or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Fertility › Family Planning › Paraguard reviews - Mirena vs. Paragard IUD
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Paraguard reviews - Mirena vs. Paragard IUD - Page 18

post #341 of 451

I'm 26 and have no children. I've had a history of hormone problems, starting at 14 when I stopped having periods all together (My first period being at 12). At 16 they found ovarian cysts and put me on birth control. I was fine until 22 when I lost my insurance and had to go off the pill because I couldn't pay for it.


I suddenly started gaining weight, I started getting strep infections in my cervix along with yeast infections constantly. My acne, which had never been very good suddenly exploded. Someone above mentioned having infections so often that the skin cracked and bled - this happened to me and I ended up in the ER because of it. All of this with my natural hormones.


When I finally got my insurance they tried me on more than a few types of birth control, including the one I had originally been on, all of which I was suddenly allergic to, and made my acne even worse. The last one they put me on had me vomiting constantly within 24hours of going on it, I lost all feeling in my arms and legs and couldn't get myself out of bed otherwise.


I drug myself to the doctor and he offered Mirena as an alternative. He explained to me that because Mirena only releases a small amount of hormones locally (rather than entering the blood stream) I'd be less likely to feel any effects from it. 


I'm a little confused and concerned now after reading all the posts here. Some posters describe side effects that would seem (at least to me) that the hormones do in fact enter the rest of your body instead of being strictly "local" to the uterus. I'm torn between what my natural hormones seem to do to me and what having artificial hormones can do. I'm sort of worried that my only option, seeing as I don't want children, is a tubal ligation. I'm just not ready to pay for that kind of thing quite yet.


I'm not worried about the pain since my doctor is not only giving me the pill to soften my cervix, but also sedating me. He schedules all his IUDs twice a month on a day where he has someone come in to sedate patients for these procedures. Has anyone had this done when they had theirs put in? 

post #342 of 451

Wow alsc26, you have been through the ringer! Why are you thinking a tubal ligation would help? It doesn't stop you from ovulating, it doesn't at all interfere with your production of estrogen and progesterone. Have you had your thyroid tested? Have you been to an endocrinologist?

post #343 of 451


Originally Posted by Katie8681 View Post

Wow alsc26, you have been through the ringer! Why are you thinking a tubal ligation would help? It doesn't stop you from ovulating, it doesn't at all interfere with your production of estrogen and progesterone. Have you had your thyroid tested? Have you been to an endocrinologist?


I guess my thought process right now is that I'm "Stuck" in regards to my hormones. I'd rather "deal" with my own hormones than artificial ones (the effects from the BCP were much scarier to me than the infections I got on my own). So I started looking for things from a strictly Birth Control point of view. Mirena seemed like a godsend when explained by my doctor that the hormones stayed local to my uterus and did not expand into the rest of my body- but reading here it seems that is not the case. I was not offered paraguard, but my body doesn't respond well to copper so I don't think that's an option for me either. 


I have had thyroid and hormone tests done by three different doctors (two OBGYNs and my family doctor)- all three of which say everything looks fine. They even went as far as to test me for lupus. My doctors also test for diabetes twice a year. I do have Intersitial Cystitis, which I have been told can contribute to infections. I also have celiacs. I have not seen an endocrinologist. 


My mother is a Natural Doctor and "Just in case" put me on some herbal drops that were supposed to naturally support the thyroid, but I noticed no change after several months of it. 


At this time I'm still thinking of going through with the Mirena. I just found out yesterday that my insurance will be changing May 1st, and I'm not sure if it's covered. If it's not then I'll be back to the drawing board.


Currently my husband and I use non-latex condoms, but it doesn't make for a very healthy sex life. With all of my other health related issues I'd be happy to just not have to worry about birth control for now.


My current OBGYN offered to do a hysterectomy, but I'm wary of having to take artificial hormones at all. 

post #344 of 451

Your situation sounds complicated. The Mirena is expensive up front, so since your insurance covers it now AND your doc is suggesting it, might be a good idea to give it a try. It's easy to have taken out, and the fact is that for the most part, the only people posting in this thread have had bad responses, and according to the research they are in the minority. 

post #345 of 451

I've had paragard for 2 weeks now. I just wanted to inform those people that are scared after seeing all the negative reviews that it is not that bad for everyone. The insertion hurt like a moderate menstrual cramp for a minute and a half. About 30 minutes after insertion I had severe cramps, but I took some ibuprofen immediately once they began, and within an hour I couldn't feel most of it. I did, however, plan my insertion to be within a day or 2 of my expected period, and it did not lead to an extended period. The bleeding was heavier, but it didn't last any longer than a normal one. All cramps were easily dealt with via ibuprofen. I personally think that hormone-free, ten year, no maintenance birth control is worth having a slightly heavier period.

-Also, I am married with no children. A lot of people kept telling me that because I didn't have any children I shouldn't get the IUD. My physician informed me that this is outdated information. Some doctors still believe it and some don't. I haven't had a problem so far. 

Edited by silverleaf - 4/24/12 at 8:40pm
post #346 of 451
I never had mirena but i did have pargard for 3.5years. insertion was painful....as everyone else has mentioned. it also came with a lot of cramping for a few days and many months of heavy periods. i became anemic....so please make sure to keep iron around to avoid this yourself. afyer three and a half years....i got pregnant on the Paragard. it was very astonishing and absolutely mind numbing when i found out. considering that i had already had two children. My husband and i were done having children. apparently.....there was someone else with a higher plan. so when i went to my doctor....i was afraid shed tell me that i was having an ectopic pregnancy....something very common with the iuds. Or another possibility was that it had moved. well....apparently, the iud was perfectly in place like it had been when it was first insrted. then they confirmed that the egg was in the right place. after much depresion and extreme morning sickness they did another ultrasound....only to find out that i was having twons. so i called paragard to complain and they said "so sorry lady, you are a 0.06% of the population who this can happen to. it was on the paper you signed when you had it inserted." needless to say....i tell ervyone.....you want to end up pregnant?....get the paragard. smile.gif
post #347 of 451

"needless to say....i tell ervyone.....you want to end up pregnant?....get the paragard."


That's pretty silly.

post #348 of 451

For no-hassel birth control, an IUD is the way to go.  After baby #1, I chose to get the Depo shot.  The hormones eliminated my period.  Great, right?  Not exactly.  I was dry with no sex drive.  After my second cycle of Depo, I switched to Mirena.  The hormones (again) left me dry with no sex drive and no periods.  By this time, my daughter's father and I were separated, so I decided to have the mirena removed - abstinence was my birth control at that point.  With my hormones back to normal, I felt fantastic.  My periods were regular, predictable, and I felt sexy. 


About a year later, I starting an intimate relationship with my now husband.  Condoms worked great for me, but he wasn't as thrilled.  We moved in together and relyed on rythym/pull-out method, which worked great for a year and a half... until I got pregnant :)  After my son was born, we needed a breastfeeding-safe birth control method because my husband was ready to go within 2 weeks after the baby arrived.  I refused to have my sex drive tampered with again, meaning non-hormonal contreception really limited my birth control option to the Paraguard.


No hormones, 10 years of protection, immediately reversible...  It sounded perfect.  Insertion was a little more discomforting than a Pap Smear, but not as uncomfortable as 9 months of pregnancy and childbirth.  My periods are heavier and are longer (instead of 5 days, they're 8).  I've had the Paraguard in for over a year, and at my annual exam asked my NP about what to do about the bleeding.  It's a nusiance more than anything.  She recommeded taking ibuprofen, 600mg 2xday, during my period.  I hate pills and opted out.  However, I've had a raging sinus infection, so I'm taking Advil Cold & Sinus, which contains ibuprofen.  I'm taking my period arrived, and low-and-behold... my bleeding was reduced back to a normal level. 


I highly recommend the Paraguard.... with Ibuprofen, and open communication with your practitioner. 

post #349 of 451
Originally Posted by Katie8681 View Post

"needless to say....i tell ervyone.....you want to end up pregnant?....get the paragard."


That's pretty silly.

Silly is joining a website purely to spout such nonsense!  I note her post count is 1 - like SO SO MANY of the "i got pregnant" and "it moved and went in my lung!" stories on this site and others...

post #350 of 451
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Silly is joining a website purely to spout such nonsense!  I note her post count is 1 - like SO SO MANY of the "i got pregnant" and "it moved and went in my lung!" stories on this site and others...


No joke! I mean, it's good to hear lots of people's experiences, but some of these stories are highly unlikely. 


Information that I just recently came across: If you have very excessive bleeding with Paraguard, it can be a sign of a uterine abnormality (septated for example). It may be worth getting an ultrasound. 

post #351 of 451

I am almost 29 with 2 kids. I was on the Mirena for 5 1/2 years. At first I thought it was great not to have a period! And I didn't get too many side effects.. Except I gain 20 pounds :/.. i also ended up with painfully lumps in breasts, not sure if there was a connection to the mirena or not but after it was take out (mirena) the pain in my breasts went away?! so idk.. But i just recently had the paraguard put in, and except for the 2 cramps they said  would feel, the appointment went well and faster then I thought. So so far so good! I am excited for no hormones!!  To be honest, i do not like the mirena and wish i had the paraguard in the first place!

post #352 of 451

I also must say that after I had the mirena taken out had 3 normal periods lasting 4 days like normal. The first day I had a few cramps but nothing i needed a pain reliever for. I am just coming up on my first period on the paraguard in the next couple day..  hope it still is my 4 day routine! Period #4 since i've been off mirena,! never thought i'd miss my period.. but sadly I did. lol 

post #353 of 451

I wanted to update my experiences with both the Mirena and Paragard, especially now that I can reflect on it all.


I attempted both in succession.  I had the Mirena in for 2 months. I did not experience anything outright bad (though I may not have given it enough time to enter my system), but I did feel a kind of extra "buzz" of frustrated energy in my system similar to when I am PMSing except all the time.  My periods were lighter, I did not feel it inside of me after the first week and it was no bother during sex.   As I mentioned in my first post, I decided (wanting hormone free, feeling like I was in a way given a sales 'pitch' for the mirena by the gyno, and learning that my health insurance would cover a switch) I decided to change to the Paragard.  I had the Paragard in for three months. Again I had none of the major ill effects reported/advertised by Paragard.  My period was no heavier, no more painful, and did not last longer.  Sex was fine, no pain.  I enjoyed getting to know my body's hormone-free rhythm again. BUT, I started losing my hair.  It was extremely frustrating because this negative effect of the copper in the paraguard is not officially recognized.  Paragard's studies claim that the amounts of copper released into your system are neglible, but they don't actually know.  Because there are no scientifically verifiable studies conducted, data collected, or reports published on the range of copper absorption, no doctor will see the IUD as the cause of your hairloss.  They will recommend anemia (after-all increased blood loss is a recognized and reported side effect) and then possibly your thyroid, but not the obvious new copper insert you got two months ago.  I had the IUD taken out last week, my hair loss has already dropped off dramatically, not completely, but noticeably less.  As they already tested me for anemia, (they refused to test me for copper toxicity despite my request...also not anemic), I am getting blood work for thyroid and copper toxicity to cover my bases (and so I can report to the FDA), but I am fairly confident it was the Paraguard.  


I want to emphasize though that my response to the Paragard was not common (however a simple google search will conjure up a number of forums dedicated to hair loss with the Paraguard).  If it was common enough, however, then I would imagine that Paraguard or the gyno would be forced to recognized my symptoms as being caused by the Paraguard.  I am very very bummed out about the hair loss as the Paragard was ideal in every other sense.  I kept hoping that my instincts were wrong and that I was being delusional, but..alas.  I hope this post is helpful to someone in a similar situation.  For others don't be scared away from IUDs (though this forum might do that) I do think it is a very valid option and should at least be tried (if you have insurance that is...otherwise it might be an overly expensive gamble).  Best wishes.

post #354 of 451

How are you doing with Paraguard? I'm thinking about do it too.

post #355 of 451

My story is a little different than most women here, I am 26 just got married last year and have NO kids, after we got married I realized that I was sick and tired of being on hormones, I did not feel like myself and I gained a good 10 pounds over the years, I was eating the same and exercising the same, I went from 107-117.  I was on Ortho try low before I started the Copper IUD I wanted to be as natural as possible.  I went in on December to get it put in, I was not sedated it went in just as RAW as can be...it hurt but the doctor and nurse were just asking me questions and just trying to help me through it.


It is now May and my husband hates the fact that I am in so much pain a week out of each month and so BITCHY for two weeks out of the month, I know that I have major PMS but it has nothing to do with the IUD, it is just who I am....I am hormonally MEAN lol but I mean its only on certain things.  But as far as pain...its  pain I  have never felt before but the closest pain like this was when I was 13 just the beginning years of my period, so heavy and so bloated UGH.  This really does make me miss ortho...but I do not miss the weight that came right off and its still coming off slowly.


The doctor did not like the fact that I had never been pregnant so she did tell me that it will hurt me much more than a woman who has had kids.


I am now  trying change the days my period comes..any advice?  I was thinking of taking birth control pills and start them three weeks before I want it to come...IDK any advice?

post #356 of 451

Hi! I just got my ParaGard today and it wasn't that bad. I haven't had kids so they said it would be harder to put in but it was just a few pinches and it was done. I have a little cramping here, a few hours later, but nothing I haven't felt during a period before! I've heard so many horror stories about Paragard so I was worried at first but people most often will express bad experiences over good ones. :) I say GO for it. Don't worry about the reviews. Everyone is different and will react differently to it. If it doesn't work for you, it can be taken out, almost immediately.

post #357 of 451

Wow! This thread has been running for 8 years?!? 


Um, I have a paraguard. I guess it's been 4 years or so. It's been fine, slightly heavier bleeding, but nothing major. Easy to check that it's still there. Nothing to forget in terms of taking pills or inserting stuff. Period was heavier and I was getting headaches a year ago though. Went to family practitioner and found through bloodwork that I was magnesium deficient. That will make heavier periods and headaches no matter what birth control you're on. Took magnesium, had it checked again, and all is well. I take a bit of magnesium around that time of the month now, and cycle has returned to normal. 

post #358 of 451

I have had the Para Guard for almost 10 years.  Yes my bleeding can be heavy at times but my period only last about 3-4 dys.  NO HORMONES.  you can choose a time limit for your devise 3,5,10 years.  I too did not want to deal with hormones so when my doctor recommend this new procedure from Europe I gave it a chance.  Have loved it ever since.  Yes, sometimes you can feel the fibers but was never anything that my husband complained about.  maybe they are less coarse than the Marena.  I even had them clipped once but the doc said there should be no problem in removal.  I did look for more permanent forms of birth control and he recommended the Essure procedure.  In office, simple like having the IUD placed.  They place coil in your tubes that scar tissue is supposed to grow over and block.   NOT SO.  before I had this done I did some research and found women bleeding, cramping, bloated to the extent of a 5 mo pregnancy, cysts, back pain oh, and pregnancy, up to 3 yrs after the procedure.  When they went to have them removed many of them had to have a hysterecomy.  Para Guard Yes, Marena-wouldn't recommend it, Essure, absolutely not without fully researching.  Hope this helps anyone.

post #359 of 451
I've had paraguard now since November 23rd of 2010 and have used unprotected sex with my husband everytime since and have not had any "I think I might be" or "oh know I'm late". Concerns. Its 99.6% effective and good for up to 10 years.it has no hormones and is not painful when inserted.......my doctor said id feel a little "pinch" but It just felt like kind of a "tap" on my cervix. Its working great for me................its not for everyone though. Hope this helps. smile.gif
post #360 of 451

I am scheduled to have paraguard removed, becuase of the severe cramps that come along with it,and Im due to have the mirena put in instead, but I remember the days of having no sex drive, and feeling like i was jeopordizing my relationship with my partner, and my main concern was will i loose my sex drive, and after hearing your story I think I'm good to use Ibuprofen for the bleading and the cramps rather than switch to mirena, I hated not being in the mood and with the Paraguard I'm always in the mood for sex. and I feel perfectly normal and healthy, and great, no hormones equal Perfect. Now Im happy with my choice to have had paraguard placed instead of Mirena. 


Thanks for the reminder!!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Family Planning
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Fertility › Family Planning › Paraguard reviews - Mirena vs. Paragard IUD