt it. And my periods were really heavy and
about 10 days long. I tried really hard to stick with it, but in the end, had it
removed because it was so uncomfortable and I was tired of bleeding so
much. My OB said that some women have no problems with it (I had the
Paragard), but I found it uncomfortable. It so convenient, though. And I had a
year of sex without pregnancy....so it was hard to give it up. But as soon as I
had it taken out, I felt better. So now I'm back on the pill. Sigh.
But remember that this is just my story. Talk to your doc. Also consider the
Mirena which a few of my friends have and they report no pain and decreased
if not totally disappeared periods. It just depends if you're comfortable with
the small amount of hormones.
I am happy with my copper IUD. It was painful to put on but
now I'm good for 3-5 years! My period tend to be heavier,
though. Since I have not used cervical cap before I cannot
compare, but heavier blood flow seems to be a common
complaint of women who use copper IUD.
I've had two versions of the copper IUD. The first was the old ''copper-7''
back in the late 70's, which I had for seven or eight years; can't remember
why I had it removed but it wasn't anything negative about the IUD. I
currently (in my late 40's) have the Paragard, which is the modern version of
the copper IUD. I've had zero problems with both of these devices. According
to my doctor the one I have now should last me through menopause, and in
fact there is no real need to ever remove it. Supposedly the Paragard might
result in heavier or longer periods but I've never experienced that; everything
has been the same as before I had it. I like the Paragard because it does not
contain or release any hormones.
I guess I do have one caveat: when I went for my annual exam recently my
doctor could not see the strings of the IUD, so they may have migrated
upwards. I need to have an ultrasound to find out. But she said even if they
have migrated up into the uterus (they're supposed to protrude out from the
cervix) it was not a problem and we could just leave it there. The main risk is
if you are exposed to gonorrhea, and that is unlikely for me.
Anyway I have always loved having an IUD, it is so utterly convenient. No
fuss, no muss.
Pleased IUD user
YES! Get the copper IUD! I've had a series of IUDs,
starting back before I had children. I had one for four
years before I got pregnant with my first child - I took it
out two months before I wanted to get pregnant, and became
pregnant on my very first attempt. I now have two kids, ages
6 and 9, and I had an IUD put in six weeks after each birth.
I've had tremendous success and highly, highly recommend
this method of birth control. Your only regret will be that
you didn't get one years ago. It feels like not using birth
control at all! I did try the hormone-based IUD, the Mirena,
as well, but didn't like how it took away my menstrual
periods. The Copper-T is a great choice. Enjoy!
A fan of the IUD
I don't have any experience with the cervical cap, but I did
have the copper IUD for 2 years. I am so scatterbrained
these days that I didn't trust myself to have to think about
birth control. I needed something that was always in place!
I had the IUD put in after the birth of my last child (2
years ago) and chose the copper IUD (instead of the Mirena
one) because I was breastfeeding. While the ease of the IUD
can't be beat, I ended up with periods that lasted for 2
weeks each month! They were really heavy, to the point
where I passed out one time. I kept waiting (for 2 years!)
for the cycle to stabilize at a more manageable level, but
when it didn't, I had the copper IUD taken out and the
Mirena IUD put in. It's been great! I've gone from having
2 week periods to no periods at all!
I know that many people are happy with the copper IUD and
don't have the experience that I did, so I think it's just
how your body responds to it. It's no big deal to get it
taken out if it doesn't work for you.
Big Fan of the IUD
I got a copper IUD a few months ago, and it's been great.
The insertion process was easy. There was a week or two of
light cramping at first, but it worked itself out. It's so
nice not to have to think about birth control at all.
Should have done it years ago!
I tried the copper IUD for a couple of years, never really
liked it, and recently switched back to the pill. I
certainly liked that the copper IUD was non-hormonal and
long-term, and the insertion was easier than I expected. But
my cycles were short and my periods were ridiculously heavy,
as can happen with the copper IUD for some women. Instead of
my normal 30 days, my periods were coming every 27 days, and
they lasted for 9-10 days. Just spotting for the first and
last days, but annoying nonetheless, and VERY heavy for a
day or two in the middle (I invariably had a night every
month where I bled through to pjs and sheets). Also--this
might not apply to the original advice-asker but might be
useful to other women contemplating the copper IUD--what
eventually sent me back to the pill was emotion PMS and
severe mid-cycle cramping that hormonal BC mitigates for me
but that the copper IUD, being non-hormonal, couldn't help
Still looking for a good non-hormonal option
While I have never used a cervical cap I do have experience with the copper IUD.
The first 2-3 years were great. I decided against the newer Merena IUD because
I wanted to avoid any hormones. At the time I didn't realize the amount of
hormones is too little to effect my migraines.
The copper IUD tends to cause more bleeding, more cramps and worsens over
time. The Merena IUD tends to lighten bleeding where after 6 months women
tend not to bleed at all. After 3 years my cramps became like labor pains until it
was unbearable. Finally I decided to become sterilized with the ''essure''
procedure. It was done in the doctor's office with a $15 co-pay. No more copper
IUD for me. I would suggest looking into the Merena IUD. I know many happy
women who have it. I believe it's good for 5 years instead of 10. Good luck to
I love my copper IUD, which I've had for about 2 years now.
It's in and I don't even have to think about it, yet I know
I'm getting the same protection from pregnancy as I would
from tubal ligation or vasectomy. The main side effects
I've experienced are an increase in quantity and duration of
bleeding and cramping for the first 5 or 6 months. After
that, my bleeding and cramping went back to how they were
before I had the IUD. Secondly, I've experienced an
increase in amount of discharge, which is variable
throughout my cycle, but doesn't really bother me. Lastly,
my partner noticed the string a few times and said that it
felt like it was poking him. This was remedied by moving
the strings around a little bit into a different position
with my finger. I am a nurse practitioner and have inserted
hundreds of IUDs. The side effects I've mentioned are
common and typical of most copper IUD (Paragard) users.
Women who already have heavy bleeding and painful periods
are often dissatisfied with the copper IUD because it
increases those symptoms especially in the first 6 months,
and possible longer. Those women may do better with the
Mirena (progesterone-releasing) IUD, which can also be used
as a treatment for heavy periods. Good luck!
Happy IUD User
I love my copper IUD. I've had it almost a year. My
periods were heavier at first, but they've leveled off.
And I am willing to make that trade off for a hormone-free
birth control where I don't have to do anything or
remember anything. It's fantastic!! I did a lot of
research on the Mirena before deciding on the copper
(Paraguard). I read so many horror stories about the
effect of the hormones that I decided it wouldn't be a
good choice for me. I am way to sensative to hormones.
But my OBGYN tried as hard as she could to convince me to
do the Mirena instead of the Paraguard. I'm so glad I
stuck with my decision. I wish I'd done the Paraguard
sooner. (Never used a cervical cap, by the way).
Good luck to you!
I am wondering if anyone can share their thoughts, experiences,
or knowledge with me about the Mirena IUD. I am thinking of
having one implanted soon and would greatly appreciate people's
input. A little info: I am 37, a mother of 3, and hate condoms,
the pill, and most other methods! Yes, my husband is going to
get snipped but we have to wait 6 mos for financial reasons
Thanks a lot!
no more babies!
I have had the Mirena IUD for 2 1/2 years after having it
placed 6 wks after my second child was born. I love it! I had
some initial cramping and spotting for 6 weeks or so after it
was placed, but now have no symptoms and no periods. I have
friends who had some trouble with weight gain and exacerbation
of fibroids, but I haven't had any problems. It is no-
I got a Mirena put in two years ago and unfortunately, I didn't
have a great experience with it. I could have dealt with the
discomfort during insertion and with some breakouts on my face
from the hormones, but what I couldn't handle was the weight
gain. In 3 months I gained over 15 pounds. When I went back to
my doctor to have it taken out, she said, ''Oh yes, I've had
other patients complain about that''. I wish she had told me
Supposedly it's not a side effect of the mirena, but go to
google and type in ''mirena'' and ''weight gain''. There are
thousands of women who have this reaction to it.
Now, you might not be one of them, or you might not mind a few
extra pounds - but I wish I had known before I had it put in
(and spent $500 not covered by insurance).
I personally cannot take anything that either infuses or alters
my hormonal levels. So, when it came time to choose an IUD I
chose to use one that did not alter my hormonal levels - ie: NOT
a Mirena - The device works just as well. You have alternatives
in the IUD realm and Mirena is not the only one around, it just
has a more powerful merchandising machine it seems and therefore
it's touted/peddled more bu OBGYNs.
there are other choices other than Mirena
Just a friendly response to ''There are Alternatives...,'' the
poster who said Ob/Gyns push the Mirena because of marketing
pressure: I've been working in women's health in the Bay Area
for 10 years, for non-profits, a university, and in private
practice, and I've never worked with an MD, NP, or PA who
has ''pushed'' any form of birth control because of marketing
from the pharmaceutical co or manufacturer. Decisions about
family planning are highly personal and individual, not to
mention dynamic accross a woman's (and man's) lifespan.
Helping a woman find a birth control method that works FOR HER
while minimizing side effects is truely an art. The mirena can
be a great method for women who want a very effective long term
birth control method, and want to have lighter, shorter, or no
periods. Also, the delivery of progesterone to the uterine
lining can help prevent endometrial hyperplasia and uterine
cancer in certain women. The paragard IUD (without hormones)
is also very effective and a great long term method for women
who don't mind heavier, longer, crampier periods, and for women
who want to avoid hormones of all kinds (for medical reasons or
personal preference). You can see that the two have very
different mechanisms of action and side effect profiles thus
different women may prefer or do better with one or the other.
I'm leaving out substantial detail on this decision tree, but
hopefully you get the idea that we (in the white coats) have no
agenda other that to help you make an informed choice. Other's
responses have illustrated that trial and error is an integral
part of this ''art'' called medicine.
Not Dr Evil
I have Mirena for four years now, I use different IUDs for 15
years, no problems at all. IUDs usually bring heavier periods,
but no discomfort at least for me. The Mirena is the mildiest
and smaller out of all the other ones that I have used. I am
very happy with it!!
will your insurance cover the Mirena? mine wouldn't cover any
IUD (much to my surprise and dismay)
I've had Mirena IUD for about 3 yrs and couldn't be happier. Nothing negative about
Unexpected positive side effect was that I stopped getting my period. No more hassle.
Also, I used to be anemic but not having my period improved my condition
considerably. Mirena is reliable, easy, always ready, It's works for at least 5 yrs
you ever wanna get pregnant again it's easy to remove. In my opinion, no need for
hubby to get snipped. I sound like a commercial but I just really really like it.
in place was did hurt some, but less than I had expected. I would not get Mirena until
after finishing breast feeding.
I got the Mirena at about your age when my daughter was 3 months
old. Insertion was really uncomfortable and unexpectedly, it was
also kind of sad - the beginning of the end of my fertile life. I
wished I had brought my husband with me to hold my hand.
Then I bled and spotted for 2 MONTHS. later I found out this is
not unusual. After that my periods stopped altogether - less
usual but not unheard of. Then worry-free, no maintenance birth
control - no other side effects. I had it removed after 3 years
after my husband got sniped and his count was zero - removal was
very easy. No after effects
Re: Birth Control while Breastfeeding
Congrats on your new baby! I used an IUD which emitted a small
amount of Progesterone and it worked fine and gave me no
trouble whatsoever. However, this was about 30 years ago so I
know my experience is out-of-date. Good luck.
i had the copper iud after the birth of my second child. it
was really great for a year and then my periods became **very**
heavy, a reported side effect. it was intolerable to me as i
am very active and had to have double protection against the
bleeding. so i had it removed. i am going to get the mirena
(progestin secreting IUD) in a few weeks since i heard it
doesn't have this side effect. the bleeding aside, i liked the
iud- it was easy to insert and remove, had no effect on future
fertility and we never noticed it. incidentally, i nursed my
kids for a couple years each and did get pregnant, while
nursing with the mini pill.
I had an IUD, and was pretty happy overall with the idea of it
because it isn't a chemical form of birth control, and I could
remove it at any time if my husband and I wanted to start working
on the family again.
I had mine put in 8 months postpartum, before my period returned.
The first period I had was HUGE - so much blood I genuinely
thought there was something very wrong. So huge that it dislodged
the IUD and it ultimately needed to be removed.
While I wanted to share my experience with you, I need to stress:
I am a very tiny statistic. Very seldom does something like this
happen, and while it was a bit scary at the time, my OB was very
comforting and explained everything to me, and reassured me that
no damage has been done.
I am now pregnant with my second, and am planning on getting a
new IUD afterwards, although based on my experience with my
gigantic first period, I will wait until I've had it at least
once before putting the IUD in.
I use the mirena IUD (the plastic one with progesterone, and have been
very happy with
it. It hurts alot when they put it in and then I had pretty bad cramps
for the next 2
days, and finally no cramps at all after a week and a half. Before
having my baby (now
one year old) I suffered from horrible cramps and pretty heavy bleeding
when I got my
periods and this IUD tends to make those things better. I've had it in
for 8 months
now and no probs. One thing to know is that it can cause menstrual
anywhere from random spotting to no periods at all. Now, here's the
recommended it to my sister and she had it put in, too. After 2 months
of cramps and
bleeding she got it removed. She's fine now but what a drag. Good luck
No more babies for now
I chose the copper IUD, no hormones, since I'm still breastfeeding my 14
and seem to be very sensitive to hormones. I got it when he was 11
months old. Don't
believe the drama you'll read about insertion on the web - i took 800 mg
before I went in and barely felt it. I love the fact that it is
hormone-free birth control,
but the the first couple periods were rough. Cramping and HEAVY
periods. Still, it's worth it, b/c the rest of the month everything is
great. And now, 4
months or so into it, my periods are more normal. I think you will get
couple of first months even with Mirena, which eventually takes your
period away. You
just have to weigh the pros and cons of the hormone, a little of which
will get into the
Fan of Paragard
I got the IUS at 6 months after birth. I noticed a slight dip in
milk supply, but nothing a little fenugreek wouldn't help. Other
than that (at least in terms of breastfeeding), no issues. It did
come with lots of other side effects, but they are so different
from person to person that it would hardly be worth relating.
I will say that you might check with your health insurance before
going with the IUS. I've known a number of women to get them;
some insurances cover, some don't, and doctors don't seem to be
too concerned about it before recommending, inserting, and
charging for them!
I highly recommend the non-hormonal (copper, or paraguard) IUD.
It lasts for 10 years and provides the same effective birth
control as a tubal ligation. I had one placed after each of my
pregnancies (after the third, my husband had a vasectomy). I was
able to remove the IUD and easily conceive because my hormones
weren't altered. Because there are no hormones, it doesn't alter
your milk supply at all. The potential downside to the
non-hormonal IUD is that some women have increased bleeding and
cramping with their periods--these symptoms usually ease up after
a few months. If they don't you can just have it easily removed.
I found that because I had my IUDs put in post-partum, my uterus
was already accustomed to a ''foreign object'' and because I was
breastfeeding I didn't have a period for almost a year--allowing
my uterus plenty of time to adjust to having the IUD in place
before I started having periods again (I had normal, light periods).
The hormonal (Mirena) IUD is also a good option, but it does
release hormones into your system. You will stop having periods
(a plus for many women). It only lasts for 5 years. It is safe to
use while breastfeeding, but there is theoretical risk that the
hormones can reduce your breastmilk--less likely if you are
solo-breastfeeding for the first few months.
Finally, I am offering this advise up as a fellow mother, but I'm
also a doctor and I feel comfortable recommending IUDs to my
patients. In the past, there was some concern that sexually
transmitted diseases could travel up the IUD strings and into the
uterus, but this is not the case. The data is showing they are
safe and IUDs are gaining a resurgence in popularity among
doctors and women. There is a very minimal risk that the uterus
could be perforated when the IUD is inserted, but it is a simple
procedure and that risk is very small when done by an experienced
practitioner. Without the hormones, there's no increased risk of
breast cancer, blood clots, etc. It's all a balancing act.
Good luck with your decision!
After I had my son, I requested an IUD, but was pushed to go on the
shot. I did three
rounds of the shot and experienced blinding headaches before going and
new doctor. I now have the Mirena, which I guess is considered an IUS.
I've had it for
four years, it comes out next year, and I will be requesting a new one.
I feel great with
it, it contains a small fraction of the hormones in other birth control
methods, and you
dont even notice it's there. The appointment to get it is mildly
experience a cramping sensation in the pelvic region while they are
inserting, but that
aside, it's the greatest birth control method I have ever had.
I used the ParaGard IUD (copper) for a few months. Like it says,
and as people told me, it gave me heavier periods. They lasted
for 10 or 11 days, and for the first couple of days, I could go
through 1 super plus tampon every hour. My PMS, usually not too
bad in the past, was completely out of control. I felt, ok, I
can handle this for a few months, because it is such a reliable
type of birth control, and hopefully these side effects will
subside. What I didn't consider is why these long periods
happen. Is it because the copper IUD causes a huge surge in
one's own hormones? What else can this sort of surge to this
degree cause to happen? I did lose some hair, right at the
widows peak (I found out on some message boards that I wasn't the
only one). But, more disturbingly, I feel that the copper IUD
caused my onset to Crohn's disease, which I was diagnosed with
less than a year later. I didn't know that I was predisposed to
Crohn's (I had a cousin who had it), but now here it is. I can't
prove the connection; it just makes sense to me. I recently read
that if you have an autoimmune disease, you should not use
ParaGard. Wish I had explored that further at the time.
I've been using a diaphragm. Kind of old-fashioned, but it works.
I had a Mirena IUD put in after my first two children were born
(10 weeks after the births) and will have another one put in soon
(I just gave birth to my third a few weeks ago). The Mirena
worked really well for me and had no effect on breastfeeding
whatsoever. I've heard that some people have a lot of spotting
between periods with the Mirena, but that was not the case with
me. I did have pretty light periods, which was an added benefit
in my opinion.
I am the mother of a 6-month-old and considering using a Mirena
IUC for birth control and wanted to hear about other women's
experiences with it before going forward. Any adverse reactions
or side effects?
I used to take the pill before I got pregnant, but don't want
to go back on it because I'm nursing and it might affect my
milk supply. Also, I want to have another child in the next 2-3
years and would prefer not to go on and off of the pill.
Another option I have been considering is a sponge. Thanks for
Seeking new birth control
I tried the Paraguard IUD (IUD sans progesterone) after the birth of
my daughter. I had very light periods prior to pregnancy, so I was not
expecting the horrific, heavy, long, frequent periods and almost
constant PMS I had while on Paraguard. What good is birth control if
you never want to have sex?!
After suffering for almost a year (I kept hoping my body would adjust
and my periods would become lighter), I switched to the Mirena IUD. I
noticed a difference in my mood almost immediately and started to feel
like my old self again. I had light periods for the first three months
and then no more! In fact, I haven't had a period since 12/06. If I
decide to have another baby, I can have it taken out. Otherwise, it's
good for 5 years. No pills, no fuss, no periods (for me anyway) - what
Estatic about Mirena
I have had the Mirena IUD for two years, and have had no
at all. The only negative I experienced was that the insertion
was quite painful, and had cramps the next day. After that,
been fine (or great, since we don't have to think about birth
control at all and one of the side effects I have is no
I have a Mirena and love it ! The first few months were a bit
tough because I had breakthrough bleeding. But, after waiting
that out, it has been great. My periods are light and I don't
have to worry about birth control. I'm done having more kids
my GYN used the Mirena between her two kids so it would probably
be a good option for you. You mentioned breast feeding and not
using the pill. The Mirena releases progesterone so you might
want to talk to your GYN about progesterone and safety during
Hi - I got a mirena about 4 months ago and am having it out in
a couple of weeks. On many levels it's perfect (once your body
adapts to having it - I had light bleeding for a month after
insertion), but my main gripe with it has been the weight gain
that I've experienced. Now, supposedly, weight gain is NOT one
of the side effects, but that has not been my experience.
Within the first six weeks of having it in I gained over 10
pounds and nothing else in my life changed. I went online and
typed ''mirena weight gain'' into google and found hundreds of
posts from other women who had this same reaction.
The only other minor issue (which I could have lived with) has
been some hormonal acne on my face and chest.
If it had been covered by my insurance I wouldn't feel so bad
about the experience, but since I had to drop close to $500 to
get it, I'm pretty bummed to not have known about this side
Now, I'm sure there are MANY women who do not experience weight
gain - and perhaps a few extra pounds doesn't bug you...But,
just wanted to make sure that folks were aware that this could
be an issue.
If you're nursing, I'd get the paraguard (copper) iud over the
mirena, which uses progesterone. While progesterone-only birth
control is better, no extra hormones while nursing is best as
as potential to effect milk supply goes.
condoms work, too.
I've used Mirena since 2006. I really like it now, but
initially had a lot of erratic
breakthrough bleeding and always had to have tampons or pads in
my purse or desk
at work. Now, however, I haven't had a period for several
months, which I am
enjoying. No other problems.
My doctor highly recommended the Mirena IUD, I was very
about it, because I had heard so many horror stories about the
coppier IUD (older version). At my 8 week check up, at the exact
moment my doctor asked what I decided upon, I choose the Mirena
(still feeling uneasy about it). She inserted it, and it was so
painful, cramping was horrible (I had my 8 week old daughter
me, and I literally was cramped over for about 30 minutes,
praying that she would not cry). When I left, the pain did
subside slightly. About 3 days later, my husband and I had sex
and it was so painful for me, I felt so much cramping. I figured
it was normal and gave the Mirena 6 more weeks to adjust, plus
doctor said to wait a bit. After the 6 weeks I went back to the
doctor for the Mirena check up, I told her everything, and she
said to wait some more, please keep in mind EVERY time I had
it hurt, I swear I could feel it, too. She also told me that
the tip of the string was hanging out, but not too worry because
it was normal, and I could get it out when I was ready to have
another child. At 6 months after insertion, I could not bear it
any longer, I went to get the IUD removed. At my appointment, my
doctor poking and prodding, she could not grasp it with with
clamp so I had a ultrasound at the office, she thought she could
see it but could not grasp it. So she decided to send me to the
main ultrasound clinic at Alta Bates, I went and they told me
that it was not there, I was in shock...WHERE DID IT GO??? I
never seen it in the toilet (please keep in mind I had
hemorrhoids from giving birth, so I frequently looked at my
to see if blood was there)-I hope Iam not making you sick-.My
doctor called later that night to confirm that no IUD was found.
To this day, I swear I can feel it while having sex in certain
positions. I have scheduled a follow-up ultrasound to make sure.
But I really regret getting the Mirena IUD, I am now scared to
death that it is scaring up my uterus, making me barren (my
doctor did point out that that was the reason for sending me to
the main ultrasound clinic was to check that very same concern).
I have heard rave reviews of the Mirena, but I had to share with
you mine. There is a progesterone only pill, kinda of a pain to
take daily, but nothing is inserted, and you are in complete
control. Next time (fingers crossed), that will be my choice.
Good luck and Congrats on your new bundle of joy!!
I've checked the archives but couldn't quite find what I was
looking for. I had a Mirena IUD inserted six weeks after the
birth of our second child, so I've had it about six and a half
months. I've had a lot of issues with it ... bleeding, cramping,
bloating, tummy issues, etc. I think the IUD wants me to have a
period but my nursing self doesn't want me to have one (I never
had periods while I was nursing our first baby) and my body is
just out of sync. I know that it takes some women some time to
adjust to it, but I've also heard of some women whose bodies just
don't seem to ''work'' with an IUD. My OB/GYN wants me to wait a
while longer, but I don't really want to unless it seems like
there's a possibility all of issues can resolve themselves. Does
anyone have any experience or suggestions?
I have had Mirena IUD from about the same time as you after my
son was born. The first year was really bizarre - bleeding in no
time, long periods of bleeding or one day of bleeding only to be
followed by a week without it. I breastfed for 13 months so I
attributed it to my body adjusting to the IUD and the
breastfeeding, because after I stopped breastfeeding, all came
back to normal. I also wanted to get it removed after 6 months
but my RN said to give it a year and now I am glad I listened.
Now I have what can be called pleasant periods - shorter, not
painful at all and not as intense as before pregnancy and IUD. I
like this option because it contains a much smaller amount of
hormones and I never did well with the pill when I tried. But I
can say that the adjustment to the IUD took about 14-15 months.
I had my first IUD (Copper T) for 4 years before I had kids, and
another one for two years between kids. I never had any trouble
at all. After my last child, I got a Mirena. My body HATED it!
I had all kinds of unpleasant symptoms, such as chronic horrible
discharge as well as the feeling that my body ''wanted'' to have a
period. I had the Mirena taken out after a year, then had a year
with nothing, and then got another Copper T. Not a single
problem with the Copper T since the day it was inserted!. So, my
advice is take out the Mirena and give the Copper T a try. I'm a
big fan of IUD's, but finding the one that works for you is very
important. Good luck!
I've had both a Mirena and copper IUD. Simply put, some women can
not tolerate an IUD for whatever reason. For example,I have had
little problem with either but my sister finds IUDs painful,
uncomfortable and will probably have her IUD removed. My
suggestion would be to go with your instincts and have it removed
and perhaps consider the copper IUD? It does not have any
hormones (a plus) but I have heard that it may cause (again,
particular to each person)heavier bleeding. Personally, I have
preferred the copper IUD and will use it again after my 2nd is born.
best to you!
I am a huge fan of IUDs. I had one put in shortly after my
first daughter was born, then took it out to get preganant 2.5
years later, and then put in another one after I gave birth to
my second daughter. My experiance both times was that the first
6 months were extremly uncomfertable (and at times unbearable --
and I have a high threshhold for pain) right around when I was
ovulating, and then when I would get my period I would bleed
much more then usual. After 6 months, both times, this subsided
and I have no more discomfort and the bleeding as normaled out.
I'm not a big pill popper but I found that if I took 3 ibuprofan
every 4 or so hours during that time of ovulation the pain was
gone...I would suggest seeing if you can make it through the
first 6 months before you decide to take it out. I should also
say, that I have two friends who got the other IUD (the one that
has hormones in it) and they both said they had no pain and
their flow during periods was reduced, even from the begining.
So maybe trying a different one would be helpful for you...Feel
free to contact me if you want to talk.
I have experienced something similar to your complaint. I had
my Mirena placed about 8 weeks after a c-section for a breech
baby. I bled a little for a day or so, stopped, had sex, and
then started bleeding A LOT with a lot of cramping. After
about 2 weeks of this (don't ask why I waited) I went to the
OB, she called Mirena who told her to remove it and replace it
in 3 weeks. I got it replaced and since then I have had daily
spotting which typically increases after either sex or heavy
exercise. I went back to the OB last week and she begged me to
give it 6 months before deciding whether to pull it or not.
The spotting is quite annoying and I definitely have way more
moodswings than I ever had before (but I am still partially
sleep deprived with my 5 month old so who knows). I did have
more cramping in the beginning after each was placed but that
has pretty much subsided. Everything I have read on the
internet says to give it 4-6 months and that things do get
better after you get a period-although with nursing it's
unclear when that will happen.
You're not alone though-I thought Mirena would be better than
this but i am willing to hang in there and switch to all black
underwear in the meantime.
I also had the Mirena and a very similar experience to you:
cramping/ discomfort during sex and some bleeding. My husband
complained of the strings bothering him as well during
intercourse, which was the final straw for me. While I wanted
to try to wait it out, it was not the best method for me (Like
you I am also breast-feeding exclusivly), do what is right for
you but if your uncomfortable,TAKE IT OUT-try the mini-pill or
talk to your practicioner about returning to other
i just had mine removed after 5 months and my body is thankful.
i wasn't nursing like you are but had the same problems with my
body being out of sync. discharge was strange, odor was foreign
and though i kept going back to my gyn to be checked, she
always came back with no infection but looks iffy. she
suggested i give it a little longer as well but i'm glad i
didn't wait. i had lighter periods with it but they were
strange and felt strange. now i'm bleeding and feel like myself
again. the conclusion i came to was that IUDs and me were
I'm sorry if you already were given this same information. If you
have a Mirena, it may be the hormones that are causing your problems.
I became extremely sensitive to hormonal BC after I was pregnant. I
got a copper IUD and haven't had any problems with it. Maybe that is
something for you to look into.
I got a Paraguard (the copper non-hormonal IUD) 4 months after
the birth of our child. So far, I have been very happy with it
(no cramps or heavy periods). My question/concern is that I
have heard that an IUD does something to the lining of the
uterus that can increase the chance of miscarriage for the
first few months after removal and that there is heavy bleeding
and cramping also after removal for a few months. Has anyone
experienced this? Our plan was to have it removed in about a
year and then have another child.
Hi...like you I had a paragaurd IUD put in a few months after
giving birth to my first daughter and was very heppy with it (in
fact I recommended it to every friend i have!!). After 2.5
years I had it taken out in hopes of getting preganant again. I
was preganant in less then two months with no complications!!
The preganancy was uncomplicated and after giving birth in 2006
I had another paragaurd inserted. I have had no problems
since!! Good luck!
I had the paragard after my first child. Kept it in for about 3 years
and then had it
removed to conceive my second. We conceived ONE MONTH after the IUD was
After the second was born, I had the paragard inserted again. This time
its not coming
Paraguard is non-hormonal so it shouldn't alter your uterine lining
Mirena is a progestin based IUD and it significantly alters the uterine
how it works essentially. But you are on the right track. For someone
wanting a rapid
and completely normal return to fertility the Paraguard is a good
Re: Get tubes tied during C-section, or vasectomy?
I can't speak to the tube tying thing. But have you thought
about getting an IUD? Very effective, reversible, lasts 10
years. My doctor believes they are safe. I've had one for the
last 4 years (and had another one for many years when I was
younger) and really like it. I have the non-hormone-releasing
No more kids for me
I got an IUD- Mirena- and it lasts 5 years, then it is removed
and you can decide what you want to do from there. What sold me
is the fact that I have had no side effects as stated by my OB,
or none I am aware of. And just in case we do want to have
another child, which I know is not your dilemma, we have not
made a huge mistake on the body. I dont know your age but if
you have the IUD it might just naturally take your through to
menopause and not need anything permanent done
Maybe neither of you has to have a surgical procedure: I used
an IUD --best thing I ever did. Despite a bad rap, they're
actually quite safe, extremely effective, and hormone-free.
They work for 10-years and are then easily replaced. Besides
the fact that IUDs are totally and immediately reversible; I’d
be willing to bet that their drawbacks/side-effects are also
better than those of either tying tubes or having a vasectomy.
As several people recommended, try an IUD before either of you gets snipped. I had
a copper-T (no hormones) for several years and it was very low-hassle birth control.
The only downside was that it made my periods much heavier and longer, so I
eventually decided not to stay with it. I understand the the Mirena IUD will actually
make periods lighter, but I'm leery of anything hormonal 'cause I'm at high risk for
stroke. (Someone will leap in here and point out that the progesterone in the Mirena
does not contribute to stroke risk.... The rational part of my brain will readily
acknowledge that's true, but the non-rational part of my brain still isn't comfortable
with the idea.)
I have the Mirena IUD and would like to get pregnant again. My question is, how
quickly after the IUD gets removed can I get pregant? Does it take some time for the
body to adjust? Can we start trying to conceive immediately?
Ha ha...well, I got my Mirena IUD out on May 24, had sort of a
period for a couple of days, saw some fertile cervical mucous
(sorry, TMI) on June 1, had sex, and now I'm pregnant! So at
least in my experience, there is NO delay in returning to
fertility! And that's what my doc said when she took it out too,
that it's an immediate return to fertility. The only challenge is
that it makes the dating a bit odd, since it wasn't really a
period, or at least I ovulated early (on day 9), so that the
usual 'wheel' they use to date you wouldn't be right in my
circumstances, since that assumes you ovulate on day 14...
first time's a charm!
Hi, I'm a pharmacist and you can get pregnant anytime after the
hormone-releasing Mirena IUD is removed. The product labeling
states that 8/10 women get pregnant within a year after removal.
Good luck to you! http://www.mirena-us.com
I got pregnant about 1 month after having the Mirena IUD removed.
I read somewhere that you can even get pregnant if you had sex a
few days before you remove the IUD.
I had the Mirena IUD after my first and second children were
born. I got pregnant 2 weeks after having my IUD removed the
first time and 6 weeks after the second. I was in my mid-to-
late thirties with both pregnancies.
Happy Mirena Momma
I have been having extreme sacro-iliac pain during ovulation for the last four
months. My sacrum feels out of place and I have difficulty bending and rounding
my spine. Lifting my children has also been challenging. I am wondering if this
could be a side affect of my Mirena IUD or and independent problem, like ovarian
cysts. The pain seems to switch sides though, which to me makes a cyst seem
Has anyone out there had a similar problem and did removing the IUD decrease the
Hi, go to the doctor. You don't want to mess around with this.
I keep hearing reference to a ''new'' IUD, but my provider offers
only the Mirena (hormone) IUD or a copper one. Is there a third
option available elsewhere? How does it work?
Thanks for any info.
Mirena is the ''new'' IUD, but it's not so new--just compared to
Paragard which has been in use for 20+ years. Mirena has been
available in this country for about 5 but in other countries for
Women's Health NP
The mirena and the paraguard (also known as the copper IUD) are
the only two IUDs on the market in the US. The mirena has been
available in the US for less than 5 years, whereas the paraguard
has been available for more than 20. I think the ''new'' IUD
you've heard about is the mirena.
I read the IUD discussion recently and it helped a lot. I am
considering the 5-year IUD (this one has hormones, I guess),
but I am nursing. The doctor said it should be fine, but I want
to hear from anyone else who has used one while nursing whether
it decreased milk supply or any other side effects. Also,
anyone get pregnant on an IUD? Supposedly it has the same
efficacy as the pill except you can get tubal pregnancies. I am
terrified of getting pregnant again, especially in the next
I got the copper IUD when my daughter was about 2 months old. No
problems with milk supply since it has no hormones. My periods were
heavier and I swore I could feel it when I was ovulating (but my doc
doesn't believe me). Now, 2 years later, I don't ''feel'' it anymore.
Haven't gotten pregnant! Seems to be working fine!
After I had twins, the last thing I wanted was another pregnancy!
I used the Mirena IUD, and exclusively breastfed my twins after about
two months, even though I returned to work FT and pumped.
I don't think the IUD affected my milk supply, and I didn't get pregnant
(knock wood). But ask a lactation consultant if you're still concerned.
Still nursing my 2.5-year old twins
I had a Mirena IUD inserted about 10 weeks after giving birth. I
recently weaned my daughter at about 16 mos and the IUD had absolutely
no effect on my milk supply. She was exclusively breastfed and we did
not supplement with formula. I understand that because the hormones in
the IUD are localized rather than systemic (as is the case with the
pill), their effects are quite different. My midwife (in whom I have a
great deal of trust) thought the Mirena IUD was a good form of post
partum birth control. I've been very happy with it.
I've had an IUD for the past 4 months (the 5 year ''Mirena'' one) and
haven't noticed any decreased milk production. However, I should say
that my daughter is 14 months old and hasn't been much interested in
nursing during the day in about 2 months. We now nurse only first thing
in the morning on a typical day, but there's still milk and she would
let me know if there wasn't. As far as getting pregnant goes, as far as
I understand, the IUD is MORE effective than BCpills - 99.9% effective.
And tubal pregnancies are associated with the old ones from the 70s, I
believe, but we should both read or ask a little more just to be sure.
I'm totally sold so far. The only drawback has been spotting between
periods (if you can even call what I've had ''periods'') for the first 3
months. This past month I haven't had much spotting. And I'm not
really getting much of a period, which is a welcome relief after the
ones I had following my my second child. I think it's great that you're
asking questions. Keep asking, but know that breastfeeding has been
fine for us. You can email me if you have any other specific questions.
Because there are some hormones in the Mirena IUD, there is a very small
chance that it could interfere with your milk supply. If you have a
history of milk supply problems, or if your milk supply is not yet well
established (say, your baby is less than 3 months old), I'd avoid the
Mirena or wait. That said, I had a Mirena IUD inserted when my daughter
was just over a year old. I had horrible milk supply problems, and they
didn't get any worse with the IUD. I loved it -- it was so very
convenient. The Mirena IUD is tremendously more effective than birth
control pills, as there is almost no room for user errors. It is simply
the most effective method of reversible contraception that exists today.
loved my Mirena
At the risk of becoming ''that annoying IUD woman'' here, I will give my
2 cents, both as a former Mirena user and a Planned Parenthood nurse
practitioner. The Mirena only has progestin in it, no estrogen, which
means there is no possibility of it decreasing your milk supply. I used
it for the whole 15 months that I was nursing. Also, it is MORE
effective than the pill (99.87% vs. 98%), so it's a great method for you
if you're worried about pregnancy.
I am considering having an IUD put in and have read the pamphlet
the doc gave me. I was wondering if anyone who has experience
with it has any comments. Specifically (but not limited to):
- Is it uncomfortable, can you feel it?
- Does it need to be repositioned often?
- Did it affect your period?
- Did you have any kind of bad reaction/experience with it?
- Did you get pregnant while using an IUD?
I had the Mirena IUD in for about a year and only had it removed to get
pregnant again. You should not be able to feel it. If your partner can
feel the strings they can be shortened. It never has to be
repositioned. Once it's put in, it stays where it was placed (except in
the less than 1% of women where it spontaneously expels). The Mirena
affects your period. During the first 3 months you may have irregular,
prolonged spotting, and after that you may not have periods at all
because the progestin makes the lining of the uterus so thin. I did not
have periods. With the Paragard you may have heavier periods but they
will be regular. I did not have any bad reaction to it (neither IUD has
any systemic effects). I did not get pregnant with it in. Mirena is
99.87% effective--the most effective reversible method available. It's
a great method.
Women's Health NP and former IUD user
I loved the idea of an IUD but the copper one didn't work for me. It
made my periods extremely heavy and they lasted for more than a week
(they were normally very light and lasted three days). I gave it 6-7
months, then finally had it removed. This is not unusual with the copper
IUD. I was not a candidate for the other type of IUD (with hormones).
Both the insertion and the removal were relatively pain-free. I could
not feel it at all when it was in. I wish it worked better for me.
Been there before
I love my IUD and can't understand why more women aren't using it as a
birth control alternative. I'm on my 2nd 10 yr. IUD. The first one was
removed so that we could have our 3rd child.
Insertion and Removal are only MILDLY painful - felt like bad cramping.
They recommend that you have both the insertion and removal of an IUD
done while you have your period so it goes in effortlessly. Periods
have been heavier, however they have been shorter. There have been
periods of time, however, where I experienced mid-cycle spotting and
sometimes bleeding which meant having to wear panty liners. The only
strange incident I had with the IUD was with the first one where my
husband was insistent that he could feel it during intercourse. The
nurse practicioner cut the strings(?) shorter and he never complained
about it again. Once again, the IUD for me was a no-brainer - the only
birth control option for me. In Europe, this is the most popular form
of birth control. I highly recommned it.
1. They are not uncomfortable once they are inserted. The only thing you
may notice (if you feel up there) is a short, wiry string.
2. Mine never had to be ''repositioned''
3. My periods got very, very, very heavy with very bad cramping.
4. See #3.
5. No, I did not get pregnant.
Here's the rub, though: I had my IUD before I had my first (and
only) child. I understand they are much more tolerable after having a
child, and are not really recommended for those who haven't had
Also, I recall that the insertion process hurt quite a bit, and made me
very nauseous (they have to muck about with your cervix, which sometimes
has that effect).
You don't mention whether you're thinking about a Paraguard (copper, no
hormones, lasts up to 10 years) or Mirena (plastic, has progesterone,
lasts up to 5 years) IUD. You'll give different answers for each type of
IUD. I'll answer based on personal experience with a Mirena IUD.
-Is it uncomfortable, can you feel it?
Once it was in place it was completely comfortable. I could feel the
metal strings with my fingers if I tried, but otherwise I didn't know it
-Does it need to be repositioned often?
-Did it affect your period?
Yes, I spotted for a few weeks. After I was done spotting I had maybe
one light period in the next year. My periods nearly went away.
-Did you have any kind of bad reaction/experience with it?
Insertion was very uncomfortable. It hurt a lot more than I expected.
After that first day, I loved it!
-Did you get pregnant while using an IUD?
No. Mirena is simply the most effective form of reversible birth control
that currently exists. It is very rare to get pregnant with it. (I did,
however, get pregnant within 2 months of removal, which was wonderful!)
good luck with your decision.
Loved my IUD!
I've had the Mirena IUD (with hormones) for about a year. It's
fabulous. It took several weeks to feel ''settled'' in my body.
I was afraid it wouldn't work out at first, but I'm glad I held out
because now I never feel it. It has never caused any trouble, never out
of position, no infections, no pregnancies.
It has changed my period. I used to have a three-day, heavy period.
Now I drip for a week. It's annoying, but worth it in my opinion. It
actually went away for a few months, then came back irregularly, now is
every 4 weeks like clockwork. I am so glad I opted for the IUD -- I
don't do well with heavy hormone doses, but neither of us was ready for
the snip. I think the IUD is a really great alternative.
I've had one for more than 10 years and am totally happy with it.
In fact, it takes a post like yours, or my annual check-up to even
remember I have one. No medecine, no pain, no worries,, nothing at all.
happy with IUD
I think that the already archived advice about IUDs gives you a good
range of possiblities, but will add my 2 cents. I'm in the second month
of my copper IUD experience, and my body is still adjusting. The two
periods I've had post-insertion of the IUD have been heavier than I've
been used to, and I may need to start getting higher absorbency tampons
and pads if this keeps up. But my periods were light-to-medium-flow to
begin with, so the heaviness is not out-of-control. There is a bit more
cramping than pre-IUD, but nothing some ibuprofen can't handle. And
again, I did not have incapacitating cramps pre-IUD.
My husband cannot feel the string during sex, and I love being
condom-free. So far, it's been worth it.
Good Luck with your decision.
I have the non-hormonal ParaGuard Copper IUD. my experience has been
pretty mixed (but I guess NO methos is perfect). I have MUCH heavier
periods (I go through a super tampon per hour for a day or 2) that are
longer (10 days) & cause more cramping. I get vaginal infections
easily, so I really have to keep track of my flora & fauna... BUT- it is
great to not have to worry about birth control for 10 years, be totally
spontaneous & also my insurance covered it. I have never had to
reposition it- I went in for 1 & 3 month checks to make sure it was
still in the right place. it is a great choice if you don't want kids
anytime soon, although it can easily be taken out at any time & does not
effect fertility/ovulation like the pill at all.
I have heard that the hormonal IUDs (like Mirena) have side effects like
birth control pills- weight gain (big boobs!), lighter periods
(sometimes even NO periods), etc. but I wanted a non-hormonal method.
since we are not having anymore kids, I am waiting for my hubby to get a
vasectomy. until then, the IUD does the trick!
I did not have a good experience with the IUD (non-hormonal) but in some
ways I think it was not usual. Heavy bleeding and crampy (probably is
usual) when previously I never even experienced PMS. Some discomfort
during sex. Got it removed when decided to have 2nd child and found it
had been ''expelled'' by uterus was floating out of place, and that was
the source of the discomfort (which nurseline said was normal and didn't
need to be checked.) So I didn't get pregnant with it but could have,
and could have done damage floating around since I didn't know it wasn't
in. However I still haven't found anything better and might even
consider it again....
I've had a Mirena IUD for a little over a year now and I've been very
happy with it. It was inserted about 10 weeks after my daughter was
born. It is not uncomfortable, nor can I feel it (you can feel the
threads connected to the IUD with your fingers if you stick them in your
vagina). My husbad can sometimes feel it during intercourse, but he says
it doesn't bother him. It has not needed to be repositioned. My periods
have been pretty much nonexistent; I have a little bit of spotting once
a month (I'm quite happy about this aspect of the IUD). I haven't had
any kind of bad reaction or experience. But, I've never had any bad
reactions to the other birth control methods I've tried (pill, cervical
cap, condoms). To date, I have not gotten pregnant. I do like the fact
that I don't have to think about it at all, and that there's nothing I
have to do on a daily basis or before or after lovemaking.
- liking my IUD
I am considering IUD as a form of birth control. I had been on
the pill when I became pregnant with baby #2 and I am now close
to my due date so I'd like to make a decision between IUD and
the pill. I heard some mixed opinions about IUD but I am still
not ready to consider Tubal Ligation as an alternative since I'm
in my late 20's. Thanks
I had an IUD for almost 2 years and recently had it removed. It wasn't
a horrible form of birth control, but it didn't work out that well. It
came out of place, so I started bleeding heavily.
It was removed 4 days after I started bleeding, and I continued to
bleed for another 5 days. Luckily I didn't become pregnant while it was
out of place, but I could have. Also, sex wasn't painful, but it wasn't
as comfortable as before (and since).
Not everyone has these experiences, but my doctor said hers came out of
place, too. I neither recommend the IUD, nor do I say it's terrible.
It's just not for everyone.
I'm wondering if anyone can give me info about IUD's. I've had 2
kids and think I want to stop here but am not ready to take the
plunge into something more permanent yet.
I've heard about ones with hormones and without but not sure what
the differences are in terms of side effects, complications,
I've never had any ''plumbing problems,'' don't have heavy or
painful periods normally, am nursing out second and will be for
hopefully at least a year.
I recently had a Mirena IUD inserted and am now VERY happy with it. My body took a
few months of adjusting though- I am talking 2 months of bleeding, sometimes
light, and strange cramps. But now it is perfect. I have never been a heavy bleeder/
cramper and it works for me. I hear w/o hormones your periods get harder,
something I didn't want eventhough I have it easy. At first I felt strange about the
hormone thing but now don't notice a thing. It is a very small dose. As far as the
insertion, it was no big deal. He did a pelvic exam, gave my cervix a shot of
novicane so that he could hold it open, plugged it in, and voila! I had some
cramping for a few hours and then the bleeding started. I had to return after my
next period to have it checked and have the strings trimmed. It is such a great form
of birth control.
highly reccommended no worry sex!
I had a copper IUD inserted 6wks postpartum. I've only had it for 6.5
months but I haven't had any issues with it. I don't feel it at all and neither
does my partner. It's a great non hormonal form of birth control. The
procedure was simple but a little uncomfortable like a pap smear. It's
important that whoever is inserting it has lots of experience. My period
has not returned (I'm still breastfeeding) so can't tell you what, if any,
effects the IUD will have on it. I highly reccomend it.
I had an IUD put in when my second child was 5 months old. I was
still breast feeding so I didn't want to mess around with
hormones. I had the 10-year-no-hormone one put in. It was
expensive at $300 and my insurance did not cover it. I had
cramping (nothing like anything we feel in child birth!) the day
after it was put in. I had heavy bleeding with periods, some
breakthrough bleeding, and more intense cramps (again nothing
like child birth) for about 9 months after it was put in. Now,
my flow is medium and my cramps are usually light. It is a
no-brainer, quite effective, yet not too drastic birth control
that I think it great.
-happy mom of 2 only
I'm looking for info about the newer IUDs for birth control.
We just had our 3rd baby and may want one more in
another 3 or 4 years, but really need a safe and reliable
method in the meantime, as another pregnancy before than
would be a serious hardship on our family. I struggle with
the birth control issue and don't feel good about using
hormones or spermicides, etc, (condoms simpy don't work
for us) and am wondering if the IUD is really a safe, viable
option. I know there are two types - - one uses copper and
the other hormones. I'm looking for other people's recent
experiences with the different IUDs, both positive and
negative and any info that could help me make this dfficult
but important decision. I am breastfeeding and in my early
30's . . . Thank you!
Need to make a decision fast . . .
I, like you, am in my 30s and breastfeeding (my baby was born in
January). I had the Mirena IUD inserted about 8 weeks after my
daughter was born. It was a bit uncomfortable for the first
couple weeks, just some minor bleeding and cramping. I'm happy
to report that since then I've had no complaints -- it's the
easiest birth control I've ever used. I don't have to think
about it. The Mirena emits a very, very low dose of hormone but
I haven't noticed any effect from it, and I tend to be super
sensitive to any kind of medication, which is why I did not want
to take the pill (tried it -- didn't like the side effects).
However, I have heard of other people who have a sensitivity to
hormones say they tried the Mirena and can't use it because even
the low dose affects them. Good luck with your decision.
I had an Mirena IUD inserted 10 weeks after my second child was
born (probably my last child but not sure). There was some
cramping and bleeding for about a month after it was put in but I
have felt nothing since then. I have been exclusively breast
feeding my daughter (she is now almost 6 months ) and have had no
problem with milk production,she is lovely and chubby. I have
not noticed any hormonal side effects except perhaps a lower sex
drive (hard to pinpoint where that comes from). I love the
convenience and the double-for-sure-not-going-to-get-pregnant
aspect of it. You can remove it any time and get pregant the
next day it you decide to. I have not had a period yet but have
heard that they are not as heavy with this type of IUD as they
are with others and that in some cases they disappear all together.
I have had a copper T IUD since the birth of my first child 3.5
years ago. I have serious problems with hormones, so birth
control pills and hormone IUDs were not an option. This has
been the best birth control for me, though it still isn't
perfect. Insertion was easy - they say it is the easiest for
women who have already given birth, especially if you do it
fairly soon after the birth (about 8 weeks for me?) I never
have to think about it now, and won't for almost 7 more years!
We want to space our children FAR apart, so this was logical.
The downside is a heavy period. I have always had heavy
periods, but the IUD just changed the nature of the periods. I
no longer have 7 days of heavy period, but 1-2 days of REALLY
heavy period and about another week of spotting. I actually
prefer it this way - the 7 heavy days I use! d to have were
awful, now I get it over with in a clump! lol
happy w/o hormones
I use the Mirena IUD, the hormone one. I've not been thrilled
about it as I thought I would be, only because it took my body at
least six months to adjust to it (not that the adjustment was
terrible, it just wasn't what I expected). But I can't use
hormone-based birth control, and I really DON''T want another
baby, so it seemed the best choice given the alternative. At this
point I like it, and my husband has promised to get snipped at
the end of its life cycle (its good for five years). So I'd give
it a thumbs up.
I got an IUD about 2 months ago and so far have been happy with
my choice. I decided on the Paragard copper IUD as I wanted to
avoid the hormones in the Mirena IUD. I had spotting and
cramping on and off for the first month (a common side effect)
but that has improved. It's nice to use something so effective
and easy as birth control. My OB said that postive word of
mouth is spreading regarding IUDs as she is getting a lot of
moms asking about them! The insertion was a bit uncomfortable,
but it only took about 10 minutes.
The main differences between the two IUDs is that the Paragard
lasts for ten years (vs five for the Mirena) and can cause
heavy bleeding and cramping especially if you are prone to
having problems with your period (compared with the Mirena
which substantially reduces bleeding in many women).
A final factor to consider is that not all insurance companies
cover the cost of an IUD. I was told by my doctor that
insurance probably would not cover it (cost $355 for Paragard)
but when I called Blue Cross, they said they do cover IUDs.
Good luck with your choice.
30-something mom and happy with IUD
I have a 14-month-old and have had the Mirena (levonorgestrel-
containing) IUD since my 6 week postpartum check up. I love
it. I weaned a few weeks ago and have had only a few periods
of 2 days of scant spotting each. The Mirena is 99.87%
effective--the most effective reversible method available! I
have had no side effects whatsoever. I also happen to be a
women's health care provider and have inserted many IUDs of
both types, and women really like the Mirena. The amount of
progestin you get from it is miniscule...just enough to make
the lining of the uterus very thin so that periods are very
light to none at all. And if you decide you don't like it, you
can just have it removed any time. Best of luck!
I've had a Mirena IUD (the kind that releases small amounts of
hormones and is vald for 5 years) since March and I've had no
problems with it. No pain, my periods are regular and very
light, no discomfort whatsoever. I was glad to get off the pill
after 5 years and give my body a break after all those ingested
hormones. The amounts of hormones the IUD releases are minimal
and less likely to get in your blood stream. Plus you don't have
to worry about taking extra precautions when you're taking
Happy with Mirena
Has anyone had any experience, either good or bad, with the
copper IUD (the one that doesn't release hormones)? Did you
experience any side effects or failures (i.e. unplanned
pregnancies)? I'm looking to prevent future pregnancies, but
don't want to go either the surgical route or take the Pill. The
IUD seems non-invasive with an extremely low failure rate,
however, I'm concerned about problems such as infection,
scarring, etc. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank
Please do a lot of research about the current infection rates
with the latest IUDs. My mother was made infertile by a copper
IUD (gave her an infection, which was symptomless, until she
tried to get pregnant and the doctor realized her tubes were
blocked from the infection).
I also know of at least one other woman who, after having her
first child last year, got an IUD, and within months a very bad
infection. She is okay and can likely have more kids, but won't
ever use an IUD again. She still experiences pain, even though
the IUD is gone. If you don't ever want to have kids again, it
might be a risk worth taking. Regardless, I would definitely
consider other options. Good luck with your decision!
I used the copper IUD for a couple of years recently and
loved it. Best method I've found and I've tried just about all!
The most freedom and spontaneity - I never had to think
about it. I had no side effects other than slightly heavier
periods, and the only other drawback was that insertion was
uncomfortable, but then it's good for 10 years... I already
have 2 kids and was sure I didn't want more. I only had it
removed because I no longer needed birth control.
I had the copper IUD placed after the birth of my second child and like you, I
did not want hormones or surgical intervention. I would say 90% of the time I
love the IUD because I don't feel it and it's not a hassel at all. The downside
that I experience is cramping after insertion (just for the day) and then for
about 5 days after my period ends I have spotting....so it is kind of a pain to
deal with in that sense. But it works for me because hormones make me very
strange and I'm not ready for a permanent surgical intervention. I do
recommend it to my friends who have the same feelings. Hope this helps.
Email if you have other questions.
I got one recently and have not been thrilled, mainly because I
used to have very light periods and now they are very heavy. It's
gotten better as my body has adjusted, and I've figured out the
schedule--3 light days, one incredibly heavy day (tampon changes
necessary as often as every hour), one medium day, then 3-4 light
Otherwise it's a breeze. For us it's the option between what we
think is the last child, and making it certain with a vasectomy.
Thinking of buying stock in Tampax
Please look at other IUDs before deciding which one is best for
you. I have a Mirena, it's good for 5 years and it releases an
insignificant amount of hormones that don't get absorbed in your
blood as well as the pill hormones. I haven't had any cramping
with it, the periods are lighter.
Also, in Europe there are more IUD selections than here that you
might want to check out. If you have friends in Europe they
might dig up some info for you or try google. In France for
example about 5 kinds of IUDs are sold over the counter in
Happy with Mirena
I had an ectopic pregnancy using an IUD several years ago. I was
told at the time that there was no correlation btw the IUD and
an ectopic, but I understand they are now recognizing this.
Also, if you do get an ectopic, there is an injection that they
will try to treat it with, but it didn't work for me. They gave
me the injection twice (sorry, can't remember the name of the
drug) but the tube ruptured anyway and I ended up having very
harrowing emergency surgery. I lost the use of one tube
(luckily I had no trouble getting pregnant later).
I didn't see the original post regarding IUDs but wanted to add
to the comments I saw. One of the side effects of IUDs can be an
increased incidence of yeast infections - I probably have 5 a
year. Why then do I stay with this method? Because it is a
better alternative for us than surgery, it allows us to
reconsider if we wanted another child, and it is, other than the
yeast infections, completely hassle and hormone -free.
I've just talked to my OBGYN about Mirena IUDs (5 year/hormone
release IUD) and he told me all the good things about it
including: ''it does not increase the ectopic pregnancy chance''.
Also, if ectopic pregnancy was to happen, there is no need for
surgery anymore since there is a pill that ''disolves'' the
pregnancy and leaves the tube and ovary healthy.
I would like to hear your Mirena IUD experience and if anybody
went through ectopic pregnancy and if that was solved through
the drug solution. Please anything good or bad...
Nervous about IUD
I don't have much info about the ectopic pregnancy issue, and
have never heard that you can just take a pill for one, but I
did recently get the Mirena IUD inserted and have been very
happy. I had a baby recently, am breastfeeding, and simply
could not remember to take the mini-pill at the same time every
day. There was a bit of cramping on insertion and for a few
hours afterward that was alleviated by some Motrin, and since
then I have had no problems. It's very nice to have birth
control that I don't have to think about (except to check the
threads every month) and I'm hoping it will lighten my periods,
as I've heard can happen. I decided on the Mirena after hearing
several friends rave about it, and I wanted something that would
be easily reversed when we decided to have another child.
I both have a Mirena and took care of women in the clinical
trial to help get it approved. As a patient, it's great! I
have no side effects after the first couple weeks of very light
spotting. As a clinician, it's also great! Ectopic
pregnancies are almost unheard of with it, as it's almost
impossible to get pregnant with it. It's 99.87% effective.
And it's true that ectopics these days are often treated with a
drug called misoprostol if detected early enough. So I
wouldn't worry too much about that. If you're a good candidate
for an IUD (have had a baby, only have one partner, haven't had
PID), it's a great method. Good luck! Feel free to email if
you want more info than this.
I will be getting the non-hormonal IUD next month (it lasts for
up to 10 years). This form of birth control seems like the best
plan for me and my husband. But before I make the final
decision I wanted to ask other moms about it. Have you used the
this particular kind of IUD before? Did you have any problems
with it, or has it been a wonderful thing? Any advice would be
helpful. Thank you
I have the Copper T IUD and while it has worked for us (i.e. no
pregnancies) I have mixed feelings about it. What I do not like:
I get VERY heavy periods. They last longer (they used to be 4
days, now they are 7-8). I have ambivalence about this form of
birth ocntrol -- I just feel weird having a piece of metal in my
uterus. I am pro-choice, but I still feel a little bit sad of the
thought of getting pregnant and then having the IUD stop
implantation. My midwife told me that recent studies have shown
that actual fertilization is hindered by the IUD, because it
increases the amount of mucous so that sperm cannot go into the
fallopian tubes... But still, it bothers me. So. My husband is
getting snipped and I'm taking it out. Good luck making your
I got a non-hormonal IUD about a year and a half ago, and I've
been pretty happy with it. The advantages: nothing to remember,
ever, and no waiting period if you want another child. The
drawbacks: spotting for a whole week -- sometimes more -- after
my period, which is a drag. I'm not wild about the idea of a
piece of metal in my body, but I really don't like the side
effects I get from hormonal methods, so until my hsband is ready
to get snipped, this seems the best way for us to go.
I had a copper IUD about 3 years ago. I hated it! I had the
worst periods ever,sometimes I couldn't even get out of bed
because my cramps were so bad. Not to metion the flow was was
very heavy (sometimes lasting 7-8 days). I was told that this
would be a side effect, but I was not prepared for how bad it
really was. The only relief was taking those huge 600 mg
ibuprofen. When I had it removed about 10 months later, it was
very painful. It had imbedded itself into my lining. Maybe it
wasn't placed right in the first place, was the conclusion my NP
came to (she was not the one who put it in). I did get pregnant
within 2 weeks of the removal (we planned on trying, but didn't
expect it to happen so fast). I liked the idea of having a
birth control method that I didn't have to think about, or have
some kind of hormonal imbalance. But I'm sorry to say, the
cramps I had wasn't worth it. I recently had a Mirena IUD
placed in. It is so much better. I can deal with the estrogen
release. My periods are almost non-exsistent (1-2 days) and I
never felt a thing but mild cramping the first day I had it in.
It took a while for me to decide to have it in, because my
experience with an IUD was horrible, but I am very happy I did
it. It is great to be worry free! They were a few posts
regarding the Mirena a few weeks ago-check it out.
I have had my IUD for 3 years now, and have had no problems with
it. My periods were always pretty light before the IUD, about 3
days, and they continue to be short, tho sometimes, they will be a
little heavier than before. I have no cramping with my periods.
I find it to be a worry-free form of birth control and if your
provider finds you to be a good candidate for this (it's not for
everyone), I would recommend it.
I've had the non-hormonal IUD for over a year now, and it's
heaven. I've never before used a birth control method that I
literally, NEVER, have to think about -- what a miracle. Yes, my
periods are a little heavier, but I think it's a small downside
compared to the upside of no: pills, shots, creams, hormones to
regulate, fear of pregnancy, or ''wait just a second honey while
I get ready...''.
I had the non-hormonal IUD inserted after my second child was
born. While it has been solid on birth control, it does make my
period last longer than it did without an IUD. Also, it
intensifies the lower back pain I have pretty much always had
with my period.
My OB/GYN has told me I'm a good candidate for the IUD. It sounds
very appealing. I'm interested in hearing about the experiences of
women who have used the IUD in the last 10 years.
I've been using this device for 10 years, between and after having
my 3 children and have never experienced discomfort or side effect.
I just forget I'm using any type of contraception ; for me, it is
perfect. Inserting it feels weird, and opening it inside is a little
painful (like a big cramp during your period), but then you are set
for the next 8 years.
I used the IUD after having my son almost five years ago for a total of 2
years. While there were no major problems, there was always an underlying
concern based on the notorious history associated with IUDs. In truth, it
was a particular brand that gave so many women problems. My "bad" experience
was limited to heavy periods and occasionally my husband would report
feeling something akin to a fishing wire poking his penis during deep
penetration. All in all, it was a good low maintenance alternative at the
time, but I eventually got tired of contraptions and drugs of all kinds and
started practicing natural family planning methods with great success.
A definitive book I recommend on this topic is:
*Taking Charge of Your Fertility* by Toni Weschler
I have used various IUDs for 25 years, including the Dalkon Shield,
Lippes Loop, safety coil, copper seven, and progestasert. Right now
I believe I have the copper T. Anyway, they are great. When I was
young(er) they caused some heavy periods, but to me it was worth it,
because I have problems with hormones and am allergic to spermacides.
I prefer the safety coil or lippes loop because they are just plastic,
but I have been unable to find them in recent years. The copper T has
not caused any problems, no heavy bleeding. After 13 years of IUD use,
including 2 dalkon shields, I easily got pregnant and have 2 lovely
kids (not to downplay anyone's problems with that device). I am the
kind of person who does not like to take pills because I am busy and
absent minded. I just plain don't want to be bothered! The IUD has
been terrific for me.
I had an IUD inserted sometime in 1996. Because I was married, had one
child and didn't have plans to have another, this was a great, easy method
of birth control. That is until I found out I was pregnant (the IUD had
been in place for 3 years at that time) and it was ectopic. Unfortunately,
this is a serious and all-too-common side effect of IUDs. I loved having an IUD. It's a wonderful choice for many women. My only advice: make sure YOU educate yourself about it; I find many doctors and nurses are not. My ectopic pregnancy went on for 4 months and I nearly died. I was in and out of the doctor's office several times before they took a pregnancy test (at my insistence). IUDs are not 100% and a good doctor will tell you that you should use another means of birth control while you are ovulating. I hope this helps in making your decision.
I am 44 y.old and tried the IUD for the first time last March. I was
an excellent candidate and got very excited about getting it. The
procedure was simple - not a big deal at all. I was told by the
nurse practitioner that I would have some irregularities in the
beginning but things would get settled within 3 months or so. I
waited and waited patiently but unfortunately it didn't work for me.
I had always been regular (all my menstrual life) until I got the IUD.
I bled for five months straight with about one week break with some
spotting each month. In August I had so much bleeding that when I went
to see the doctor they rushed me to the ER - The IUD had to be removed.
As soon as I had it removed my period got back to normal. I don't want
to be negative about IUD but I feel it is important to alert people
about the bleeding and spotting that persist for too long. I requested
an ultr! as! ound one month before the bleeding got heavier and the
nurse told me it was not necessary, because everything was fine with
me (I should have insisted). Go ahead and do it if you feel like it
but pay attention and listen to your body. I have many friends who
have IUD and rave about it.
I was also told I would be a good candidate for an IUD; I've had it in
for 2 years and I am very pleased with my decision. My understanding is
that it is important to have it inserted by someone who has lots of
practice with the insertion, so you may want to check on that. The
insertion was a bit intense for me and in retrospect I wish I had
someone to drive me home afterward. My periods have always been pretty
light, and now they are slightly heavier, but there is not a huge
difference. I have no monthly cramping. Initially I did have a little
spotting between my periods, but now that has stopped.
I've had an IUD twice in my life (but only once in the past 10 years)
and both times had it removed as soon as possible -- within three
months. I experienced very painful periods when normally I have
virtually no cramping; also unexpected between-period bleeding and
cramping. I was also seen as a "good candidate." I would recommend
Although I have not had an IUD long enough to speak to their effectiveness (fine so far), I do have a word of advice in case you do decide to have one inserted. My gyn's office recommended that I take 600 mg of ibuprofen (3 Advil) half an hour prior to the appointment.
Even so, I experienced some cramping; other people have told me their cramping was much more severe. Not all doctors will recommend this, but I was very glad mine did.
Hsui-Li Cheng (highly praised as a CNM on the website) has a lot of experience inserting IUDs, and she has a terrific bedside manner, which can be important if you're nervous about the procedure.
this page was last updated: Oct 2, 2012
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