So, bear with me. I'm not a mama yet, but I stick around for the NMY tribe and the awesome conversation :)
In June of 2010 I got a paragard. I was 20, had not had a baby (still haven't) and had to go on Accutane, so I needed to be on a form of birth control. I cannot take anything hormonal (neither could my mom, aunt or grandma). Therefore, my only option was the paragard IUD. Plus, even though I'm not sexually active at the moment, it's nice knowing I'm really safe for up to ten years.
Now, I am fortunate in that I haven't really had any complications. However, my periods are heavy and it sucks. They used to be 6-7 days (so yes, longer than average) but not very heavy, I could definitely get by with normal flow cloth pads and I only had to change my diva 2 times a day on the days I used it. Now, it's just awful. The cramps aren't that bad, but my periods are 8-10 days and 3-4 of those days are REALLY heavy. Within two hours, my diva cup has overflowed. My iron levels are fine and I feel normal, so I know it's not dangerous or anything, but it's so annoying.
Part of me really wants to get it taken out. However, I'm also single and when I do enter a relationship, I know I'll like the freedom to not have to worry about pregnancy. However, on the other hand, with my period being 8-10 days that's a whole 1/3rd of the month I can't have sex anyhow! I also worry that since I haven't had kids, keeping it in long term could mess with my fertility. I know "they" say that doesn't happen, but it is definitely a fear of mine. I also wonder what would happen if it did rupture through my uterus...would that make me inelligible for a home birth someday? A vaginal birth period? To possibly risk my births for the sake of "ease" is not worth it to me.
On the OTHER hand, it hurt so bad to get put in. I have a really, really high pain tolerance and MAN did it hurt. I'm terrified getting it out will hurt too.
I'm going in for my one year checkup in early June, so I have to decide. Lay it on me...I want to know what you would do.
ETA: I know that with some education, I could successfully do NFP and use condoms to avoid pregnancy. That is what I'd do if/when I get this thing removed.
NMY, uber-crunchy, college student, doula-in-training, health food store worker and future librarian
Take it out. What's a short period of pain getting it taken out compared to those painful periods every month? (From someone who has helacious periods, if you can do anything that will most likely make your periods much better, DO!!!)
I had a Mirena IUD, not the Paragard, but figure a lot of this applies.
I was miserable with my IUD. I had it put in at my 6 week PP checkup (I stopped bleeding at 5 weeks PP). I continued to spot/bleed EVERY SINGLE DAY (except for 4-5) for the next 8 months. I also had the fun hormonal BC stuff to deal with (weight gain/inability to lose weight, acne, crabbiness, fatigue, etc.) Then I got my AF back on top of all this. My iron levels were fine (actually they were high, to quote my midwife "You are healthier than healthy" LOL). It was just annoying and miserable and I wanted to be done.
I finally decided enough was enough and got it taken out. I was paranoid because I forgot to take pain medication beforehand, but it didn't hurt at all. I didn't even feel it coming out. The spotting/bleeding stopped within a week and I feel great.
If you are this miserable and concerned, however "normal" this bleeding may be or "minimal" the risk of uterine perforation/damage to your fertiliy/etc., I would get it out just for your own peace of mind.
Jen - 29, part-time LDRP RN and Birth Consultant. DH - 33. Married since 2006. 3/09. DD 2010. Expecting a surprise new one in May 2014!
If you truly want it out and what you are going through just doesn't sound right get it out. It really isn't that bad coming out.
It wasn't a big deal at all to take it out for me either. I never had any problems with it, though.