IUD's - like them or no? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 09-09-2010, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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We just had our second baby last month. Last time it took me 18 months to get AF back. DH was in the Navy and gone a lot so we didn't worry too much about birth control. When he got back from deployment I started Yaz and it was AWFUL. It made me batty! I am on Zoloft for depression/anxiety anyway (not just for post-partum, all the time) which is also a factor including the fact that both of my DDs were conceived on the pill I am enjoying my 2 girls immensely but REALLY don't want to get pregnant again for at least another 2-3 years. I am considering an IUD so I don't have to think about it and have been told it is better for people with anxiety and depression anyway. So

What are your positive/negative experiences with an IUD?
Is it compatible with breastfeeding?
How did it effect your moods if at all?

I am of course going to talk to my CP about this but I want to get some real-life experiences/opinions.

Crunchy Christian Wife and Mommy to awesome DH and DD1 (4/25/07) and DD2 (8/13/10)
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#2 of 21 Old 09-10-2010, 02:20 AM
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I just got out my copper IUD (is that what you're considering, or is it the hormonal one?) and mostly I would say I was reasonably happy with it. It was certainly maintenance-free. A little uncomfortable getting it put in, and made me a little bit nervous worrying about perforating my uterus (I'm a worrier). It did it's job . . . although the woman who recommended it to me in the first place had gotten pregnant with one in. I think it might have made my cramps worse, but I've always been crampy, so it's hard to judge. Well, I was crampy until I was on the pill, and then I had no libido, no menstruation, and therefore no cramps. I went straight from the pill to the IUD, so I didn't have a good timeline for comparing my cramps with and without. I haven't noticed being consistently less crampy since I got it out. The thing that I really didn't like about the IUD AT ALL was that the doctor who inserted it cut the string short - he said that sometimes men complain that they can feel the string during sex - and it retracted up past my cervix. And then it was really hard to get out, and they had to put me under general anaesthetic. The experience itself was not a big deal, but I was TERRIFIED of being under anaesthetic, especially while they were doing stuff in my uterus. The reality was really not bad at all, just my emotions immediately before were bad.

Overall, I would say it was a good fit for me. I liked the ease of use (I always forgot to take the pill), and the side effects seemed pretty minor, in contrast to the pill for me. In fact, I don't like any method of birth control that I've tried or heard about, for a variety of reasons, but I was pretty happy with my IUD for the 4 years I had it in.

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#3 of 21 Old 09-10-2010, 10:09 AM
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I had my copper IUD for 2 years and really liked it. My periods were much heavier, but managable, and I had zero cramps. I loved that I didn't have to be on any hormones. Both the copper IUD and the Mirena are fine for breastfeeding. I would recommend an IUD to anyone!
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#4 of 21 Old 09-10-2010, 12:14 PM
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I'll be the negative one. LOL! I had an IUD (Mirena) a few years ago and HATED it. I only had it in for a couple months and I hated every minute of it. The insertion wasn't bad. I bled quite a bit for the couple months I had it in. When I went to check it (you're supposed to check the strings) I couldn't find it. I freaked out! I went back to the dr to get it checked and *they* couldn't find it. Freaked me out even more. They sent me to get an ultrasound to see if it was in there somewhere. It was, but apparently I have a double uterus and never knew (went through my pregnancy with ds with no issues and had 3 u/s with him which never detected it). Apparently the IUD was in one place and the doctors were looking in another place. So then I had to go back to the doctor. They asked if I still wanted it out (knowing it was still there). HECK YES! So they tried to removed it.... and couldn't. 3 or 4 different doctors tried to get it out before the head doctor finally managed to get it out. I was on the table for probably close to an hour with various people up in my crotch trying to get it out. I was in so much pain, I couldn't believe it.

I will get my tubes tied before I have another IUD. LOL!

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#5 of 21 Old 09-10-2010, 12:25 PM
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Insertion was painful and my cramps are worse and my flow is heavier - but even in spite of those things, I LOVE my copper IUD. I love having my natural cycle each month and not having to worry about abstaining at all. I was on the pill/nuvaring on and off for years and didn't like how it made me feel at all, and I used NFP but hated having to abstain each month when my sex drive was the highest right around ovulation.

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#6 of 21 Old 09-12-2010, 01:32 AM
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I've had a copper IUD for about a year now and it's hands down the best birth control I've ever been on (and I think I've tried most of them ).
I didn't find them insertion to be painful, more like briefly and marginally uncomfortable. My period did get a bit heavier, but not crazy heavy, and it seems to be getting lighter as the months go on. My cramps are actually milder on the IUD. I also love that it's long-term, super reliable, and non-hormonal. (Hormonal birth control completely kills my libido.)
If you've had bad experience with hormonal birth control, I would definitely recommend looking into a copper IUD like Paraguard rather than a hormonal one like Mirena.
All in all, it seems like some women love their IUD and some women hate it. It's hard to know until you try it. If you have insurance that covers a good bit of the cost, I'd say it's definitely worth it to give it a try. If you don't have insurance, it is a pretty big cash outlay, though some clinics will do low cost IUDs.

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#7 of 21 Old 09-12-2010, 02:50 AM
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I'm on my second Paragard and I've been really happy with it. I didn't notice a huge difference in my flow or cramps, but I was BFding and didn't have a period for several months after each one was inserted (inserted at 4 mos pp with the first one, 8 wks pp with the second). My DH has occasionally noticed the strings but insists they don't bother him at all. Currently my strings have retracted into the cervical os, but the IUD (per ultrasound) is right where it should be and my GYN says he thinks he can get ahold of them if/when we decide we want it out.

I don't do well with artificial hormones (migraines and mood swings!) and I had a reaction to spermicide, so the Paragard was a really good option for me. If we decide to have a 4th kid, I'll almost certainly have another one put in again.

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#8 of 21 Old 09-12-2010, 03:08 AM
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I had a copper IUD for several months back in 1996. I had a few friends who used them and LOVED them. My own experience was pretty terrible. First, my babies were born by caesarean; my cervix had never really opened and the IUD insertion was very painful.

Secondly, my periods were extremely heavy and I experienced sharp pains for the duration. Each month, I developed a bacterial vaginal infection after my period. The doctor said that the copper could have upset my pH balance, and I wound up taking Flagyl every month.

My string was cut short and went up into my uterus. I had to undergo general anesthesia and have my cervix dilated in the operating room to remove the IUD (which I did after 6 months of horrible periods and BV). While I was in surgery, the doctor wound up doing a D&C because my endometrium was terribly inflamed. I've never had uterine/vaginal problems before or since that IUD, other than a couple of yeast infections.
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#9 of 21 Old 09-12-2010, 03:16 AM
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I LOVE mine! I got it put in while I was 20, never had any kids. I'm now 21. Insertion was AWFUL, but I figure that a few minutes of bad pain and a day of heavy cramping is much less painful than childbirth

I actually almost got mine taken out, because it made my periods so awful (heavy and SO crampy). Out of desperation, I went to the co-op and got some homeopathics for bad PMS and my issues have vanished. My periods are still pretty heavy, but not crampy at all and only a day or so longer than my average pre-IUD periods.

I can't tolerate any hormones, and I suspect I have a latex sensitivity, so the IUD is perfect for me.

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#10 of 21 Old 09-12-2010, 10:43 AM
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I have a Mirena and have had it for 3 1/2 years now(wow! Didn't realize it had been that long). I've been quite happy with it. I wanted something that was very reliable and compatible with breastfeeding, so this is what I got!

Insertion was a breeze. I was a little spotty and crampy for a few weeks, but that's it. No complaints on my part on that end.

And, well, I didn't get pregnant! lol.
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#11 of 21 Old 09-12-2010, 10:49 AM
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My copper IUD is definitely the best form of BC I've ever used. My periods are heavier and longer, I do spot between periods a little on occasion, and it did hurt for a few seconds on insertion, but these side effects are nothing compared to the side effects that I had from hormonal BC or the inconvenience that go along with barriers.

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#12 of 21 Old 09-14-2010, 02:06 PM
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I just got my Mirena out today. I will never have an IUD again! Insertion was horrible!! Then the depression started, and mood swings, no sex drive.. Then I had pregnancy scares atleast every other month. Heartburn that I've only had while pregnant, morning sickness, etc. Makes me wonder if I was getting pregnant but having miscarriages. That was the worst. An oops baby would be a million times better for me than getting pregnant with an IUD in.

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#13 of 21 Old 09-14-2010, 02:33 PM
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I have a Mirena and I mostly like it.

I did bleed for at least a month after I got it in. I got it in at my 6 week pp visit. So I had just stopped bleeding after giving birth and then suddenly ended up bleeding for another month.

I don't know what it'll do to my periods, since I'm only 5 months pp and haven't had one yet.

I am having a problem with mine. I think I have a relatively saggy pelvic floor. And sometimes the strings are too long. They actually hang out of me just a tiny bit sometimes. So, since they're so low they irritate and poke me. I need to make an appointment to go get them cut, but the birth center is 30 minutes away and I have very little sick time left after maternity leave.

But I do like that it's breast feeding compatible (for most people) and that I don't have to worry about it much.

ETA: For me, insertion was painless. The pap she did right before she inserted it hurt more. I was imagining all this pain, and then I didn't even know she was done.

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#14 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 12:22 PM
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I have a copper IUD that was inserted at my 6-week checkup. That was a good way to go, because it didn't hurt and then I didn't have periods for months afterwards (because of breastfeeding). I did have cramping for a day or two and then spotting on and off for 2-3 weeks after insertion, but from that point I've been able to just forget about it. My fertility is only now returning (bb is 11 months old), but so far my first and second periods have seemed normal, perhaps even with less cramping than usual. I think having a postpartum insertion during breastfeeding amenorrhea is a great idea because your body "gets used" to it before your period returns.

So far I'm very happy with it, especially considering that I got tired of keeping up with NFP after years of doing it, and hormones just don't agree with me.

DD1 (Oct 99), DD2 (Sep 02), DD3 (Oct 09)
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#15 of 21 Old 11-03-2010, 02:57 PM
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IUD's can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterine wall technically causing an abortion. (hormonal bc methods can also do this.)

Just thought to mention it.


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#16 of 21 Old 11-03-2010, 03:13 PM
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I really wanted a Mirena a few years ago but it turned out my uterus was too small. Even though I have given birth before...

I think this is a rare problem (not sure how rare!), but it's something to take into consideration at least.

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#17 of 21 Old 11-03-2010, 08:07 PM
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I had the mirena for two years and just had it removed yesterday. It was great for about a year, but then my hormones got all out whack, and I gained over 20lbs, started getting depression, cold flashes, mood swings, and several other problems, not to mention the almost constant pregnancy symptoms. I had tons of bloodwork and there was never any other cause for these problems was found, so it has to be the IUD.

I never had a period while I was on it, which was nice, but kind of odd, and it did its job, but I wouldn't go back on it. I am seriously looking into the copper iud for my next form of bc though.
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#18 of 21 Old 11-04-2010, 04:48 AM
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I had the Mirena and hated it! They say the hormones stay localized in the uterus and don't cause any side effects, but just google "Mirena IUD side effects" and you'll find hundreds of women who report having the same side effects (everything Summertime Mommy posted and more.)

I took mine out a week ago and already feel so much better! IF I ever get an IUD again I will only get the copper (non-hormonal) one.

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#19 of 21 Old 11-04-2010, 05:13 AM
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What are your positive/negative experiences with an IUD?
I have had three copper IUDs.

First the bad stuff:

The insertion was insanely painful -- as in worst pain in my life -- for all three. The pain occurred when they attached the tenaculum (a torture-device-looking thingy to hold the cervix still). Three different doctors so I don't think it was a technique issue.

Maybe I have an unusually sensitive cervix... I dunno. I have no idea how to describe the pain... worse than an exposed nerve in a tooth or a dental abscess, worse than labor, worse than breaking a bone... just unbelievable pain. Every time I swore I'd never do it again.

I passed out on the floor (vasovagal reaction) after the third one was inserted.

The pain afterwards was equivalent to bad menstrual cramps and lasted the rest of the day. I was fine the following morning.

With all three, I had significantly heavier periods (about 150% my usual blood loss) and worse cramps than usual.

All three had to be removed earlier than planned:

IUD #1 - Started to migrate out (stem protruding from cervix) after a few months.
IUD #2 - Started to migrate out (step protruding from cervix) after about a year.
IUD #3 - Got pregnant with it in place.

The good:
It was a form of birth control I could actually use. I have extremely bad reactions to hormonal birth control, am allergic to nonoxynol-9 (spermicide), don't see the point in having sex if we're using withdrawal, and I have become pregnant more than once using NFP and charting (maybe I'm hyper-fertile). The only thing I can use besides IUDs are non-spermicidal condoms and I hate the way they interrupt the fun.

It was easy to forget it existed except for the monthly string check, which wasn't a big deal at all.

Theoretically, it offered 10 years of protection, but you can see how THAT worked out.

My partner wasn't able to feel it or anything.

Is it compatible with breastfeeding?
Yes, but I was breastfeeding while I had my 2nd IUD in and started bleeding... and bleeding... and bleeding... for about a month straight. Saw my doc (wonderful lady), who felt the problem was that the IUD was basically "scraping" my uterus because I didn't have much of a lining in there due to breastfeeding. A short course of estrogen cleared up the bleeding.

How did it effect your moods if at all?
No effect.

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#20 of 21 Old 11-04-2010, 05:48 AM
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Congrats on your babe!

I had a copper IUD for 3 years pre-TTC DD. I loved, loved, loved it for two of those years. For one, I hated it more than anything.

The positives:
I hate hormonal bc, both physically, mentally and philosophically, so, logically, a copper IUD is about the best non-hormonal bc there is. I never worried about an oops. (also, totally compatible w/ nursing) No mood effect.

Insertion, for me, was not painful at all. That said- my MW gave me a cervical dilating med the night before insertion. She said it was optional, but I took it bc I have a tender cervix usually.

At first, I mean, for years even, it was no deal at all. My AFs were regular. Yes, they were heavy and longer, but it wasn't a huge deal.

I really liked how in control and worry-free I felt about bc. TBH, condoms/withdrawal always make me nervous and, since I wasn't a reliable pill taker bc I hated them, that made me nervous, too. So, the boost to my sex life was really good. I never realized what a downer nervous energy about bc was having on my sex life.

Honestly, it was just a nice method for me bc I didn't hardly think of it and when I did, it was comforting not "omg, what if it failed..."

But then...
The negatives
It should be noted here that I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis after my IUD was out. It is possible that my symptoms I attributed to the IUD were, in fact, symptoms of my endometriosis.
That said, copper is a noted irritant and, for someone with endo, should never, ever be used in utereo bc it causes a flare of the endo and endo adhesions to form- so likely what happened to me was that I had underlying endo all the time and the 3 years of IUD use made it significantly worse. Very unlikely it would happen to you, but I something to note if you have a family hx of endo or any reason to think you might have it.

okay, so about 2 years into my IUD, all of the sudden AF was out. of. control. Like, first day pp bleeding. Clots and blood spilling on the floor when I stood up even with my diva cup freshly in. It was a bloodbath. This would last for at least a week, and then it would taper off. I think I was on a two week bleed/two week not cycle.

Then, pain. Tho, very, very likely this was the endo, but I started having random pelvic pain, plus, oh the cramps during AF! I had a US for placement and it was fine. Sex hurt, tho, so I wasn't getting much benefit from the IUD, yk?

Eventually, almost a year after AF got out of control, I was fed up. I pulled it out myself. (w/ my MW's blessing). It was therapeutic

Anyway, my story is likely a total outlyer bc of the endo, but you never know, so I thought I'd share.

TBH, I'm actually sad I can't get one post-birth this time. Thinking about what instead bums me out. If I didn't have endo, I would try it again, even if it meant a repeat of the bad experience I had- I just liked it that much when it was good.

ETA: OP, I just saw that this thread is pretty old- what did you end up deciding? Are you happy with it?

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#21 of 21 Old 11-04-2010, 05:51 AM
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What are your positive/negative experiences with an IUD?
it was a copper iud wich meant no hormones wich was awesome BUT it caused me to bleed for almost a solid year it started as a longish heavy period and gradually went to a constant med-heavy flow period ALL THE TIME SO you have to watch for that.

Is it compatible with breastfeeding?
Yes the copper has no hormones and i had no problems with breastfeeding my ds while on it

How did it effect your moods if at all?
only affected my moods in that the bleed caused stress on my body and that caused me some mood swings.

All in all it is a good method but you jusy have to watch for side affects. some women get them some do not

E married to "G" 9/06 mama to "A" 6/07 "D" 3/09 "A" due mid sept

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